Archives for October 2012

Happy Halloween and Autumn – Prayer is Needed

 

 

 

 

I’m going to be quick today and however, leave you with one thought.

 

I know this is a fun day for the kiddos. And I’m extremely excited about my grandson entering my doorstep tonight. In fact, I can’t wait! LOL 🙂

 

However, the devastating news of the Washington/New York storms darkens many, many lives and homes. I really didn’t want to put a damper on this fun and festive day.

 

 

(For some, however I’m not a huge Halloween person)

 

Still I wanted to put a thought into my readers’ ears and eyes. I was watching the news last night…and that’s not something I normally do! LOL

 

Hello Tammy!! You Need To Watch The News Once In Awhile To See What’s Shaking!! 😮

 

 

No Pun Intended 😉 I was just in AWWW! Prayers are needed for all those people!!! 🙁

 

A lot of people think, this can NEVER happen to them! As with a lot of things. And I said, I’d keep this post short??! I promise. lol

 

If you’re reading this post, I surely hope YOU have not been affected!

 

 

I can think of 5 (online) friends just off the top of my head that I’ve been questioning and praying for.

Just one thought…PRAY for them!

 

Please stay safe tonight through your Halloween travels, Happy Autumn. 😉

Review and Giveaway – Win Prima Princessa – “The Nutcracker” Free DVD 2009

 

 

You know, I’ve honestly never watched The Nutcracker! So I was a tad bit excited to watch the DVD when I received it. =)

 

 

 

 

I was thrilled to get a chance at doing a review for this delightful and entertaining presentation of The Prima Princessa – The Nutcracker (2009)

 

I was literally glued to the television set as I watched this phenomenal and educational ballerina live performance. The holiday colors came alive on the screen and the dancers were nothing short of excellent. What an extraordinary presentation this was!

 

 

If you have a daughter or granddaughter that has a dream of being a ballerina, then she will definitely enjoy this DVD The Nutcracker. This captivating presentation is a Christmas story with live dancers that is broken up into sections that teaches the various ballet dance steps. The steps are performed by the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

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The video is approximately one hour long and the narration of the story line is exquisite. The educational part features small breaks that goes over and shows the actual ballet steps TWICE! It’s a fun, animated and charming presentation that any inspired little girl would thoroughly enjoy!

 

I also enjoyed the “Extra Features” of the DVD. 🙂

 

The Holiday Party Baking

 

Holiday Freeze Dancing

 

Holiday Crafts – Shows how to make a paper snowflake, a paper chain and decorated fan, all with simple construction paper.

This DVD is an awesome Christmas gift idea! And one that will thrill ANY little girl’s heart.

 

Parents’ Choice Award
 
Get It Here!
 
Also, visit their Tutuzone Blog – Tutu Zone.com
 
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You can also WIN a FREE copy of The Prima Princessa Nutcracker! It’s EASY to enter…Details Below! 🙂

 

The 2 steps for entering the contest below are mandatory for (1) Successful Entry…

 

 

1. Required For (1) Successful Entry – Subscribe to this blog via the Subscribe link (top right) Then leave a comment with your name and email address.
2. Required For (1) Successful Entry – Follow Me on Twitter @hometelecommute. Then leave a comment along with your Twitter username

Failure To Do The Above (2) Steps Will Result With an Invalid Entry
 
EXTRA ENTRIES — Extra Chances To Win The Above DVD
 
3. Tweet the following below and come back here and leave the URL of the tweet.

 

“#giveaways #nutcracker #ballet #holidays #Win Prima Princessa – The Nutcracker Free DVD – http://ow.ly/eSQJJ”

 

4. Blog about this giveaway and come back and leave the URL of your blog entry

 

5. Follow this blog via Networked Blogs (middle section below)

 

Simple…and that’s it!

Good Luck!
PLEASE NOTE: This Giveaway Will Close On December 1st!

