Nov 21, 2016
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  I write stuff on here all of the time.

And while I put time into the how-to’s and projects that I create, I kind of just write whatever silly shit that comes out of my brain-mouth and hope it makes sense and makes you laugh, because we could all use a little relief from the world nowadays, you know?  What is better than smart ass recipes??

But this one below, I put some time in.  I wrote an article for the Stillwater Current, which is run by my cool buddy Shawn, about my other rad friend Sara, who makes delicious, ass kicking pies.

I want to do more of these types of articles (possibly some videos too?!) so if you know of any awesome businesses in the St. Croix Valley who would like to talk to me, send me your suggestions!

 

Sara’s Tipsy Pies: A Perfect Crust and Just the Right Amount of Alcohol

Oct 28, 2016
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Is Pikachu haunting your dreams?  Do you have a Pokemon lover in your life?  Need a great costume in a pinch?  Check out this Ash Ketchum costume that I made in a day.  And if you know who Ash Ketchum is, this is definitely for you.

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What you will need is:

a blue zip up hoodie

a tennis ball

green stretchy gloves

red trucker hat (I found this one at Spencers)

small stuffed Pikachu

yellow, red, white, and black fabric paint

4-5 very large safety pins

 

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Paint the cuffs, pocket trim, and bottom trim of the hoodie yellow.  You will need to put on 2-4 coats of yellow, depending on how dark blue your hoodie is.  Let the coats dry before you apply a new coat.  Using a hairdryer can help speed the drying process.

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Paint the triangle “C” logo on the hat with green paint.  I googled the logo and free hand painted it on the hat.

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Cut the fingers off of the gloves.

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The tennis ball is the most time consuming part.  I used a thin washi tape and placed it in the middle of the tennis ball.  I painted half red and half white and once both colors were dry, I pulled off the tape and filled it in with the black paint while adding a small white circle that I outlined in black.

Note: I used fabric paint on the tennis ball to ensure that it wouldn’t chip off easily as an 8 year old boy would be throwing Pokeballs all over the world this Halloween.  It has been holding up pretty well so far.

 

Once everything is dry, pair with a pair of jeans and some rad tennis shoes and you have the baddest Ash in town.

 

Sep 21, 2016
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Remember that one time I made a whole line of La Coix cocktail videos??  Well, if you’re new here, I did and they were recently featured on the super fabulous blog BonBon Break!

La Croix Cocktail Recipes

Check it out!  And thanks to BonBon Break for the share!

Aug 31, 2016
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DISCLAIMER:  I am an expert smartass, I am not a parenting expert.  I am only a parent who tolerates her own children, more so when they are sleeping.  This worked for my kids, maybe it will help out another exhausted family.

Also: No one likes being told what to do, especially moms when it comes to their kids. I’m included. Consider this a idea you can choose to ignore or ask me more about.

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BUY THIS BOOK IF YOUR KIDS SLEEP LIKE SHIT:

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My 1st kid slept like a teenager.  As a baby, we would have to physically touch him to wake him up.  As an exhausted 1st time parent, it was amazing sleeping until 10am WITH A BABY.  That baby turned into an even better toddler sleeper.

 

Life was good.  Then we had another baby.

 

I thought I had this sleep stuff in the bag for #2.  HA.  My middle boy was a terrible sleeper as a baby. I shudder at the memories of the crying for hours in the middle of the night. Someone suggested I get this book when he was 2 and waking up 4+ times a night. I scoffed. How the hell was a book going to fix my kid “who just doesn’t like to sleep”?  Well, I caved after being a zombie for another day and got the damn book. The day I read a few pages that related to our situation, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE MF’IN NIGHT. It took some time to get him caught up on the sleep he missed for 2 years, but my little lamb was on track and Momma got the sleep she needed (that’s me).

