I’m somewhat of a crock pot fanatic. I mean that while at the same time having spent years only using it for pot roast. Seriously, pathetic.
Those days are LONG gone. I now use it for EVERYTHING. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I HAD to try it. The meal is very similar to some I’ve had in great seafood restaurants (including an amazing meal in Maine several years ago). I also liked it because I’m sorta weird about seafood–I don’t cook it often because when it’s bad, it’s REALLY bad. This made it seem super easy to just toss in (and it was!).
Here’s the modified version I used (because the person that originally used this recipe must have had the biggest crock pot ever made. I cut the original recipe in half so it’d all fit.
3-4 quarts cold water
1/4 cup Old Bay or other spicy seasoning (less if you can’t handle spicy)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more, to taste
4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 head garlic, halved
2-2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
3-4 ears corn, shucked, each cut into 4 pieces
2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch slices
2 pounds medium shrimp, in the shell, deveined
In a slow cooker combine the water, Old Bay seasoning, salt, celery, onion, garlic and potatoes and cook on low heat until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 4-6 hours.
Add the corn and sausage to the crock pot and simmer until the corn is tender, 1-2 more hours. Add the shrimp and simmer until opaque, 20 to 30 minutes more. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, if necessary.
I hardly ever buy beauty products. They are SO expensive and I usually don’t feel like I see much of a difference. So, I always love finding DIY versions on Pinterest. I came across a recipefor a cinnamon, nutmeg, honey beauty mask. It stated that nutmeg and honey reduce swelling and redness in your skin, as well as soothe acne scars and prevent infection. So, as I always have all three of those on hand, I decided to give it a try.
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
Mix all together into a paste. Apply on skin and leave on for 30 minutes. Mine became kinda drippy at the end. I hopped in the shower and took it off by rubbing in a circular motion and it really exfoliated my skin as well. This recipe is a winner. My skin looks brighter, feels softer and much shiner. Let me know how it works for you!
Rory had the typical toddler reaction to having a sister–she reverted back to having potty accidents. ALL THE TIME. ALL OVER HER FLOOR. Needless to say I’m not ready to pay to shampoo them because I’m not yet sure she’s finished with the accidents but I needed something to make her room no longer smell like a urinal. Using three of my favorite ingredients I hit the mother load of deodorizers and I owe it all to yet another Pinterest find.
Homemade Carpet Deodorizer
1/2c Baking Soda
20-25 Drops of your favorite essential oil OR 1tsp. Ground Spices
Mix it all together, pour into a shaker or some sorts (an empty Parmesan Cheese shaker is perfect). Sprinkle onto the carpet and let it sit for 20 minutes before you vacuum up. I used lemongrass (one of my favs) and it smells so clean and fresh upstairs. I’m seriously in love with how easy this is and how clean it all smells.
I absolutely LOVE planning parties. Seriously, I do it to relax and have some “me” time scouring Pinterest for ideas. I thought I’d go back and show you Rory’s three birthday parties. This one, was actually in a life pre-Pinterest (how we functioned back then is beyond me)! I decided before I was even pregnant with Rory that her first birthday party was going to be a Candyland themed party. I LOVED that game as a kid and since all parents force things they love/loved onto their children it was a no-brainer. We had it at a local park in the middle of August (btw the Midwest, middle of August was a HORRIBLE idea). So here’s her first birthday in pictures:
The invitation. I have this weird obsession with invitations. To me they signify the whole event, so you want one that makes people want to be there. I fell in love with this one I bought on Etsy and printed via Snapfish. Cute and pretty reasonably priced.
The cake. I decorated it obviously to look like the Candyland gameboard. My favorite part are the actual Candyland playing pieces on it.
Another view of the cake.
The candy buffet. You can NEVER go wrong with a candy buffet. We had blow pops, smarties, gummy bears, gum balls, tootsie rolls, lemon drops, candy necklaces and old fashion candy sticks. Everyone got a Chinese takeout box to fill with their favs.
We had to have a Candyland themed bounce house.
Rory LOVED it. As did all the other kids.
