Still love it!

I already redid my magnet polish from the other day because I wanted to play with it more.  Last time I did it over a mauve color I already had on- you can see the pics on here a few posts back.  This time I wanted to start with a bare nail.   I quickly found out that where the polish moves away from the magnet you will see your nail underneath!  I ended up doing 2 coats of polish/magnet-ing and it looks phenomenal, but to save on the expensive magnet polish in the future I will probably do it over black or grey or whatever.

Again, I have not cleaned up the edges, but I think you get the idea!


The Onion Project, Part 2

Remember how on Monday the 26th I trimmed my green onions down to this?

Well, check them out a mere 4 days later!

One stalk is easily enough to add to our breakfast scrambled eggs, and 2-3 are all the hubby needs for his salads.  Plus, we still have a full tupperware container of the stalks we harvested on Monday!


Magnet Polish

Is amazing.

That's all I really have to say.

Gunmetal, by Leyla (I got mine at Ulta, about $15.50, but their regular coupons DO work on this brand).

My first nail- yes I just slapped it over my boring mauve color because I was so excited to try it!

My hand- I held the magnet at different angles just to play, and I had not cleaned up the edges, but wow, I'm in love.  I'm about to go buy the store out.

I also have a rave for Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray.  I was given a bottle free and I loooove it.  Spray it on your clean face and again after you are done with makeup.  It's 6:21pm- after a full day of wrangling my will-not-nap toddler and going up to the school twice to get the girls I babysit, plus playing outside for awhile and jumping around while using the Wii, and my makeup still looks perfect.


My Onion Project

My hubby loves a salad that is just cucumbers, spinach, and green onions with vinegar.  Green onions are cheap at 59 cents for a handful but I saw on Pinterest that I could put the white roots in water and they would just grow and grow so we decided to try it.

I didn't take daily photos before, but these had already been harvested a few times in less than a month and were this big!

Some of them were starting to break under their own weight, so I cut them down and stuck them in the fridge.

Here's how they look now!  There will be noticeable growth by Thursday, I bet.  Crazy!


30 Day Shred, Kinect, and Couch to 5k

It's no secret that 2 years on I'm still trying to lose all of the baby weight.  I went from a 125 pre-pregnancy weight to a 145 infertility-drugs weight to a 190 pre-eclampsia-while-pregnant weight.  I have lost a LOT of that but I'm not back down to my goal yet and I'm short so any amount of weight looks really bad on me.

Recently I started doing The 30 Day Shred and made it to almost 12 or so consecutive days.  I lost a few pounds and inches in that time which is amazing.  However I guess I am still not used to dry desert air and both of my heels cracked and I could barely stand for a few days.

In the evenings I would do UFC Trainer for the Kinect with my hubby.  It is a very good workout and we like it a lot.

To get back in the swing of things I will also be starting Couch to 5K tomorrow.  My plan is Couch to 5k in the mornings (starts at 12 min and gradually increases to 30), 30 Day Shred during naptime (20 min), and UFC Trainer in the evenings (20-45 min).

Let's hope this pays off!


Stuff around the house

I'm still going through my house and purging and organizing- and labeling.  I love labeling.  It just makes everything so easy to find and easy on the eyes.  Making your own labels is really easy but be warned, the pretty scalloped edge labels are a bitch to cut out when you have 50+ to do!  I did try using my Cricut but couldn't really get what I wanted.  If you have one of the newer scrapbook machines that prints and cuts it might be easier for you but my Cricut X only prints if I put the pen tips in the razor slot.  Photoshop and good old fashioned scissors ended up being all I needed.

Let me show you the baking shelf in my pantry.

Look at how easy everything is to find.  I can tell the minute I get low on something.  The wide openings are so much nicer for scooping than paper bags or the tall, skinny boxes you get powdered sugar in.  This also allows me to stock up- I could fit 5-6 of the round canisters of salt in a single one of these, with much less of a footprint.

Since I'm Italian we'll move on to the pastas.

Again, see how easy it is to see everything?  Until I took the lasagna noodles out of the box and put them in that canister, I didn't realize how low I was.

On the opposite note, when it comes to my shoes and purses, I keep them covered.

I put a lot of money into purses, and I don't want the leather exposed to sun or much air when I'm not using them.  Oxidization can look nice, but can also look not so nice.

I also put a lot of money into my shoes.  This isn't the nicest looking way to store them- most are on their sides if they are not flats- but it keeps them away from pet hair, curious toddlers, or anything else that might damage them when they aren't being used.

You can also see my jewelry armoire- again, I like to keep everything put away, out of sight, for obvious reasons there.  My 2 year old has broken enough replaceable stuff I care about; I'd hate to see what he'd do if he could get at a jewelry tree or something!

