Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Please spank your pomegranate, please...

Do you like pomegranates? We sure do around here. The only thing I'm not crazy about is extracting the fruit. In the past I've tended to break, mash and destroy-ish parts of the seeds, until now...

Youtube deseed a pomegranate and you'll get lots of videos - I combine two techniques, spanking & a bowl full of water. But I'm not sure if the bowl of water is necessary.

I like this pomegranate spanking video best...

Martha Stewart also has a video about "banging" a pomegranate. She is adamant about "banging" it, not spanking it. Maybe she thinks spanking a pomegranate is more offensive than banging it. To each their own. The most interesting thing about her video is her co-host, you can find the video is here.

Maybe you already know this, but since we're on the topic of fruit,  here's how to slice a mango. We buy the yellow skinned ones - like butter. I'm not sure this is my favorite mango cutting video (this one is spicy and funnier) - but I linked up to her weelicious.com website and it was a good find!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I made these chocolate witch hats last year - ice cream cones dipped in melted chocolate, 2 gummie works stuck inside the hat and stuck to chocolate cookies with one Smartie stuck to the middle of the brim. Cutie-cute, right?

They were tasty and a big hit with the kiddies. As for this year? I bought the biggest box of those tiny chocolate bars I could find. We all got the flue, my motivation went out the window along with my ambition to craft it up this year. Eh, there's always Christmas.

As for this year, the whole month of October has almost passed and I haven't written a single Halloween post?! Good gracious. Well, better late than never! Here are some of the cute things I've come across online for Halloween this year:

Clark Kent/Superman Costume, here
Chic Black and White Pumpkins, here

Rock Monster Crafts, here
Witch Broomsticks, here
Q-Tip Skeleton, here
Hope you have a super duper Happy Halloween and you get your paws on some good candy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Systems vs motivation

I have lots of systems for doing things (keeping the house clean, making healthy meals, remembering family birthdays, purging clutter, planning for the holidays....) and these systems work...but what haven't figured out is how to stay motivated. I think I'm ok with that right now. Then end.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ammonia vs Windex - Knockout

I {heart} Windex. I do. I like the smell, the colour the streak free shine...but when I ran out the other day I took a look at the ingredients and saw that it was basically ammonia, water and blue. So, with a bottle of ammonia in the laundry room (that says 60 ml/1 L water for windows) and a near empty bottle of (no name) Windex, I stood in the mirror and said to myself, "Let's do this." (Ha ha! As if, I just thought, I'm not freaking going to the store, again, to buy one more thing only to come back with a truckload of stuff.)

I free poured the ratios, spritzed (everything that needed sanitizing or cleaning, including the mirror) and wiped clean. PERFECT-O. Steak free shine.

1 bottle of household ammonia ($2.45/1.8 L) + water + the wee bit of Windex left in my spray bottle (that tinted the new cleaner blue) makes THIRTY 1L BOTTLES OF NEW WINDEXY SPRITZ OR $0.08/1L BOTTLE. Bonjour. For a family on a budget this is fabu.

2L Windex Refill is $7.00
2L of New Windexy Spritz is $0.16

Ok. Not that this will stop me from running to the grocery store to buy that 1 thing I forgot. But next time I'll have a little more cash to add to the things I throw in my cart that aren't on the list (ie. "unnecessary" stuff for me or the kids).

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman & The Last Day of Being 3

I caught Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman, on TV a while back and could not stop watching it. It bombed in theaters and I can see why. It's not made of all the things a typical Hollywood blockbuster is supposed to be made of. It's about being a wife, a mother, a friend, planning a birthday party, raising kids, being & staying married, having personal ambition, friendships between women, almost pulling a solo Thelma and Louise but coming to one's senses and so on. 

There's a part in the movie where Uma Thurman takes a Polaroid of her daughter on the eve of her 6th birthday and writes "Last day of being 5..." and the next night she takes another photo and writes "First day of being 6". She pins them to her bulletin board right beside photos from previous years. It got me right here. What a sweet sentiment. I took a photo of my daughter the night before she turned 3 and again this year the night before she turned 4. Please know this, I don't scrapbook, I tried a family photo blog, my kids baby books are part fabricated and I probably have 14,000 photos on iphoto i need to organize in some way other than monthly folders (but hey, it's a start)...I'm trying but not always succeeding on being a great memory recorder.

Anyways, Motherhood is funny and I'd suggest watching it for a good laugh and reminder that we're all in this together. Here's the trailer:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Super Fun Birthday Goodie Bag Treasure Hunt!

We celebrated out daughter's 4th birthday this weekend and her and her little cousins had a super fun time doing an easy 3-5 year old friendly Goodie Bag Treasure Hunt. Hardly any adult intervention was needed to complete the hunt, in fact we mainly just followed them around, cheered them on and laughed with them as they made their way around our house: 

1. Take pictures of 10-12 spots/things around your house
2. Print pictures and put picture #1 in an envelope, tape the rest of the clues in sequence around the house...one following the other.
3. Write instructions on envelope and read it to the "Team." Ours went something like this: "Hey Team! It's time for your super fun Goodie Bag Treasure Hunt! Go to the place in clue number one to find the next clue! Good luck and have fun!"
4. Let the birthday child open the envelope and run to spot #1 to search for the next clue.
5. Corral the teenage boys that thought this was a race and each picked a little girl to team up with, explain to them at clue #1 that this isn't a race and that they have to STOP pointing out the clues and then finally banish them until you need their help to make sure the kids get down the stairs safely...
6. Try to keep up with the kids until they reach the last clue - I wrote an "X" on the clue and knew our daughter would know "X" marked the spot. P.S. The look on her face and hysterical calling to her cousins when she saw the X was priceless and I'm still cursing myself for not having enough room on my itouch to have video taped all of it :(

The first clue was taped to the front door and the Goodie Bag Location (the "X") was the dryer! The dryer location worked perfectly for us because we (serious, all this we actually should read I, but you knew that) could hide their goodie bags in the dryer, fill the dyer with inflated balloons and shut the door. This was the only way we could have set up the treasure hunt before all the guest arrived. The taped clues around the house were strategically in somewhat unnoticeable places, but the kids were so distracted beforehand I'm not sure they would have known otherwise.

Other clues were located: on the master bedroom mirror, under the baby's crib, under the dining room table (so funny to see all the little girls crawling between aunties legs looking for the next clue), in the shower, taped to the microwave door, inside the fridge freezer, taped to the inside of the playroom closet wall, etc. 

Honestly, I could not have imagined that this super easy to prepare for activity would have gone so well. It was so funny and rewarding to see them working as a team (for the most part) and celebrating their successes together. Each girl found clues, even the littlest one. I think they had more fun on the hunt than opening the treasure bags.

They went on their treasure hunt after we sang happy birthday and cut the cake. May as well have them blow off some sugar before opening presents, right?

I can't take credit for the idea. It is from Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. by Bobbie Conner (a gift from my Mom, thanks Mom!).

Do you have any winning birthday party ideas to share? I'd LOVE to hear them!!!

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