 


Cleaning Your Home – Easy and Fast Tips to Do It – Guest Post

If you are one of these people that often have a huge list with chores that are all of a high priority, but you can hardly find time for accomplishing even half of them, you are not alone. There are millions of people struggling with getting motivated to do the so monotonous cleaning of the house, especially when the amount of housework is immense.

The good news is that there are fast and easy ways that you can employ and feel relieved once your cleaning is over.

 

* Hiring someone to do the cleaning job for you is one of the easiest ways to be over with it, but if you can’t afford it at the moment, keep reading further.

* Stop complaining about how many things you have to finish, roll up your sleeves and knock out all of the housework.

* Always start cleaning with making your bed first because your room will look instantly cleaner.

* Don’t forget to make sure you have all you need to clean your home or at least the basics: a vacuum cleaner, something to polish with, all-purpose cleaner, a bin or bag, a cloth or rag and a positive attitude.

* If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, make sure that you get one. It will save you enormous amounts of time because it has multifunctional appliances and won’t leave any lint.

* Forget about being lazy halfway through cleaning your home. Once you start I, you have to finish it. You can take brakes but don’t get too carried away.

* Ask for approval once you are done cleaning one room if there is someone around. A positive encouragement will inevitably get you in cleaning mode.


* Treat yourself with something you love after accomplishing a task or cleaning an entire room. That will be a great stimulus for moving on to the next one.

* If you have a partner, siblings or kids, get them involved in helping you clean the house. Challenge them by having a competition of who will finish cleaning the given area or room faster. It will be even funnier if you get someone to be the judge and inspect both places and score them.

* Set the timer as giving yourself an estimated time for accomplishing the chores, and see if you will finish before or after that time.

* Be very careful not to step on something sharp on the floor while putting away the misplaced items.

* Have you ever considered the variant of mopping your floor as you walk? If you did, you have to check the dust mop slippers, which can look cute on your feet and do the tedious work of mopping for you.

* Play your favorite tunes when cleaning; the faster the beats are, the better. You may start moving too.

* If you need to do some tough cleaning and lots of scrubbing is involved, try rubbing the desired area with a magic eraser. It does wonders, and it gets even more powerful if you add some water to it.

* Always try to plan cleaning your kitchen while preparing a meal – it will save you time.

If not all, at least some of the cleaning tips will help you to get done sooner and faster with your cleaning.

Grace is a happy mom who really loves sharing her domestic cleaning tricks and tips and to help busy modern housewives to handle easy all the tasks at home.

Grandma’s Coffee

 

 

 

I have always loved the aroma and taste of coffee. I’ve always liked it just black..no creamer and no sweetener.

 

 

However, I could never drink it because it would always bring on a bladder infection. 🙁

This year, I’ve been drinking tons of water every day to aid with weight loss. And of course, I’ve had a healthy bladder as a result too. So, a few weeks ago, I tried drinking coffee again. Hmmm…so far so good, no infection. I always drink water along with my breakfast and coffee in the mornings, and more water throughout the day.

I’ve been drinking it black, just like above…no creamer and no sweetener.

 

Until Yesterday…

 

I went to the grocery store yesterday and needed to grab some coffee. I saw all the creamers and thought, hmm..I’ll try a couple of the flavored creamers. I tossed both the Caramel Macchiato and the Pumpkin Pie Spice in the cart.

 

 

LOVE THE CARAMEL MACCHIATO! 🙂
HAVE NOT TRIED THE PUMPKIN PIE SPICE YET…I’m sure it will be awesome because I love pumpkin pie! lol

 

 

And of course the obvious bonus that goes along with drinking coffee…caffeine! It keeps me focused and more alert during the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now, Grandma loves her coffee!! 🙂

How to make Halloween Cookies – A Delightful Video About a Grandson Making Cookies With His Grandmother

 

 

 

 

Picture Shared From http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/ 😉

I received a lovely email message a couple of weeks ago about an awesome video featuring a grandson making cookies with his grandmother. This young man -Alex Aiono; also gave me a great compliment about my blog here 🙂

I just wanted to share this sweet video with you all! (Includes Recipe as Well)

Quoted From Alex:

So for my first Halloween tradition, I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with my sassy Grandma! Be sure to comment below with your Halloween traditions for me to try out!

