Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ecostore USA giveaway winner!

Thanks to we have a winner of the Ecostore USA $25 gift certificate:

Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot .

Congrats Katie-- I hope you enjoy your Ecostore goodies! =)

Thanks to all who showed me some blog love and entered my first blog giveaway!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aloha Friday!

Yay- It's Aloha Friday! My Aloha Friday question is:

Yesterday's blog post was all about some of my quirks .

So my question for you is- What's one of your quirks?

What's something that makes you, 'you'?

C'mon... spill.

Inquiring minds want to know...

{And don't worry, we don't judge 'round here. =)}

Head on over to An Island Life for more Aloha Friday questions and to play.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Quirky Me...

... I open my mouth when I first start to apply my mascara.

...I will not watch a scary movie at night unless hubby promises to stay up and not fall asleep before me. I'm a big scaredy cat.

...I cannot wink my left eye. Never could. I have zero control over those facial muscles.

...I love watching old re-runs of Leave it to Beaver.

...When I open straws in restaurants, I always blow through it first. I once heard that someone found a spider inside a packaged straw. Eww!

...Speaking of bugs, I cringe at licking stamps. You know the story right? Live cockroach in someones lip because they licked the stamp and there were some cockroach eggs in the stamp glue. Eek!

...I find myself chewing on the inside of my mouth when I'm thinking.

...I'll buy something online from Pottery Barn just to continue getting their decor catalog mags. Don't judge.

...I love super short & stylish haircuts but won't get one 'cause I'm too afraid I'll look old. Cause I'm still in my 20's, ya know. ;D

...I use the word 'apparently' way too much.

...I drink water out of water bottles. {gasp} I know, the 'green' goddess in me shudders at this.

...I'll only eat red meat cooked well-done. There can be no visible blood, red, or even a tinge of pink. Gag. It grosses me out.

Hey, different strokes for different folks, right?

Am I pretty weird or what? =)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Homemade Taco Seasoning

2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
dash of ground cayenne pepper {optional}
freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste

Stir seasoning with 1lb. browned meat and 1/2 cup or so of water. Simmer for 10 minutes.

No more buying the taco seasoning packets from the grocery store?

Works for me.

Visit We are that family for more Works-for-me Wednesday ideas, tips and inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Woo-hoo: I switched to a 3-column blog!! I love all the space!

Whimsical: Chalkboard animals . I want some of these

Wisdom: A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Weakness: PASTA, baby!

Worry: I'll never get all my ideas for the preschool letters & themes curriculum organized with coordinating arts/crafts ideas! All 27 weeks of lessons-- yikes!

Wistful: childhood summer days

Web: For the kids, edition.

Camp Wannalaffalotta has started! Weekly summer kids themes including crafts, storybooks, activities, games, and food hosted by Life as Mom.

Print & Color cards that the little ones can color for Father's Day.

Wish: My cherry tomato plants already had tomatoes. Yeah, I'm an impatient gardener.

Wacky: Nick's Monday morning attire. Flip flops & briefs. =)

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Down on the farm

We took a visit yesterday to the farm. I think this was the first time ever that Haley didn't go, sniff, sniff. {She's camping with her bff.}

Momma & Nick!

My favorite farm animal--COWS!

Don't' hate her for her killer physique. =)

Awww, the baby. Holy long eyebrow hairs batman.

Taken right before she gave the camera some cow lovin' with her big white tongue.

My two fellas.

My cutie in the stinky goat barn.

{it's also the scene of the crime. some wildly hairy goat sprayed the most putrid smelling saliva out of his mouth onto my shirt. I swear it's all I smelled until I got home and changed. Eww. I think I can still smell it today.}

My guy. =)

Anyone else think rafters are pretty awesome looking?

Happy Memorial Day everyone!


Psst... don't for get to enter the giveaway to win a Ecostore gift certificate!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Aloha Friday! Summer food?

Yay- It's Aloha Friday! My Aloha Friday question is:

What's your favorite summertime dish/food?

We love grilling in the summer and one of our favorite things to do is make chicken satay/kabobs on the grill. Mmm. Marinate the 1" cubes of chicken in Italian dressing for an hour or so. Skewer chicken with whatever chunks of veggies you have on hand. Grill for about 20 minutes. Scrumptiousness. So easy, too- just the way I like summer meals.

