Saturday, July 30, 2011

Udi's Gluten-Free Hot Dog Buns

We FINALLY got to try Udi's gluten-free hot dog buns. (They make hamburger buns, too.) We've been wanting to try these things since Udi's released them in May, but it wasn't until this week that the Whole Foods near my office actually had them in stock. I was really excited!

Eating them... well, they aren't the greatest, which surprised us because Udi's does awesome gluten-free bread. It makes better grilled cheese sandwiches than regular bread, I think. Anyway, these hot dogs were just a little too thick. It was like too much bread and not enough hot dog. We're going to try them with meatballs and make meatball sandwiches. I'm hoping that those turn out better, so we'll see!

Has anyone out there tried Udi's hot dog and hamburger buns? What did you think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Women's Health Care and Your Taxes

I found this article online last week and wanted to share it with you. My favorite line is when the author, Maureen O'Danu, writes that "so-called pro-life" groups have condemned a proposal by the Institute of Medicine to make certain services totally and completely covered for all U.S. women. These services include birth control (including sterilization); screenings for gestational diabetes, cervical cancer and HPV; counseling to help women prevent pregnancies and to help women space pregnancies further apart; counseling and equipment to promote breastfeeding; annual well-woman visits; counseling and screening for HIV and other STDs; and screening and counseling for domestic violence.

O'Danu writes: I say 'so-called' pro-life in this context because by any standard, the guidelines would clearly save lives, and improve the lives of women and children. When an organization stands against improved health care for women, it cannot accurately be termed 'pro-life'.

These groups are raising the old argument that they shouldn't have to pay taxes for something they're morally opposed to. Hey, what a great idea! I propose that those of us who are really pro-life stop paying our taxes toward:

  • Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • The imprisonment of large numbers of US citizens for non violent drug offenses in the so-called 'war on drugs'
  • Subsidies to oil companies, mining companies, and others who through negligence cause the deaths of thousands of humans and other creatures on a regular basis
  • 'Faith based' 'pray away the gay' therapy paid for with Medicaid funding that has been shown to actually be harmful to participants.

I agree with O'Danu on most of this and that is my personal opinion. If you don't agree, that's fine. But I thought the points O'Danu made throughout the whole article on how women (especially poor women) are treated when it comes to our healthcare were interesting. You can go here to read the whole article on the Technorati website.




Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Scrapbook Layouts

 More layouts to share with you! The one to the right is one of my favorites right now. It's a combination of just the right sketch and the right papers.

The two below are a two-pager about two Yankees games we saw in April and May. One game it rained and was miserably cold. The second one was sunny and wonderful!

What have you guys been creating lately? (And it's okay if it's not scrapbook related!) Share in the comments section!





Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another Sketchy Thursdays layout

I had time again this weekend to do a layout for Sketchy Thursdays latest sketch challenge. Wahoo! These are pictures of giraffes at Six Flags Wild Safari. You drive through the "safari" and all these animals (with the exception of the monkeys, lions/tigers, and some bears) just roam free right next to your car. The giraffes stopped traffic for awhile because they were eating leaves and stuff off of people's cars. We had a baby giraffe come up and start licking our windshield. It was so cool! I added a journaling tag behind the pictures so that it didn't take away from the patterned paper too much.

If you want to participate in this week's challenge, head over to the Sketchy Thursdays blog. You have until July 27 to get your layout entered. The prize is a 12x12 kit of October Afternoon's Modern Homemaker line. Very nice!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Waiting Place - Book Review

We've all been there before - the waiting place. Some of us are still there. Whatever it is you're waiting for, chances are Eileen Button has waited for it, too, and written about it in her book The Waiting Place. As Button puts it in the introduction, this book is for "those who wake up one day and find themselves repeatedly sighing and thinking, This is so not the life I dreamed of living."

Waiting for a new job, waiting for a sick loved one to die (and what he was waiting for), waiting for a friend to make up her mind, waiting for her mother's acceptance, waiting for her children to grow up. These waiting periods and many more comprise this collection of personal stories.

The first few chapters I didn't really like. I wasn't understanding how the stories Button told fit in with the waiting theme. But a few chapters in and the stories got good. (I guess you could say I was waiting for this book to get good. Ha.) The gist of these stories is that waiting doesn't have to be such a bad place. Sure, sometimes when God closes a door, he slams it in your face (p.109) and we can never get a glimpse into our futures, which sucks. But if we look at it in a negative light, we miss some really important things. "We can wait all our lives for the next stage to come," Button writes. "Or we can choose to see the waiting place for what it often is: unexpectedly magical and holy." Yeah, it's hard for us to accept this and there will be many times that we forget this. But hopefully, we can open up this book and pick one of Button's stories and remember.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

15 minutes - what can you create?

Back again! I told you I've been doing more scrapping than blogging, so I wanted to show you some of the layouts I've created. I've been trying to adhere to my 15 minutes of creativity every day and I've gotten some layouts and some cards done. Have you guys been doing the 15 minutes challenge?