Please Note: Don’t comment here on the blog, however, on the site of the actual video.  😉

Thanks for watching! And be sure and check out his other videos!

Check It Out HERE And Enjoy!

A Manual for Making Lighter, Thinner, Healthier Pizzas – Monthly Food Column

 

 

From The Prepared Pantry

 

 

Years ago, probably when we still lived in Alaska, I bought this little cookbook called, The Weekend Chef. In it was a recipe for an everything-on-it pizza. It turned out to have a big thick crust and a boatload of toppings. The crust was partially baked and the meats precooked and the toppings loaded on and the pizza pushed back into the oven. It really good but with all that prep and rising twice, it seemed like an all-afternoon project. It was too big and too rich and I still remember the heavy feeling after dinner.

I don’t eat pizzas like that anymore. Over the years, our pizzas have become lighter and thinner, certainly healthier. The crusts are thin and crisp. The toppings are much fewer, often with fresh veggies, and with a light layer of cheeses. I’m enjoying these pizzas and I don’t have to look away if I see my doctor in town.

Thin Crusts

Debbie Frantzen, our daughter and operations manager, is the queen of thin crust pizzas. She takes our pizza dough mixes, adds the water, mixes them, and then divides them in half. She uses a pizza stone and a pizza peel and makes two 14-inch pizzas out of one mix. She rolls them very thin and bakes them crispy on a preheated pizza stone.

I’m lazy. I just roll about two-thirds the dough out in a dark colored pizza pan. I have enough dough left for a couple calzones. I have two pizza pans, an old battered relic that’s nearly black from use and a newer perforated pizza pan that is perfect. I sprinkle a little cornmeal on the greased pan and roll the dough in pan using a pizza roller. The dark pans absorb heat and the thin crusts bake quickly and crisply.

Quick and Easy

Debbie taught me that you don’t have to stop and let the crusts rise. If you make and roll the crusts first, they’ll rise enough while you’re prepping and loading the toppings. Plus you’ll get oven spring, a rise in the oven, and the crusts will be crispy by the time the toppings are done. It makes for a very quick and simple pizza.

If you grease the pans well and sprinkle them with cornmeal, the pizzas will slip right off the pan. Slip a spatula under the pizzas and twist it around the pizza to make sure that it is not sticking anywhere, clasp the pizza with the spatula underneath and your thumb on top of the edge of the crust, and quickly slip it off the pan onto a cooling rack. You need to remove the pizza from the pan immediately so that it doesn’t sweat.

Making the Dough

The enemy of thin crusts is “springback.” The gluten in the dough makes the dough elastic. As you try rolling it thinly, it springs back. It has a memory and doesn’t want to roll out thinly and smoothly. It’s almost impossible.

When we first started developing our pizza dough mixes, we added rye flour to dilute the wheat gluten. We still couldn’t get the dough soft enough. So we started experimenting with commercial dough relaxers. We found one that was like magic. We could make the dough just s soft and pliable as we wanted and absolutely eliminate springback. We now use this in all our pizza dough mixes and tortilla mixes.

Since we absolutely love this relaxer, we now package and sell it. If you are going to make pizza dough from scratch, buy this dough relaxer. It’s essential to your thin crust pizzas.

We also sell a pizza flour blend with the dough relaxer already added. The amount of relaxer in this blend is just right.

White Sauces

Debbie discovered a white sauce pizza in the little one-service-station town where she lives, Ririe, Idaho. It had a white sauce made with minced onions and topped with new red potatoes sliced thinly. She brought some to work; it was very good.

Since then, we have experimented with all kinds of white sauces. Alfredo works well but there are a hundred other choices. Here is a list of those we have tried:

White Alfredo pasta sauce

French onion chip dip (You can make a great pizza with this.)
Ranch salad dressing (Doesn’t ranch make everything better?)
Chip dip made with dry onion soup mixes (quick, cheap, and surprisingly good)
Elki dips and spreads (These cost a little more but make some very fine pizzas. Debbie likes the creamy roasted red pepper spread; I like the pineapple cream cheese spread.)

