Monday, November 25, 2013

Homemade Wheat Thins

Oh Wheat Thins.... what would I do without your salty crunchy goodness? I try not to buy them that often because when I do the box is empty within 24 hours.  Both the kids and I have no control when they are in the house.

Homemade Wheat Thins
You Will Need:
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) 100% whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling on
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Earth Balance (I used soy-free) or butter
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water (or a tiny bit more if dough is too dry)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, paprika, salt).
3. With a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in the Earth Balance or butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. See image below. Now mix together the water and vanilla and then pour into the flour and Earth balance mixture. Stir this mixture until it comes together. I got in there with my hands and really squeezed the dough to help it come together. If it appears dry add a touch of water, but you don't want it sticky.
4. Split the dough in half. On a floured surface or on a non-stick mat, roll out one half of the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, cut into whatever shape you desire. Using a spatula, place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat as necessary. Sprinkle with more salt and sesame seeds if desired.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Half way through baking rotate the pan to ensure even baking. My crackers took 10 minutes, but if you do not use a baking mat it will likely take less time for you. Be careful because they burn quickly. Cool completely. Makes about 64 crackers for this full recipe. Store in an air-tight container.
Note: This recipe made enough crackers for two baking sheets. I baked them separately, but I am sure you could bake them at the same time as long as you rotate the pans half way through.

 These looked pretty simple so I had the kids grab their step stools and help me.  They were so excited to be making their own Wheat Thins.

We mixed the dough

 Rolled it out and used a pizza cutter to make the squares
 Then put them on the cookie sheet.
 When they were done baking they had become a lot darker and thicker.  They were still a bit soft but I didn't dare put them back in the oven because some of them were starting to burn. 

The Verdict:  My daughter popped one in her mouth and immediately said "I yike it!!" But then her face slowly contorted until she was looking pretty disgusted and promptly spit the rest of the cracker onto the floor. 

My son ate one, but was smart enough  to spit his out into the garbage.  He said "At first I thought it was good, but the deeper it went into my throat I realized it was gross."

At this point I wasn't to excited to try one, but knew I needed to form my own opinion.  If you want to know what it taste like, go grab a handful of wheat flour and put it in your mouth.  They were pretty gross, and the kids and I had a lovely case of cotton mouth for the next several minutes. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DIY Peel Off Mask

 I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to my looks, especially make up and skin care.  I tend to do the bare minimum.

I'm sure in 20 years I'll regret my mis-treatment of my skin when I look like this. 

But by then I'll be very rich from not spending money on high end skin care products that I will be able to afford plastic surgery.

  Every so often I will actually treat my skin to a little spa treatment and on one of those recent occasions I did a face mask

Peel Off Face Mask
You Will Need:
Egg white
Thin tissue

Directions: slightly beat the egg white. Apply the egg to your face with the brush. Place thin tissue on your egg white brushed face and gently pat.  Apply another layer of egg white over the tissue. Leave it until it completely dries.  Gently peel off the tissue in an upward direction.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.  

My first thought when reading this was "what do they mean by 'tissue?'" I was not alone in that thought process because there were many comments asking the same thing.

Tissue can be tissue paper used for wrapping, 1 ply toilet paper or 1 ply Kleenex. Basically some sort of really thin paper.

I grabbed what I needed then proceeded to paint my face with egg whites.  Did you know it's possible to get a brain freeze when not eating something cold?  Neither did I.  In the future I will be leaving the egg whites out a bit until they get to room temperature.  

Once my face was properly painted I put on the 1 ply toilet paper.  It was originally really thick and soft t.p but I pulled it apart to get the 1 ply needed.  I tore the toilet paper into pieces and placed the pieces around my face.  

 Once my mummy make up for a B rated movie was complete, I painted on another layer of egg whites.

  A little egg went a long way.  I used the egg whites in the carton, but I'm sure one egg would be plenty.

Some of the thicker places where the t.p over lapped took 30 minutes to fully dry.  By then I was getting pretty impatient because the other parts of my face were getting really tight and itchy. 

Once it finally dried I peeled everything off. 

 The Verdict: Every piece came right off with very little effort and it didn't hurt as much as I thought it might. The best part though is that my face was SO soft!  Some black heads had even disappeared. It might not be pretty, but this one is worth trying. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Light Bulb Designs

 I saw a pin on Pinterest a few weeks back about drawing on a light bulb with a sharpie.  When I clicked on the post there weren't really any directions other then if you draw on a light bulb with a sharpie then the designs will show up on the walls.