Again not the greatest pictures... maybe I should start using my husband's camera for layout pictures. What have you guys been creating lately?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

7.14 sketch challenge

Hello! Sorry it's been awhile in between posts. I've been doing more scrapping than I have blogging. I finally got back into the Sketchy Thursdays challenges with the 7.14 sketch challenge. Here is my very simple take:


Sorry for the not-so-great picture. I broke my camera (sad face) and have been using my iPod Touch to take pictures of my layouts. (Luckily my husband's camera still works or we wouldn't have gotten great pictures of Derek Jeter hitting his 3,000th hit!) If you want to play along with the 7.14 sketch challenge, then visit the Sketchy Thursdays blog. The prize is a Scenic Route kit from Paper Lovelies. The deadline is Wednesday!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Getting Scrappy With...

According to my calendar, it's the second week of July, which means I owe you a Getting Scrappy With. Well, you're not going to get one this month. Ha! I'm taking a break with that for the summer while I get some more scrappers lined up. If you have a favorite scrapbooker, let me know. It doesn't have to be someone famous. It can be a friend you met on Scrapbook.com. That's where I found most of my favorite scrappers. So please let me know in the comments if there are any scrappers you'd like to see featured and if you have any questions for them. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

15 minutes a day creative challenge

So I saw on the blog Paper Tree House a 15 minute a day creative challenge. Basically you take 15 minutes every day doing something creative. It doesn't matter what it is or whether or not you like it. The point is you're doing something creative every day. It can take you longer than 15 minutes if you find yourself inspired. Or maybe 15 minutes is all you have. Whatever! If you have a blog, post your 15-minute creations to share with everyone. And if you are going to participate, then let us know in the comments! Here is what I did in 15 minutes the other night:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2-Pagers!

It's been so long since I've done two-page layouts, so I thought I'd share with you some recent two-pagers. First up is "What a Pair" about my doggie sisters. The papers are from last year's Target $1 spot.




Then we've got "Scene from a Movie" about my trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.



I won a bunch of scrappy goodies from KraftyKat9 and I've been playing around with it all. Lots of new papers and letter stickers, things that were seriously running low in my supply. So thanks again Kat! 

What have you guys been up to? Get any new scrapping supplies recently?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thank Goodness for the Internet

How did people cook back in the day without the Internet? It must have been pretty hard, especially if you go to make a recipe and you realize you don't have two of the ingredients. That's what happened to me over the weekend when I went to make gluten-free blueberry muffins. I thought I had gotten everything I needed at the grocery store, but I forgot to get more butter and plain yogurt. Without the Internet, I wouldn't have been able to make the muffins. But I did have the Internet, so I just did a search for substitutions and found out that I could use shortening instead of butter and sour cream instead of the yogurt. Lucky me I had shortening and sour cream so that's what I used and the muffins turned out great. Happy ending.

Have you guys ever been in a similar situation? My Betty Crocker Cooking Basics cookbook also has a section of easy substitutions. Does your cookbook? What are some helpful hints you've learned from your cookbook or from Google? Share them with us in the comments. You never know. Your helpful cooking tip might show up in someone's emergency Google search!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stars and Stripes Forever

I made another Christmas card using a challenge at Jingle Belles, the holiday card challenge blog. In honor of the 4th of July, the challenge was to use stars or stripes (or both) on the card. I went through my scrap stash and found some great embossed star cardstock and then red, white, green, and blue striped paper. So my card has stars and stripes. I'm going to add a picture over the see-through red paper to complete the card. This picture doesn't really show the star-embossed paper very well, but I swear to you that the blue base of the card is embossed with stars. I swear! And if you end up being the recipient of this card, then you will be able to see it. This challenge ends Wednesday July 6, so if you have the day off tomorrow, then maybe you'll get the chance to make a holiday stars and stripes card of your own! Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crawfish Etouffe'

Take your cooking a little Cajun this weekend with this recipe from Susan. I was not adventurous enough to make it, nor do I think my husband would eat crawfish. (I made him try a pasta salad thing earlier this week and so I can't make him try anything else new for a little awhile.) But perhaps you are feeling like going outside your comfort zone. Here's what Susan had to say about this recipe: "My hubby is Cajun. I have tried Crawfish Etouffe' in other people's homes and restaurants. I have never found one I love better than Mama Rena's (Brett's mom)." So here is the recipe!

1 - 2 lbs peeled crawfish tails
2 med or 1 1/2 large white onions
1/2 large bell pepper
2 stalks green onions
1 stalk celery
Tony's Chachere' Seasoning (to taste - you can always add more so go lightly at first)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
Vegetable oil to lightly cover bottom of pan

Cut onions, bell pepper, celery, green onions and saute in grease for 2 to 4 minutes. Add crawfish and a little water. Cover pot - stirring occasionally. Season to taste and add parsley. Serve over rice.

Thanks again to Susan for being part of Cook Scrap Craft this week! And don't forget to visit Susan's blog and Scrapbook.com gallery for inspiration. It's a long weekend for those of us in the U.S., so get some scrapping done!