You can see the possibilities. Just keep experimenting

Light Toppings

We mentioned the potato pizza above. Consider fresh veggies on your pizza. I’m particularly fond of fresh tomato slices
but we’ve made pizzas with green beans, with zucchini, and broccoli—often with no meat. Top the veggies with a thin layer of cheeses.

Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry. He is the author of How to Bake, a 318 page book about the art and science of baking. You can download a free copy of How to Bake Here!

Kindle, Nook and iPad versions available. I personally have the free “How To Bake” book on Kindle and it’s a 100% excellent resource! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

Halloween Costume Ideas For Your Grandson or Granddaughter – Guest Post

I thought these Halloween costumes were awesome ideas! And a great post by Danielle at eatbreatheblog.com.

Halloween is literally just days away. Sure, you can buy your grandson an elaborate Halloween costume, but it may be more memorable to make the outfit yourself. If your grandson or granddaughter will be with you this Halloween, why not help by creating a winning costume? Many of these ideas just take a tiny bit of effort and time, and are much more affordable and memorable than anything you could buy.

Stoplight

This stoplight costume is adorable, and so simple to make. With a few pieces of cardboard, some ribbon and a black sweat suit, you can turn your grandson into an adorable traffic light. Just be sure that he isn’t holding up the cars as you trick or treat!

stop light halloween costume

Fall Tree

Dress your grandson up like a fall tree with this cleaver idea. A big hat, brown sweat suit and some autumn leaf garland from the craft store make an adorable boys Halloween costume. Glue everything in place and you are ready to go!

LECC Halloween Party 2010

Robot

Check out this robot! A cardboard box and some duct tape never looked so good. Your grandson will be the talk of the neighborhood when he goes out like this!

Halloween 2008

Flower Pot

If you can find a lightweight flower pot that your little granddaughter can stand in, then you can create this flowerpot costume quite easily. Have your spouse carve out the bottom and sand the edges so she can stand in it. Add a headband, some felt and some suspenders round out the costume. For just a little bit of money, she can have something adorable and unique to wear this Halloween.

Flower

Fairy/Princess Tutu

Tutus are one of the easiest, and most adorable, costumes to make for a little girl. A little bit of elastic and some colorful tulle can easily transform into a ballerina, fairy or princess. You don’t even have to know how to sew, because all you do is look strips of tulle around the elastic, tie them off and you have a tutu. Add a matching top or onsie and some tights and the costume is complete.

No Sew Tutu

Cardboard Pony and Cowgirl

If your granddaughter is obsessed with horses — and what little girl isn’t — why not make her into one? This cute pony from Kid’s Stuff World is a great idea. You can make this a dual costume by dressing up like a cowgirl yourself and wrangling your little one!

ksw_pink_horse

Tug Boat and Captain

Does your grandson love boats and ships? Why not make him this little tugboat, and then complement the costume by dressing as a ship’s captain, complete with sailor hat and sash? Or, turn the ship into a pirate ship, and make your own captain hook!

20111023_6810

This year, your grandchild can have a memorable costume if you are willing to put in a little time. so grab your glue gun, scissors and a cardboard box and get to work!

Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys coming up with creative boys Halloween costume ideas each Halloween to try on her nephews. Read her work at eatbreatheblog.com.

Out Of The Craft Closet

Thanks Tammy, for inviting me to post on your fun blog! My name is Nickalli, and I’m going to use this opportunity to come out of the crafting closet. Yes, I have a secret. A crafting secret.

For those of you who know me, I like to do a little bit of everything. I have to try it all; sometimes just to find out that I really don’t like to do, or can’t do, something. I can’t arrange flowers to save my life, and I don’t like to cross stitch anything larger than the size a silver dollar.