 

Recently, I could tell that the baby was a little off track, even with him being the world’s most agreeable and easy baby, he was getting a little kooky. He would wake up for a bottle at 3 am, but then wanted to play and smile for almost 2 hours.  It was cute the 1st night, dumb the 2nd night and by the 3rd night in a row, Momma was pissed.  In the morning, I dug out the book, read up on 1-4 month old sleep, and my little giant baby slept from 9p-730a (with a bottle in the middle of the night, cuz he’s a GD giant baby) and just hit 2 hours on his morning nap. (edit, he hit 2 hours 15 minutes)

 

I use the suggestions in the book that work for us, ignore the ones that don’t, and holy cats, life gets better in the sleeping department in this house quick.  You don’t need to read chapters that don’t apply to your age bracket or situation, so don’t say you don’t have time to read an entire book about sleep, you won’t have too.  The author is a big fan of “cry it out”, FYI.  I am not.  But I think it depends on your baby’s temperament.  The middle boy could cry for hours.  Literally.  He once cried for 3 hours.  I almost died.  Cry it out did not work for him.  I haven’t tried it yet on #3 because he’s still pretty young.  I like a lot of the suggestions that are in the book, but trust me, you’re the parent.  Do what works for your family.  The author has some big ideas at times, but he’s not at my house helping out at 4:30am feedings, so he only gets so much say in how things roll over here.

 

But keep in mind, it is the parental units that have to make the decisions and the sacrifices to make these tips work.  Sometimes it SUCKS to put kids to bed at 6 in the evening.  But think of the long run.  And think of the luxurious sleep YOU, too, can get.  HALLELUJAH.

 

If your little (or big) monster isn’t sleeping well, check this book out. Will it work for you? What the hell do I know? I’m just a mom who has a blog and is currently liking her kids a little bit more with the sleep they are getting.

 

It might be a huge waste of time for you. But, it may change the way you live and you might get a whole lot happier. Than you can spend more time on my lovely blog looking up delicious cocktail and food recipes to make life even more grand.  Everyone’s a winner.

 

Here is the link to get your mitts on the book.

Aug 04, 2016
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Dudes.

 

I am on a tequila kick this summer.  I blame having a newborn.  My motto for this new little baby is: work smarter, not harder.  So far, so good, as the babe is HUGE and sleepy and sweet.

 

But, that doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted and thirsty.  Tequila sounds like the only remedy.  Amitrite?!?

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So I created this super, flippin’ delicious cocktail with ripe peaches, tasty tequila, and some fresh mint.  Absolutely perfect for summertime patio sitting.

 

And I promise you, the simple syrup is CAKE to make.  Don’t let that scare you from not making this hot little number.

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Peach Mint Margarita

 

2 oz Peach Simple Syrup (recipe below)

2 oz  silver tequila

1.5 oz Cointreau

1-2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

3-4 fresh mint leaves

ice

kosher salt for rimming the glass

lime wedge for garnish

 

Rim glass with lime wedge and dip rim of glass into kosher salt and fill with ice.  Then, add 2 ounces of Peach Simple Syrup and silver tequila to glass.  Add 1.5 ounces of Cointreau and 1-2 ounces of lime juice (I like mine more sour so I do the 2 ounces).  Grab the mint leaves, give them a slap to activate the oils in the leaves, add them to the glass and stir until well mixed.  Add lime wedge for garnish and enjoy.  Makes 1 margarita.

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Peach Simple Syrup

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 ripe peach, cut into chunks

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Add water, sugar and peach chunks to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Turn heat down to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and strain the syrup from the peach chunks in a glass container.  Let cool completely and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

 

 

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Jul 09, 2016
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It’s summer time and I’m exhausted.  Black coffee is still a staple in the morning, but when afternoon comes around and I need a little pick me up, I have been making iced coffee to enjoy.  I HATE!!! the oil-based creamers out there so sweetened condensed milk is my favorite addition to cold coffee, Vietnamese-style.  Yes, you can just add the canned stuff, and it is tasty, but I wanted more.  More flavor, more depth.