I immediately thought of the scene in Mermaids where the kids and Lou paint a room to look like the bottom of the ocean and have fish 'swimming' around the walls.

How cool would it be for my son to have star and planet shadows around his room!?!?!

I grabbed a regular bulb

 and used my mad artistic skills to draw some stars and planets

 The Verdict: Nothing. I had to put  the bulb right next to the wall to get even a hint of shadow.  But I wasn't entirely disappointed.  The bulb looked pretty cool with the shade off, so I decided to keep it that way.

As I was putting the lamp back on the nighstand, without the shade, my daughter walked in and had this reaction......

The bulb is now in a cealing socket in another room and shade has been placed back on the lamp. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

William Sonoma Air Freshener

Here I go again, another attempt to make my home smell more like awesomeness and less like potty training mess.

 William Sonoma Air Freshener
You will need
sliced lemon
A few sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp vanilla

place all the ingredients in a pot of water and simmer on the stove. 

After going to 5 different stores I finally gave up trying to find fresh rosemary and decided that dried would have to do. 

The directions don't say how much water to put in so I did about 2 cups.  Honestly I don't think it matters.  My mom makes a Christmas air freshener every year and she just fills the whole pot with water.  She can refill it about 3 times before the ingredients get gross. 

Anyways, I put it all together then let it simmer.
The Verdict: I left it simmering for 2 hours (while adding more water when needed) and the smell never went past the steam.

In order to smell anything I had to get this close.  While it did smell really good, a face full of hot steam isn't worth it.  Although it was a good way to open up my pores. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shaving Cream Paint

The weather is turning colder and it's time to start finding some indoor activities.

Shaving Cream Paint
You Will Need:
Shaving cream
Food coloring
Paint brushes

Mix shaving cream and food coloring until you get the color you want then let the kids paint away. 

When I was looking at different blogs about this activity the moms I came across were a lot more adventurous then I am.  They were letting their kids use the paint on windows, linoleum floors, and paper.  I wasn't loving the idea of trying to clean up a mess that could potentially would definitely end up all over the house. 

So I stuck the kids the bathtub and let them paint away. 

The Verdict: The kids had a blast and painted for about 30 minutes until the shaving cream was getting crusty and hard to use. 

I had used a muffin tin to mix the shaving cream and food coloring in but I wish I had used different containers for each color.  The kids kept fighting over the the muffin tin and my 2 year old was very quick to mix the colors together which annoyed the 4 year old perfectionist.
The bad news, it stained some of the grout. It wasn't bad and really not that noticeable, but it was stained. 

It took two rounds of bleach gel to get all the stain out, but it did come out. 

 The kids love this so much that I still continue to let them do it,  if I rinse the shaving cream off as soon as they are done then the stains are usually very faint, and it's only with darker colors that leave a stain. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Homemade Frosty

If any of my past sins are going to come back and haunt me, it will be the Frosty addiction I had in high school.  I pretty much lived on Frosty's and I'll probably end up with diabetes one day.  

I rarely have a Frosty these days, but when I saw a Pin about making my own I got a little to excited. 

DIY Frosty
You Will Need:
16 oz cool whip
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 gallon chocolate milk
Ice cream maker

Pour all ingredients into the ice cream maker and turn it on. 

Ok I'll admit it, I actually went and bought an ice cream maker just for this.  That's how desperate excited I was to try this.

I thought of going all girl scout on this and making my own ice cream maker with an old can, but then I remembered that actually takes more effort and you don't get very much.  If I'm making my own Frosty, I want a trough bucket full. 

The ice cream maker was a bit smaller, so I had to half the recipe, but I still ended up with 6 quarts and that was plenty. 

The Verdict: Best. Frosty. EVER!!!!  It really was.  It was sweeter then a regular Frosty, but I loved it.  I told my kids it was just chocolate ice cream but when my son took a bite he said "hey, it's just like a Frosty" It took about 30 minutes in the ice cream maker before it was mixed well and had the same consistency as a Frosty.

It kept in the freezer for about 10 days before it started to lose flavor and get that freezer burn taste.  I think it would have lasted longer if I had it in a better air tight container.

Now I just need to learn how to make my own french fries so I can dunk them in the Frosty...... I know I'm not the only one who does that.