I'd love to hear your summertime dishes- I'm always on the lookout for ideas!

Head on over to An Island Life for more Aloha Friday questions and to play.

Have a great weekend!

Review/Giveaway: Ecostore USA

When I was invited to try a few products from Ecostore USA, I jumped at the chance.

Here's a few reasons why:

Ecostore USA guarantees its products:
• are plant- and/or mineral-based and free of nasty chemicals (No Nasty ChemicalsTM)
• use safer ingredients from renewable resources • are formulated with your health in mind
• are safely super-concentrated
• meet the highest environmental standards
• have not been tested on animals
• are GE free (free of genetically-engineered products)
• are packaged in recyclable packaging

The products that I tried:

Cream Cleanser: Using only plant-based ingredients including Lemon Verbena oil, it can be used everywhere from the bathroom to the stainless on your stove top. (12.7 fluid ounces)

I used the cream cleanser in both my kitchen and in my bathroom. Besides smelling so refreshing {lemon verbena!} it's completely versatile. I went from cleaning my glass-top stove to using it on my black tiled bathroom. Guess what I loved the best? No streaks! When your bathroom is 80% tiled with very shiny black tiles {1950's style}, trust me when I tell you how important no streaking cleaners are. Ecostore really got it right with this one, folks.

Pure Oxygen Whitener: contains oil of citrus and coconut and other plant-based ingredients.

Green alternative to bleach? Yeah, pretty cool. I used this for both my towels that needed a bleach alternative and my white dinner napkins. Both came out fresh and white. I really like that this powder is gentle but powerful enough to use as a pre-soak as well. Thumbs up!

Can I share with you one of absolute favorite things about these products?

This cute little bunny symbol...

Yep, no animals were harmed in the testing of these cleaners. I sleep better at night. seriously.

Want to try some eco-friendly goodies, too?

Ecostore USA is generously offering a $25 Gift certificate to one lucky reader. Woo-hoo!

Here's how to win:

1) Visit Ecostore USA & leave a comment telling me which product you'd like to try.

For additional entries:
{Please leave separate comments for each entry.}

1. Follow this blog.

2. Post or tweet about this giveaway and post a link in comments.

3. Subscribe to this blog

4. Add me to you Technorati favorites.

The winner will be randomly selected on 5/29/09. You’ll have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. Open to US only!

{Please make sure that there is a valid email in which to reach you if you are the winner- thanks!}
Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Mmmm... chocolate ice cream.

If you participate in WW, don't forget to add your blog @ 5 Minutes for Mom!

Happy WW!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


My mom-in-law brought me these vintage beauties yesterday.

Linen kitchen towels. yay!

If you haven't used one, you must. You just must.
They're pretty awesome.
They don't wipe the water around, they actually absorb the water.
If you happen to see one at a yard sale for a 50 cents or a buck, pick it up for you. Or me. whichever. =)

So right now as we speak, my sweet son informed me that he's all done. It's all in the garbage he's telling me. What's he referring to?

Oh, just the nasty dog hair and stuff that he vacuumed up in the shark. You see, he's been vacuuming for close to 1/2 hour now. He's infatuated with the shark. We keep it charged just for his enjoyment.

It's cute and really funny to watch him push this around. And, empty the little tray into the garbage.

It's not child labor if they want to do it, right?

I'm currently in the process of turning Haley's old room (she's downstairs now with her own tiki bar) into Nick's playroom/art room. This is turning into more work than I'd like, but whatcha gonna do. If you want the results you have to do the work, right? So, it's painting for Memorial weekend. And hitting the yard sales. I'm looking for a table like this for the new playroom.

I'm thinking if I can find a table that size and maybe cut down the legs and paint it. It'll work, dontcha think?

I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday. I've just been beckoned by my little guy to 'pay wiff me'. How can I even resist that?

I can't. =)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend W's


Woo-hoo: It's already mid-may- school is almost out for summer! I love it when the kids are home.

Whine: I'm going to be dragging at work today- all I did was toss and turn last night. Interrupted sleep is for the birds!