One thing I found that I love to do, that most of my friends don’t know about, is silk ribbon embroidery. Ever heard of it? It isn’t a main stream craft, it’s a little Victorian, antique even. I took a class about 15 years ago and fell in love. You see it mostly as a small decoration on clothing, highlighted on a pillow, or the fancy stitches on a crazy quilt.

The stitches are the same as cross stitching (straight stitch, back stitch, lazy daisy, french knots, etc.) but instead of using embroidery floss, you are using ribbon. The widths of the ribbon go from very narrow 2mm, to really wide 13mm, the two most common sizes are 4mm and 7mm (about the width of my thumb). I love to add in different textures with charms, floss and beads as well.

I think my favorite part about silk ribbon embroidery is that once you learn a few basic stitches, it all comes together so fast and in no time at all you have a beautiful piece of artwork. Just by varying the color and widths of ribbon one stitch can take on the appearance of an entire field of flowers.


When I first began, it was hard to find anything outside of the class I took and books (this is one of my favorites). Now, with the internet – it’s an amazing time to take up this beautiful craft. There are a ton of examples, youtube videos and instructions. Please go out there and have a look around!!

Please contact me Here if you’d like to take a class in person or have questions. In the meantime, I’ll be sipping some tea in the parlor and perfecting my stitches while watching Sense & Sensibility.

Baking With My Granddaugh​ter – Guest Post

This is a compassionate story by Marjorie Newton about baking along side her granddaughter. 🙂

“Gramma, Gramma. Are you awake?
Gramma, Gramma, I want to bake!
I want to make some cookies…or cake…

Right now! Please, Gramma! I wanna bake!

Slowly my eyes open searching for the clock…almost 7 a.m. and, heavens, a little female creature peeks around my bedroom door to see if I’m awake. Now, of course, anyone knows that 7 a.m. is a great time, maybe the best time, to make cookies, even if you’re not quite awake. But if you have a little four year old, red haired, curly headed granddaughter insisting on making cookies NOW, it is definitely the best time. So, I roll out of bed not resisting this little eager child as she leads me from my bedroom. What a sight I must be in baggy pjs and uncombed hair. She doesn’t care how Gramma looks. We are headed for the kitchen to get the baking action started for the day.

Baking has played a huge role in my life. As a child, whenever my mother baked, I stood on a chair next to her at the kitchen counter. Watching her every move, I begged her to let me crack the eggs, blend the sugar and butter together, sift the dry ingredients together, and mix it all in the bowl. In spite of the clouds of flour and the puddles of milk on the counter and floor, I think she enjoyed teaching me the various stages of creating a cake.


The exception to the fun, I am sure, were all the times I found it important to check the batter. The frequency I dipped into the mixture with my little sticky fingers had to be frustrating for her, but if so, she never mentioned it. She was very patient with me. By the time I was nine, she suggested I bake alone, either because she really felt I was ready for my solo flight or she had had enough batter tasting.

The tradition of baking and batter sampling continued with my own daughter as she took to baking as obsessively as I did. Like I had done, she stood next to me at the counter begging to help, especially when it was time to crack the eggs. As I remember, she was much more insistent about doing it “by myself” than I had been, so at a younger age I allowed her to take over the baking process with her own exuberant style. Her creations were new and not found in any recipe book. Fearlessly she unleashed her wild imaginative baking techniques which of course included testing the batter often…so often in fact little was left for the pan and the oven. The final product was camouflaged and oozed with icing, leaving her father and me to guess just what she had made. No matter….whatever it was, naturally, was delicious.

So, now this morning the family baking tradition is again unleashed. I am in the kitchen at 7 a.m. with a large mixing bowl, measuring spoons, wooden mixing spoons, and a cookie sheet spread before me on the counter. I guide my little granddaughter’s cookie making enthusiasm as best I can, but she has her own ideas.

And so I hear, “I can do it myself, Gramma!” and she does as she cracks the eggs with a flair getting them in the bowl and not on the floor. This is her favorite part of the process so it always gets done first even if the recipe doesn’t require it first. The chocolate chip cookie mixture is tossed into the bowl also, some of it missing its mark, but I am still told,

“Gramma, I can do it myself!”