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I have seen lavender latte recipes floating around on the internet, but I wasn’t loving the idea of making a syrup to add to my coffee but I was loving the condensed milk, so I came up with a way to make lavender infused sweetened condensed milk.  It was pretty simple, but you need to have an hour to consistently stir the milk mixture to make this.  But let me tell you, IT IS WORTH IT.   The sweet lavender milk is so good, I was tempted to drink all of the milk with a straw once it had cooled.  It is SO GOOD!!

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Want to make your own?  Here is what you need and how I did it:

1.5 cups of milk, whole or 2%

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of dried lavender

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)

First you need to infuse the milk with the lavender.  It’s really easy, you just need to make sure you don’t over heat the milk to prevent curdling.  Yuck.

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To infuse the milk, combine the milk and the lavender in a saucepan and bring the milk to a simmer.  As soon as bubbles start to form, turn off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes.  Then, strain out the lavender and return the milk to the saucepan.

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Then I followed this awesome recipe from the Food 52 blog, but instead of it taking 2 hours, my milk reduced in an hour, which was nice because devoting 2 hours to stirring did not sound fun.  Again, you need to watch the heat on this to prevent curdling.  Double yuck.

This reduced down to about 2/3 cups of sweetened condensed milk and I split my milk into 2 small jars to try one with vanilla added and one without.  I liked both versions so I can’t say which tastes better as I really liked them both.  So if you like vanilla, I say add it, and if not, leave it out, it still tastes amazing!lavlatte_0009

Once your infused milk has cooled, it’s time to make your coffee!  Pour it into a glass, add ice cubes and then add 2-3 (or 4 or 5) tablespoons of the milk and stir to combine.

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Pop in a straw and POOF!  Your iced coffee dreams have come true!

The lavender pairs so well with the cold coffee and the milk, it is absolute coffee perfection!  I will be drinking these all summer long and think you should too!

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Jun 22, 2016
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I’m back, you guys!

Yay!

 

And guess what?  So is Ecto Cooler!

Yay times a million!!!!!

 

Remember that super-duper, tasty, bright green “juice” from the 80’s?  It’s back in stores along with the upcoming release of the new Ghostbusters movie this summer.  And while I am down with the all-chick cast, I am 100% in love with the fact that Ecto is back AND it tastes so familiar and delicious, just like back in the day of crimped hair and pinned pants.

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So, to get back in the swing of things, I made a fun little video for the cocktail and would love you forever if you watched it.  Double bonus points if you actually make it and share it with your friends.

 

Making this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Here is the breakdown of the recipe to save for later:

 

Pineapple Ecto Punch

makes 1 cocktail

 

4 oz Hi-C Ecto Cooler

3 oz pineapple juice

2 oz St. Germain

3-4 leaves of fresh mint

 

Add all ingredients to a glass full of ice, stir, and enjoy ALL SUMMER LONG before the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man comes to smash up your town.

 

 

 

 

 

May 20, 2016
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My oldest boy is 8, and when he was a tiny baby, the blankets they had for swaddling were about the size of a tissue.  And when I say “tiny baby” I mean the size of a toddler.  Imaging wrapping a toddler in a piece of 20×20 inch piece of fabric.  He kicked out of that burrito wrap in about 4 seconds and was squirreling around, refusing to nap.  Frustration.

 

Enter 2016.  Some genius had a great idea to make those swaddle blankets HUGE.  And soft.  And adorable.  And charge $40+ per blanket.  Genius!

 

But what if I told you, you could make your own super cute/trendy/huge/adorable/soft swaddle blanket for the $10-$18 per blanket?  You do NOT need to be a genius at the sewing machine to make these.  Plus, yours will be made with love.  (all of the heart emojis!!!!)

 

How is that for genius?!?

