Paper Plate Gourmet : Avocado Toast

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What can I say, I love a good avocado.  While it is sometimes a struggle to get my family to eat something green, I am on this like white on rice.

 

Most times all I need is a vessel for an avocado.  Sometimes it is a spoon.  Or  a Salad.  Maybe a tortilla chip?

 

This time it was a slice of toasted homemade bread.

 

You can’t get easier than a slice of toast.  Yummy for breakfast, delish with lunch.  Really, it is an anytime dish.

 

 Ingredients

 

Avocado

The Juice of a Lime

Sea Salt

 Bread of your choice

 

Directions

 

1) Start to toast your bread

2) Put the Avocado into a bowl

3) Add the Juice of a Lime (more or less, to your taste)

4) Add a pinch of  Sea Salt

5) Use a fork to mash it all up

6) Top your slices of bread with as much or as little of the avocado goodness as you want.

 

See, really that easy.  Would I lie?

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Goggles, Slip & Slides, Mike Wazowski- Oh My! End of Season Sales

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Ahhh, I do love a good end –of-summer sale.  I just picked these bad boys up at Target for less than 6 bucks total.

 

Max & Cooper both had their eye on Mike since the summer but at $7.00….. I wasn’t going to cave and buy it.  But at $1.46?  Yes, please.

 

Granted, this seems to go against some of what I have said previously (My post over at MSM & my little “Dollar Store Mishap”) but I know my boys are going to use these items.  The goggles alone are a steal!

 

I also picked up two more slip and slides for $5.00 each.  Why do I need so many slip and slides?  I am not sure – I was thinking one could be a gift down the line.  Or I could bring it to a friend’s house for a play date.  Or, more likely, I will lose one of them in the house and find it at the end of next season.

 

Did anyone find some good end of season sales?

Easy Halloween “Bat” Craft

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My boy Max loves a good craft.  I love an easy craft.  All too often, I can not use these terms simultaneously.

 

A few days ago we were looking through the Oriental Trading Company’s new catalog.  Max is wild about Halloween and had a list of 40 items he just HAD TO HAVE.

 

Since that was not going to happen, we started looking for crafts we could easily replicate.  This one is my favorite.  Not only does it use stuff we had on hand, it incorporated my son’s handprint.  I love me some handprints.

 

 

What You Need

1 Sheet of Black Construction Paper

Purple, White and Pink Scraps of Construction Paper

2 Googly Eyes

Glue Stick

Glue

Scissors

Pencil

 

Directions

Trace both hands (Item A) onto the black paper

Trace a circle with triangle ears on black paper (Item D) I used a cup as a guide – I have limited circle drawing skills.

Trace a mouth on the purple paper (Item C) I used the bottom half of a cup as a guide – I also apparently have limited semi-circle drawing skills

Trace a nose on the pink paper (Item E)

Cut off two small triangles for the teeth (Item F)  I just cut the edges of a white piece of paper

Cut out all the pieces

Using the glue stick, attach the hands wrist to wrist

Using the glue stick, attach to the back of the head (Item D) to the top of the hands

Using the glue stick, attach the mouth, nose and teeth (Item C, E & F)

Using glue, add the googly eyes (Item B)

Allow all pieces to dry.

 

When it was all complete, I had one very proud boy on my hands!  He did 98% of it himself!

 

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Dizee’s Fav – A Cruelty Free Mascara that Works!

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Before we get to the post, I just wanted to say I am not compensated for anything posted on this site (you can check my disclosure here).  I just want to spread the word on products I really like (or don’t !).  

 

NOTE:  I now use Superhero by IT and looooove it!

 

I needed new mascara.

But I did not want it to be tested on animals.

And I did not want it to cost a zillion dollars.

 

I knew this could be the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.

 

I was super excited to try the Organic Physician’s Formula mascara, but alas, it did not work for me.  It was a fantastic price (less than 7 bucks) but I ended up with raccoon eyes.   The look may work on them, but on me? Not so hot.

 

Then I heard about Josie Maran Cosmetics.   Since I have an awesome mom (who reads my blog faithfully – Hi Mom!) she volunteered to buy me a Josie Maran mascara for my birthday!