Water is poured into a measuring cup she now claims as her own and poured precariously into the bowl. With a grand flourish she stirs vigorously with her own wooden spoon saved for these occasions. But never, never fear, she does not forget the very necessary sampling of the batter time and time again. With already sticky and often licked fingers, she begins to form the cookies on the sheet.

Suddenly, she stops, pauses a second or two, and then with a huge sigh says, “Gramma, I’m bored. You finish the cookies. I want to garden. I want to plant flowers! Common, Gramma! Now!”

The cookies are abandoned. She drags me to the patio where pots of fresh potting soil wait to be planted with flower seeds….and….and….but I’m afraid our gardening adventures are another story for another day.

Article By Marjorie Newton

How to Clean Your Bathroom Fast and Effectively – Guest Post

Cleaning is nobody’s favorite past time activity. But when it comes to certain objects and parts of the house, there are things that simply cannot be neglected. One of these places, without a doubt, is the home bathroom. Each member of the household uses it and one can only imagine what it will turn into if nobody takes care of it. As a matter of fact, it’s actually the place where one goes to take a shower, brush the teeth, shave, or in other words – to achieve a clean and neat look.

That is why there is no way you can allow and tolerate a dirty bathroom. And how often have you made a judgment upon a certain host’s cleaning habits, judging simply by the bathroom in their household? More than you imagine. Following is a simple guide to walk you through the mandatory process of bathroom maintenance.

 

1. Start off by removing everything that can be moved out of the bathroom. Mainly, things that don’t belong there, but also proceed with ordinary bathroom objects – towels, toiletries, toilet paper and so on. You will be using high chemical detergents, and you don’t want any of it touching the surface of objects that will be touching your body afterward. You can even go as far as to removing the shower curtains so that they don’t get in the way.

2. Prepare a list of all the necessary items and make sure you have everything handy once you start the cleaning. You would not want to go in and out of the bathroom numerous times. You know, everything goes smoothly and faster with a list. Make sure you have two pairs of rubber gloves, scrubbers, mops and different types of detergents.

3. Clean shower area or the bathtub first. If the tub is too dirty, it is recommended to apply a strong spray cleanser and to leave it for some time. Don’t forget to remove all the hair that’s trapped in the drain. Also, if it’s too clogged, use a drain cleaner. Clean with a scrubber and rinse afterward. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the shower area walls, too. A lot of dirt goes in the gaps between the tiles and it also tends to stay there, so be prepared for some serious scrubbing.


4. Proceed with the mirrors and counter tops. For the mirrors, use glass cleaner and wipe with a soft dry rag. You can clean the sink and counter area with the same cleaning product you used for the bath tub. The faucets are not to be neglected as well. Make them clean and sparkling by using a rag. For the hard-to-reach parts, use a toothbrush or cotton swabs.

5. Wipe off the front and tops of cabinets and drawers. For that purpose you can simply use warm soapy water.

6. Clean the toilet bowl next. Since it is the biggest source of germs, pay extra attention to it. Make sure you have an efficient toilet cleaner, one with bleach in it, preferably. Follow the instructions on the back of the container and pour onto the basin of the toilet. Don’t forget the area right under/behind the rim. Let it sit for an hour. Clean the seat, under and behind it, then, the lid. Again, employ a toothbrush for the tricky parts. After you have poured the cleaner, scrub the basin with a toilet brush. Flush it all down.

7. On your way out, mop the floor so that you give the bathroom an overall clean look. Leave the door and window of the bathroom open for a couple of hours to let all the detergent fumes out.

Make sure you repeat this whole process at least once a month to ensure yourself and your family a germ-free sparkling clean bathroom.

Nicole is a housewife and a passionate writer. She enjoys writing about Home Cleaning and Organizing.

For more ideas and suggestions – check out domestic cleaning tips and ideas.