My closet is a work in progress.  It extends a larger distance on the other side (behind me, the camera person) and I'm still fiddling with how I want to organize things.  Right now it's shirts and cocktail dresses where you can see, and ball gowns behind me.  I'm hunting for a mirror and possibly some different modular shelving, but haven't found anything I'm in love with yet.



I wasn't normally into doing my nails for a long time.  I got regular manicures but kept my nails mostly natural.

Then, last year the military saw fit to send my husband away for awhile.  I had no family out here, no babysitter yet, and started doing my nails myself for something to do.

Now I do it for fun and to have fun with it.

My current favorite nail color is Not Like the Movies from the OPI / Katy Perry Collection on the bottom (2 coats, it's light) with Sloane Square from Nails Inc's 3D Effects collection on top (1 coat) and I use a shiny Insta-Dry top coat from Sally Hansen over it all.

It's a great grey with a hint of grey-purple and lots of big, chunky, shiny glitter pieces.

This has been my favorite for awhile, but I have some gunmetal magnetic polish on the way that I am excited to try!


Organizing frenzy

I have so many pics to upload.  I have been going crazy organizing my kitchen for the last day.  Many, many trips to the store are finally starting to pay off.  Most of the pantry is now decanted into matching canisters (with matching custom labels of course!).  I'm hunting for baskets for the rest of the pantry items, at which point the counters under the island will get finished with pot lid holders, followed by my DIY magnetic spice holders (to get those OUT of the pantry and easy to see!).  I'm running out of things in the house to organize and label which is kind of wonderful but I also wonder what I am going to do with my time?


Soft Sugar Cookies

I love to bake chocolate chip cookies but I am really bad about eating a handful of chocolate chips here and there and then having none to bake with, so I decided to make sugar cookies today.

I can't rave enough about my large stoneware pan from Pampered Chef.  I want to throw all my metal pans away and buy more of these.   Nothing ever sticks, it cleans easily, and bakes perfectly!

I also have mad love for my Kitchenaid mixer which recently got a makeover (see post from yesterday morning).

Anyway, the cookies!

You need:
An oven pre-headed to 350
A pan- I prefer the PC Stoneware pan obviously, but you can use whatever pan prepared however you have to to make it non stick

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • More sugar- see instructions

Blend the shortening, butter, and sugar until it's creamy and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat again.  

Now you can do one of three things.  Roll the dough into balls, place on tray, and bake.  Roll the dough into balls, place on tray, flatten a bit with the bottom of a glass, and sprinkle colored granulated sugar on top and bake.  Or, roll the dough into balls, roll the balls in regular sugar, place on tray, and and bake.  I did #3 since all I had here was boring regular white sugar.

Whatever you decide, bake for anywhere from 12-25 minutes.  My recipe said 10-12, but my gas oven actually needed closer to 22 or so.  May be from my pan, though stoneware generally seems to bake quicker, might be electric vs. gas ovens, or might just be my oven- it's not even 2 years old and an energy efficient model, maybe that matters?

One way to tell if your cookies are ready is to look at the tops.  If they are puffed and smooth, probably not.  When they start to crack a bit on top then they are done.  Mine never really got golden edges but they are cooked perfectly.

Here you can see the dough-  light & fluffy!  This was after a pan with about 15 cookies went into the oven.

First pan ready to cool- notice how AWESOME that stoneware pan is?  SUPER easy to lift off of!

I had 2 more pans of cookies from this recipe!

Frozen Yogurt Kisses

As usual I spent a lot of the morning on Pinterest but I rarely do any of the things I pin.  I decided to start doing more, starting with Frozen Yogurt Kisses!  I think the original pinner called them dots, but they look a tiny bit like Hershey's Kisses to me.  For the original pin, click on "My Pinterest" on the right and go to the "Foodstuffs" board.

It is really easy.  Put a container of yogurt (single serve, it goes a lot way!) into a pastry piping bag.  If you don't have one use a ziplock bag and then cut the tip off.  On a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, pipe little "kisses" of yogurt.  Put the tray in the freezer for about an hour & eat!

We found they melted about the same as ice cream- 10-15 minutes and it was getting kind of messy.  Most of them had disappeared by this point though!

This is just one tray.  I also had a dinner plate covered in the dots.  No fancy edited photos of the finished product in a bowl here- this is real life, not Pinterest-life!  But they're just as good.