 

Oh, it was exciting.

 

The mascara is priced at twenty-two smackers, which is a bit more than my Cover Girl LashBlast.  But it IS cruelty free, paraben free and contains organic ingredients.  Josie Maran Cosmetics even teamed up with City of Hope to donate mascaras to cancer patients/survivors based on mascara units sold.  It sounded like a win.

 

Now to the twenty-two million dollar question was – did it work?

 

Yes!

 

Partly due to my obsession with Pic Monkey and partly due to my need to show you the awesome results of the mascara, here is a selfie of eyeballs.

 The proof is in the pudding

Ta Da!

 

And for those of you (like fellow cruelty-free friend Theresa)  who would like a look at the brush, here you go.  The obligatory wand shot…

 

And I tested it vigorously – I have been able to go all day without it smudging.  I have cried watching these beagle rescue videos without it running.  And I have given a 3 year old a bath wearing it.  It stayed strong.

 

So, while I know it costs more than the drug store available brand, I am very happy with my new Mascara.   I also believe this maybe my one and only selfie.

 

Anyone else have a cruelty free product they love and want to share?

 

 

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Green Cleaning – The Kitchen Sink

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Warning – this is not for the faint of heart.

 

Still with me?

 

Ok, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

It is embarrassing to admit that this sometimes happens in mi casa.

 

Apparently, unbeknownst to me, there was a clause written into our marriage where my husband does not touch the dishes.   But that is a story for a different post.

 

Anyway,  It would be so much easier if I just rinsed the dishes and immediately put them in the dishwasher.  Come to think of it, the easiest thing to do would be to let the dogs lick the dishes and just put them away…. KIDDING!

 

Either way, after all the dishes are washed or loaded into the dishwasher,  I get a little grossed out with the sink.

 

Instead of using harsh chemicals or stainless steel cleaner, I use my BFF of cleaning products – baking soda.

 

 

I just run the hot water for a bit and then spray the sink down.

 

Then I shut off the water – this is a very important step.  Doofy Dizee strikes again.  Ouch!

 

I sprinkle on some of the white stuff & use a paper towel to scrub a bit.  Sometimes I make a cute design in the baking soda paste .  Then I rinse.

 

Voila, a sparking sink.

 

Until tomorrow! Ugh!

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Guest Post : Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

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A Guest Post all the way from Australia!   It is packed full of tips everyone can use.

 

When it comes to saving money on your energy bills, there isn’t a whole lot you can do after the bills arrive, but beforehand, well there are some tips and tricks that will save you a bunch on your energy bills. Just by paying more attention to how you use your energy, you could save big on your energy costs and realize how much you had been wasting in the first place.

One of the big ones is insulation. Just by adding good insulation to your home, you are keeping all the warm or cool energy inside, so your heater or air conditioner doesn’t have to work so hard to keep the temperature just right. Both these appliances work to get your house up to an optimal temperature, it’s harder for them to do that when so much of the energy they are using escapes through walls or unsealed doors. Windows are another place that wastes energy; they let in all the heat in summer and all the cold in winter. Just like your walls, it’s a good idea to insulate you windows by using multiple panes or tinting. If that is too expensive a job, simply investing in high quality, thick curtains can do wonders for temperature control.

Older appliances use much more electricity than the newer models that are rated against a new energy efficiency system. If you are going to by second hand, make sure you choose an appliance that has a higher energy efficiency rating to ensure the best energy performance.

 

Simpler ways of ensuring the energy efficiency of your home include simply checking up on your appliances to make sure they are working up to scratch. For example, your water heater doesn’t need to be set to the hottest setting, set in the range between 45 and 60 degrees celsius (113 – 140 degress Fahrenheit) will work better than making your system work harder to reach a higher temperature. If you have a heating system throughout the house, make sure you clean your air filters to allow air to flow more freely, and close the ducts in rooms that don’t need to be heated as regularly.