Wisdom: I've always thought anyone can make money. Making a life worth living, that's the real test. -Robert Fulghum

Weakness: cinnamon rolls

Worry: I'm worried about my parents. My stepdad was laid-off last week. I pray he can find something else.

Want: more time in a day...

Web: Paperback Swap . I've signed up but still have to list a few books. I already have a short list of books that I'm going to request. =)

Wish: Still wishin' for a new camera.

Working: at the apothecary today. ;P

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Proust Questionaire

{The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.}

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? harmonious existence with everything in and around me

2. What is your greatest fear? that I let weaknesses keep me from living a full life

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? indecisiveness

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? passing judgement

5. Which living person do you most admire? my husband

6. What is your greatest extravagance? the precious time I waste.

7. What is your current state of mind? reflective

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? overrated virtue? Is there such a a thing? Here's a quick list. Can you think of one?

9. On what occasion do you lie? possibly to spare someone deep hurt

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? my crooked nose

11. Which living person do you most despise? child & animal killers/abusers

12. What is the quality you most like in a man? integrity/compassion

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? integrity/compassion

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 'apparently' and 'no'

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? my husband

16. When and where were you happiest? when hubby & I started our life together and when my kids were born

17. Which talent would you most like to have? still thinking on this one

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? more tenacity

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? my children

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? a tree. I'd love to watch generations of change- that is if I wasn't cut down.

21. Where would you most like to live? Italy

22. What is your most treasured possession? pictures of those I've lost. my memory has faded some, so these are very treasured.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Godlessness.

24. What is your favorite occupation? photography, painter, potter, doctor.

25. What is your most marked characteristic? hmmm...

26. What do you most value in your friends? trustworthiness

27. Who are your favorite writers? Jane Austen and Robert Fulghum

28. Who is your hero of fiction? Miss Austen

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? this first seemed like such an easy answer to me, but the more I think about it the less sure of an answer I have

30. Who are your heroes in real life? all those who sacrifice for the good of others. Mother Teresa comes to mind. {smile}

31. What are your favorite names? my kids names. Violetta.

32. What is it that you most dislike? seafood. ignorance. violence.

33. What is your greatest regret? waiting so long to have another child

34. How would you like to die? peacefully

35. What is your motto? be kind

*Thanks to Vanity Fair for the list of Proust questions.

So, who's up for answering next??

Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aloha Friday!


Yay- It's Aloha Friday! My Aloha Friday question is:

Have you done a product review or giveaway on your blog? Were you glad you did?

Soon I'll be hosting my first review/giveaway. I've debating doing this for a few months now and decided to try one and see how I like it. Anyone have any tips for this rookie?

Head on over to An Island Life for more Aloha Friday questions and to play.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



Does your family eat lotsa pasta like we do here in the K house?

Well, you may have the same problem I did.

Boxes and bags of opened leftover pasta.

You know, the 1/4 box of farfalle or 1/2 bag of ditalini sitting in the back of the pantry just waiting to be added to some soup or tossed with some garlic & olive oil. But, always overlooked for a new unopened box/bag?

Yeah, I needed to solve that problem. Here's what I came up with...


Put the pasta in wide mouth mason jars.


They are lined up in the pantry and I know what leftover pasta I have and how much.

Works for me. =)

Visit We are that family for more Works-for-me Wednesday ideas, tips and inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My tulips this morning.

I'm listening to two, two year-olds go back and forth.

'It's mine.'
'No, it's not yours.'
'It's miiiiiiiiine!'
'NO, it's mine!'

Good morning to me. {chuckle}

Minus the toddler bickering, I'm expecting today to be a good day.

The sun is shining. And, I have the day off. Those two things just reek of loveliness, don't they?!

I'm off to get crack-a-lackin' on my daily cleaning. Hope you all have a great Tuesday! =)


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend W's


Woo-hoo: Hubby is almost done with academy! Only one more week!! {It feels like he's been in there forever! Oh wait- he has.}

Whine: I had to work on Mother's Day. The plus side? On my way in to work I stoppped off at McD's for a coffee and they were giving out free Brownie melt's to mom's. Have you tried them? Mmmm, they're pretty tasty.