This is after about 3 hours in the freezer:


More crafty stuff

My boring white Kitchenaid got a makeover.  Our kitchen is not white even the slightest.  Stainless steel appliance (with black accents on the microwave, black gas stove top on the oven, etc), dark wood, tan granite, and black small appliances.  The poor kitchenaid always stuck out so today I gave it some help.

I have to make some exacto knife cuts over some large screws since the bunching on the top design where it is over those screws is bugging me, and I'll probably add more tiny scrollwork here and there, but I think it looks pretty cute.

I also got really sick of breaking expensive iPhone cases so I got a clear one for $5 at RadioShack and got out my scapbook paper.

Yeah, they aren't 100% perfect around the camera, but they don't impede the camera from working so I haven't been too bothered to trim it yet.

We also redid our master suite recently

Actually I'll just leave it at the master bedroom for now- the master bath and it's adjacent closet suite could use some organization before I take photos!

Lastly I'll show my little helper helping me make a crock pot chocolate fudge cake- doesn't she look so impatient to eat it?  <3

Stuff around the kitchen

We have learned that green onions placed in a glass of water will regenerate time and time again, and quickly too!  We cut these down to the white roots less than a week ago- probably 3 days ago in fact!  When I made scrambled eggs for the kids yesterday it was so nice to just snip off some fresh chives to toss in.

Second, I also tried (again) the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes Per Day recipe.  And again...I don't know how everyone is getting some amazing results.  Mine looked ok, nothing special, though I did finally get "stripes."  Inside was dense & still not fully cooked.  I followed all the directions to a T and added time when I didn't think it was done, and it still really wasn't done.

We also took some Absolut vodka and let it soak up Skittles overnight.  Drain the skittle dust through a coffee filter and voila, yummy vodka!  Great mixed with Sprite!

I have lots more stuff that we have been up to and Day 6 of the blog challenge, but I've got an energetic toddler clinging to me and I'm off to snuggle with him!



Just wanted to share something cute I made for my son.  We needed a giant photo frame but did not need the collage insert.  I used some scrapbook paper and Sharpees to put this together for him to play with and he loved it.



On the left of this page is a link to my Pinterest.  One of my favorite things on Pinterest is my board of house ideas, lots of which involve getting more organized.  For instance, I love the pantry where the woman sorted everything into tupperware and mason jars.  It looks awesome!  But when it comes down to it I never feel like going to the store and spending $300 on mason jars.  I have however been on a big purge kick lately.

Yesterday I cleaned out the pantry and today I did 2 more kitchen cabinets and 2 cabinets in the office.  My neighbors are having a garage sale this weekend, so I'm half keeping an eye out for stuff to sell but really haven't come across anything.  Purging is all we really need.  The Container Store is opening here in May which I am excited about as Las Vegas doesn't have an Ikea!

Speaking of the neighbor's garage sale, we did an early pick through and got a gorgeous, giant-leaf-blade-style ceiling fan for our office, a video game system for our two year old, a laptop for our two year old, and a Louis Vuitton storage box...for $25 total.  My babysitter bought this awesome retro couch set from my neighbor so I think we made my neighbor quite happy today!


My one year old has a sensory disorder.  He was a preemie and has hydrocephalus and he reacts to things differently as if his brain can't process what to do.  A lot of that involves his mouth; his reaction to anything new is to lick it.  I know, I know, most babies put things in their mouths, but you'll just have to trust me that this is different.  Another problem he has is with sensations themselves, especially water.  Bath time is pretty awful.  For a long time he'd scream if he heard the washing machine filling up.

His therapist suggested a sand box, or sand and water box, something like that.  However, we live in Las Vegas, it's October 9th today, and projected to be around 98 degrees.  If you've never been here in the summer I'll let you imagine how bad it gets.  Everyone says "but it's a dry heat!" well 115 degrees is 115 degrees, no matter the humidity.  So outside play is very limited.  Instead, I found this idea online that we play with inside:

Rice Sensory Bin

It's prettier than sand, the pieces are bigger (so the theory is easier clean up or at least easier to see to clean up) and it's small enough to go back in the cabinet when we are done.

I needed 1.5 boxes of this:

1 bottle of vinegar (no pic!)

And two different types of food coloring:

The plastic bin is a 12 quart bin I got for $5 at Walmart.

I am listing the measurements in the amounts I did per color.  I made 7 different colors.

1.5 cups of rice
3/4 cup vinegar
6-12 drops of food coloring

Mix in a tupperware bin, stirring or shaking with the lid secure to prevent spilling.  Then let it sit for about 10 minutes, spread onto a baking sheet as thin as possible, and let dry.

I was hoping they would just dry naturally outside:

That didn't seem to be working too well so I baked them at 250 degrees for 30-60 minutes.