Try replacing your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent.  It may seem to cost more initially but they save energy by lasting longer and by producing a more pure light that doesn’t waste energy by producing heat. Also check with your energy company to ensure they are providing the best rate for you.  You can compare them with other providers by using sites like Save Central, so you can make sure you aren’t paying too much on your bills.

Another affordable trick is to plant a shady tree on the side of the house that is exposed to the most intense sunlight. This will provide much needed shade in the warmer months, cooling down that area of the house.

Finally, if you are really committed, consider installing solar panels on your roof to further save on your energy costs by harnessing the free power of the sun!

 Ivy Delfin works in Marketing for Save Central.

 

 Does anyone have a tip they want to add?

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Paper Plate Gourmet : Dizee-Pop (Popcorn Made with Coconut Oil)

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Organic Popcorn made with coconut oil

 

Ah…. Popcorn.  A snack staple from my weight watcher days.

 

Back then, I used the microwavable stuff – you know the one with the yellow kernels and the warning to not inhale the fumes.

 

Well, knowing my intense love of all things coconut oil and my current weight loss resolution , it was only a matter of time before this happened.

 

You see where this is headed, right?

 

I made my own popcorn with coconut oil on my stove.  Just call it Dizee Pop.

 

 

Ingredients

 

3TBS of Coconut Oil

1/3 cup of Organic Pop Corn Kernels (thus avoiding the dreaded GMO kernels)

Sea Salt, to taste

Seriously, just those 3 ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Put a nice size pot on the stove, add the 3 TBS of coconut oil & wait for it to melt
  2. Rub any extra coconut oil from the spoon into your elbows or hands.  Don’t waste it!
  3. When you think the oil is warm enough, add 2-3 kernels to the pot and wait until they pop.  (Mine popped clear out of the pot and onto the floor.  It made one of the pups very happy)
  4. Add the rest of the kernels and put the lid on the pot
  5. Get ready for a party in that pot.  Shake the pot every thirty to forty seconds or so to prevent burning
  6. When the popping calms down, dump the popcorn out onto a paper towel lined baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with Sea Salt

 

The whole thing took only minutes.  Even Craig enjoyed it.  To quote

I don’t taste the coconut oil.  This isn’t half bad.

 

Now, obviously, this opens the door to all sorts of crazy combinations – garlic, cheese or possibly chili powder.

 

Does anyone pop their own popcorn?  What is your favorite topping?

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Fall Resolutions

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First off, I need to start off with off with a confession. 

I have discovered Pic Monkey and am completely obsessed with it.  

It is a free online photo editing software and it is spectacular.  I have been using it all week and am editing every picture I can get my hands on.  I highly recommend it because it is so easy to use! I feel very fancy!

 

Happy October!

To me, a new month is a chance to start over and set new (or not so new) goals.   Who said New Years had the market on resolution?

 

I always start with an incredible sense of purpose and conviction.  It usually tapers off after my first taste of dessert… And once the gloves come off, it is open season on the candy dish.

 

Using my new found “talent” with Pic Monkey, I made this October Goals Subway Art to post at home.

 

PS – Subway Art is what the cool kids call mixing up font type and formats to convey a message. I am sure there is more to it, but I am keeping it simple.

 

I know, it is amateur hour, but it was fun to create!  I kept thinking of new terms to add as an incentive and motivation.  I finally nixed ”Use the Force”.  Maybe next month.

 

Anyhow, the most important one to me is No More Excuses.  I am the Queen of Excuses.

 

Last Month I tried a “Wheat Free” diet.  I took out a book (Wheat Belly) and planned a bunch of meals.

 

 

It lasted exactly 8 minutes.

 

 

Ok, I am exaggerating a bit for comedic effect.

 

 

I made it until dinner.  The hubby made a nice ravioli meal – how am I supposed to say no when he cooks?

 

 

The big plan for this month is to focus on eating right and breaking my dependence to chocolate.  Oh why couldn’t I be addicted to exercise or vegetables?

 

 

So, I posted this where I hung my weight tracking guide… (Have no fear! I have tucked it away for safe keeping).

 

 

Alright! I have a good feeling about this month.  I ate all the chocolate in the house last night… so we should be good to go.

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