 

If you own a sewing machine, or have a super duper nice friend who has one and knows how to make 4 simple seams, you are in business.

 

Most of those high-end blankets are about 40×40 inches and have a simple seam on all 4 edges.  That is exactly what I did.  I bought 1 yard of double gauze at my local (the always awesome Crafty Planet) fabric store and measured out a perfect square of 40.5 inches from edge to edge.  Ironing the fabric at this point is a good idea in case there are any weird folds/creases in the fabric. This will help ensure that your square is square.

 

Then I folded over 1/4 of an inch edge and folded over 1/4 of an inch AGAIN so no raw edges of the fabric were showing and pinned the fold about every 4 inches, making sure that the edges stayed straight.  Then, I set my sewing machine to the largest zigzag stitch and sewed down all 4 edges nice and slow so everything looked as professional as possible.

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Then, I tied off the loose threads and washed it.  Literally, the easiest sewing project ever.

 

I made a blanket and it was so satisfying to have a cute blanket made in an awesome print of my choosing.  That is what makes the interwebs and online shopping so wonderful, I found so many unique and bright fabrics on so many sites, I literally wanted to buy them all.  There is quite the selection for unisex fabrics, without making anything too girlie or too blue/truck/boyish, if that is the route you want to take.  Very modern and stylish.  Or there are very girlie or very boyish style fabrics too.

 

Cotton muslin or double gauze are 2 good fabrics to start with, both washable and soft.  Here are some links to start your hunt for cool and funky fabric:

Double gauze from Fabric.com

Organic double gauze from HartsFabric.com

Cotton muslin from Fabric.com

Or, if you’re in Minnesota, head to Crafty Planet and grab some local wares, that is where I found mine.

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Now if I could only figure out how to make my own video baby monitor with corresponding smart phone app, THAT would make me a genius.  😉

 

I have also been busy sewing little fabric scrap stuffed animals which my kids LOVE and take a few hours to make.

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Then, I have been working on this 45×45 quilt, which is easy to start and a royal pain in the ass to finish.  No matter how many YouTube videos I watch about how to attach the quilt binding, I still hate it with the passion of a thousand fires.  My favorite part is the unicorn from the Lizzy House line, obviously.  But the color scheme was fun to work with and I had never worked with triangle fabric pieces before, so for my 2nd ever quilt, it turned out “mediocre at best”, in my opinion.

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Apr 06, 2016
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I love baked goods.  Cookies, pies, and yummy, yummy breads.  I am on the fence when it comes to cake and doughnuts–don’t judge me, it just depends on the day/flavor.

 

I came across this recipe LONG before Pinterest.  I found it in a magazine years ago and wrote it out on a recipe card, and that, really dates me, doesn’t it?  You can search “Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies” and all of the recipes are pretty much this exact one, so I can’t exactly say where I got it from, but trust me, this cookie is tasty AF.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter?!?  It is a gift from the heavens.  Nomnomnomnom.

 

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Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

1 box packaged brownie mix

1/4 cup melted vegetable shortening

4 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat brownie mix, melted Crisco, cream cheese, and egg in a mixer until the dough is well blended.  Roll dough into balls, about golf ball size and place on cookie sheet.  (Dough will be very sticky.)

 

In a small bowl, mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until well blended.  Roll into balls, about the size of a large marble and press them into brownie dough.

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Cool on rack and then eat until your heart’s content.

Mar 02, 2016
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This morning I was on the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show as their Almost Co-Host of the Day.  Dave, Falen, & Steve were super duper nice and to make sure that we would be BFF’s, I brought along some Grapefruitcello, because you can never go wrong with morning vodka.  Amirite?!?

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We talked about some weird jobs I’ve had, my run-in with the Backstreet Boys back in the day, and how you never read the internet comments about yourself because people can be jackasses sometimes.

 

I included the audio clip above, if you missed it or want to relive all of the humor, crazy stories, or the insults that make morning radio sparkle.

 

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