Wisdom: Live a good life. In the end it is not the years in a life, but the life in the years. - Abraham Lincoln

Weakness: food. seriously. why couldn't I have a weakness for cute running shoes or yoga mats or something?

Worry: Nick will never be potty-trained. :p

Want: A new camera. Too bad Nikon hasn't contacted me to do a review. {{ wish }}

Web: Hulu !! I love watching the cooking shows.

Wish: See above. Nikon D40 review. =)

Working: On some fun PR stuff for the blog.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh, Goody! Granola Bars

I've been in a baking mood lately. Can ya'll tell?


Holy sweet-chewy granola bars, batman.

These babies are delicious.

2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 chopped nuts (I used almonds & pecans)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan w/parchment paper & spray with vegetable oil spray.

2- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.

3- Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges are golden. Pull the parchment paper w/ bars out of the pan and let cool. Cut into bars.

4- Don't eat so many that it upsets your tummy. Ask me how I know.

Have a great Thursday blog friends! =)



Frugal Edition. {This week we were asked to share our frugal tips.}

Here's a few of my biggest $$ savers.

* Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!
Yeah, it's not always the most fun you'll have writing up your menus, but it pays off in so many ways...

1- You don't find yourself staring into the fridge at dinnertime wondering what to cook.
2- You've planned your meals so you know what you need to buy at the grocery store. And, the list helps you stick to your grocery budget so you don't overspend.
3- It helps to keep you out of that cooking rut that many of us can fall into. You know, making the same things over and over and over. When you sit down to plan your menu for the week (or month) get out all those recipes you've always wanted to try and pencil one in here and there. You'll be amazed at the variety of meals you make.

* Let vinegar become your best bud.


I mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. That's it. That's my cleaner. I even use it as a hard wood floor cleaner. Love it.
I also use vinegar to clean for my rinse agent in the dishwasher and I clean the coffee pot by running some vinegar & water through it.

I also have my homemade laundry soap recipe here.

* Join your local Freecycle .
Freecycle is all about re-using and keeping things out of landfills. Look at this little gizmo I picked up Saturday from a freecycler.


Almost-new HP photo printer! It works great, too.

For most frugal folks these tips are old news, but these oldie but goodies work for me.

Visit We are THAT family for more Works-for-me Wednesday ideas, tips and inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I woke up this morning to Daisy dog snoring, the birds outside chirping and my Nicholas with his heel firmly lodged into my thigh muscle.

Somewhere in between finding out yesterday that I didn't have to watch my sweet niece this morning,
passing out at 10pm last night,
bringing a crying Nicholas into our bed in the wee hours of the morning, to waking up at 7:05 am, the universe failed to recognize that I'd have liked to have slept in.

Call me crazy, but I'd rather not have my eyes flutter open at seven 'o clock if they don't have to, know what I mean?

Nonetheless, with the chirping birds, Daisy and a sore thigh I rolled {{ very reluctantly I might add }} out of bed. As I'm typing this, I'm sipping my coffee waiting for that jolt of energy to push me off my fanny and into a state of motivation & movement.

Until then, I'll be reading some blogs. :D

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Easy to make kids game!

Megan over at Plum Pudding has the absolute cutest ideas for kids.

I'm saving my plastic spice jars to use for her Sprinkle Jars. (My super-duper picky eater son loves to dip and sprinkle- yay!)

But, one of my favorite ideas of hers is the Cereal box matching game .

Recycling + creating a game the whole family can play, what's not to love?


(Just know when to stop cutting circles-- for weeks I looked at any printed cardboard as potential game pieces. I have 40+ circles.)

I used popcorn boxes.

I even used waffle boxes.

Cute idea, isn't it?

We just spread them all out on the coffee table at have at it. =)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Aloha Friday!- Fave blog?


Yippee-ky-yay! It's Aloha Friday! I'm keeping it short and simple today. My Aloha Friday question is:

What's your favorite blog?

I have a couple of current faves...

U Create
Thrifty Decor Chick

So spill, what's a current fave of yours?

Head on over to An Island Life for more Aloha Friday questions and to play.

Have a great weekend!