About Me

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I'm a mom, but I am also so much more. I'm a wife, I work, cook, shop, craft, try to stay healthy, keep up on the latest technology, and style trends, and much more! Come join me in my adventure of making a new blog that allows us to share the everyday things (ups and downs) that turns living an everyday life into living a lively life!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bedtime Book Rewards

I was looking for a way to encourage and reward more positive behaviors for my daughter.  She LOVES books. So I created a Bedtime Book Reward Chart.

First I create a document in Word then printed it on a colored piece of cardstock.

Next I cut out several small books from my Sesame Street cartridge on my Cricut machine.

Next I laminated the books and chart with my laminating machine. 

I added a few velcro dots and a velcro strip. 

Now when I catch her doing a good behavior or listening to my directions the first time I reward her by putting an extra book on the chart. She can earn up to four extra bedtime books to read at night. She loves it and it has increased her level of good behavior. 

What kind of behavior reward systems have you created?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homemade Ricotta

Tonight I decided to try something I've wanted to try for a long time. Making ricotta cheese from scratch. Must to my pleasure, it was a success!

Homemade Ricotta requires 4 simple ingredients:
Whole Milk
Sea Salt
Lemon Juice

Equipment needed:
Cooking thermometer (or candy thermometer)
Large pan
Spatula for stirring
Metal mesh strainer

Step 1:
Mix 8 cups whole milk and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pan over med/high heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Continue to stir occasionally and watch temperature carefully. Heat milk to 190 degrees then turn off burner and remove pan from heat.

Measure 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons vinegar. 

(After doing research I found that a mixture seemed to be the best bet. Lemon juice gives it a bit of flavor but the vinegar ensures that there is enough acid to create a curdling reaction in the milk.)

Pour the vinegar/lemon juice mixture into the milk as soon as it has been removed from the burner and stir it a few times to mix well. You should immediately notice the milk start to curdle.

Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to curdle and cool. Meanwhile, set up your metal mesh strainer over a large bowl.

Carefully poor the curdled milk mixture through the strainer (pause occasionally to give it time to drain.) Be careful while pouring, the mixture will still be very hot!

Let the cheese sit in the strainer for about 45 minutes.  To make a moister creamier ricotta let drain for less time, to make a dyer firmer ricotta let sit for longer or use a cheese cloth to squeeze out more moisture.

I had some very curious eyes wanting to see how I "made cheese" :-)

I found that 45 minutes to draining time left me with the perfect texture of ricotta for my lasagna.

8 cups of milk cooked down to about 2 cups of ricotta cheese. Make sure to put cheese into a container and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Remember this is homemade cheese so there are none of those nasty chemicals and preservatives in it, but that means it will only keep for a few day in your fridge so be prepared to use it within a few days!

Happy Cheese Making!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Amazing Preschool Resource

I found a great website tonight while looking for printable/crafts for my daughter.
I had to share it with all of you!

 ( Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will find thelinks to all of her sites.)

Free printables, resources, crafts and more. 

The "packs" are one of my favorite things about this site. I love having my daughter do fun activities that help her learn at the same time. These are perfect. I will be using them on none preschool days and road trips.

The site has lots of other printables too!

Check it out. It is worth your time!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Apple Tree Art

Perfect fall art project for a little one and a great piece of art for your home.

Canvas or think paper 
Doing brush
Red, brown, and green paint

Use a pencil to draw a tree trunk and  have your child paint it brown. Then give you child a sponge or bristle brush to stipple on the tree leaves.

Use a cork dipped in dipped in red paint to create apples on the tree.

Let masterpiece dry, have your child sign the canvas, and hang it up in a place where everyone can see!

Favorite Products: Benifit Makeup

Haven't reviewed any products in a while but it would take a chance to let you know about my new favorite makeup products.

Recently switched to Benefit primer and loved it so much I also switched to the concealer called  Erase-Paste and the foundation Hello Flawless.

It provides light but amazing coverage. I've had several compliments from people saying it looks like my skin is glowing.

I give these products two thumbs up!
👍 👍

The next Benefit product I would like to try is the fake up concealer stick... I'll update you when I do. 

Benefit Products are sold at Ulta and Sephora stores, as well as online.

Have you used any products in the Benefit line?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fall is here!

Over the long Labor Day weekend the fall decorations went up and the cinnamon candle was lit.

In my home that means fall is here, no matter what the temperature outside feels like.

What makes it "fall" in your home? 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Puttin' Up The Corn

I got a great deal on corn (10 ears for $1) I could pass in that, I had to get some and freeze it!

This is a peek at my kitchen while I was cooking and prepping corn for freezing.

Yes it's a mess and a bit of work bit it is do worth it! When you "put up corn" ( as my mother in law calls it) it tastes so itch better than the everyday frozen stuff you buy.

First of all the two tools above are a must in order to easily cut the corn kernels off the cob. My hubby made the board with the nail. The kernel remover tool can be purchased at most stores.

Steps for freezing your own corn:
1. Remove husks and silk
2. Briefly boil corn then stick in cold water to stop the cooking
3. Place corn on nail/board and use tool to remove kernels.
4. Place kernels in freezer bags in desired serving sizes. 

Tonight I was limited in time so I only did 16 ears of corn. That gave me 12 cups if kernels that I split into 8 bags. 

I'll probably do this one or two more times before corn season is over. I'm feelin' like a homesteader!

Do you freeze anything? 


My friend kindly have me LOTS of pears from her back yard tree. (My guess was about 20lbs.)

I decided to make pear sauce. It's just like applesauce but I like it even more.

Note, I would never attempt this without my kitchen-aide!

I had all 20 lbs done in about 3 hours. 
Step 1: wash pears.
Step 2: chop pears into quarters and get rid of stem/seeds.
Step 3: boil till soft.
Step 4: run through kitchen aide strainer attachment
Optional step: (add cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar if you'd like.)
Step 5: put into freezer bags (or containers)
Step 6: clean up and sit down with a big bowl of warm pear sauce!