Can’t have a first birthday without a smash cake.
Instead of gifts we asked for everyone to bring a donation of new school supplies to donate to foster care kids that otherwise won’t have supplies. I was floored by how much stuff we were able to donate. Rory still got way too many gifts, but it’s nice to know that the bulk of it went to less fortunate kids.
This is how she was the rest of that day. Passed out on the wood floor.
High praise from our girl!
Easter season is upon us! Ahhh! I didn’t get enough time this year between St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Because of this I’m focused on super easy crafts to do with Rory. I had hoped to be able to spend the time and find crafts that compliment the Easter story but that’ll be on the agenda for next year. This year I found this idea on Pinterest and thought I’d share our experience with it.
Marble Egg Prints
– Foaming shaving cream (I buy the cheap stuff at the dollar store. It HAS to be foaming)
– Paints or food coloring
– Something to “marble” the colors
– A tray or pan or cookie sheet to do this in
– A squeegee or a ruler
First, cut out egg shapes with your cardstock (which is a great activity for little hands learning to cut).
Then shake and spray your shaving cream into the tray/cookie sheet you are using. I used the squeegee to even it out a bit. Squirt a line of each paint/color you’d like to use into the shaving cream.
Use a chopstick, pen, etc. to zigzag through the paint to get your marble look.
Place your cardstock in the paint and let it sit for a few minutes (I had to gently press on ours to get a bit more even look). When you pull it out it should look like this:
Let it sit for a few minutes before you use the squeegee to remove the shaving cream mixture. The paint will remain.
Because we were a bit over zealous with our zig zags they didn’t come out as nice as on Pinterest but this is so easy we will be doing this again soon!
This time around I’ve been using cloth diapers. It hasn’t been bad except for one detail: the laundry. The amount of laundry wasn’t the issue; it was that I had to buy special “cloth diaper” detergent (which was expensive) that also was able to work with my HE machine. I didn’t feel that the cloth diaper detergent was really getting my clothes clean and I hated having to pay for and keep two different kinds of detergent on hand. I also have a sensitivity to dyes and perfumes so this recipe is fantastic. It also has less chemicals than the store bought stuff I was using and costs me about $10.50 to make two batches–which for someone that does 15-20 loads of laundry A WEEK (yeap, you read that correctly); this will last me around 3 months. When I think about paying $18.00 for the jug of the old stuff that would last me around the same amount of time PLUS buying the cloth diaper detergent this just makes much more sense for me.
HE Laundry Detergent
4 cups of Borax
4 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
8oz. Bar of Olive Oil Bar Soap (I use the brand called “Kiss My Face”)
Optional: 10-20 drops of Essential Oils (I currently don’t use this because I’m worried about what it will do to my baby in her cloth diapers but once we’re out of this phase I plan on using lemon or lemongrass.)
Now, it should be noted that what makes this HE friendly is that it’s olive oil soap. Olive oil or is very low foaming so there’s no issue with overload. Castille soap works the same way but you must read the ingredients on your soap as some soaps labelled “castille” are made with coconut oil and other fats that create a high foaming soap.
Using your grater, grate the bar of olive oil soap. If you’d like you can also cut the bar into smaller pieces and use a food processor for this task. Mix the Borax, Washing Soda and essential oils with the bar soap (I always mix for a bit to make sure I’ve broken down all the lumps of Borax so I’ll have a nice even batch). Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.
I’ve also read of similar recipes that also use 1 cup of Baking Soda as well. Next time I’ll throw a cup in and see how it works.
I love Pinterest. Really. I’ve made new recipes from it, figured out super easy (and educational) activities for Rory via it, etc. I’m usually on it a couple times a week—feeding Molly and checking it on my phone for new ideas.
At the same time—I hate Pinterest. I hate what it’s done to mommy hood and what it’s done to the psyche of women around the world. Pinterest has helped Mommyguilt reach levels not possible before. Why? Because it shows us what we’re NOT doing, or what we think we SHOULD be doing or what we CAN’T do. It is there in black and white—other parents are doing other things and doing them well.
Here’s an example: Last year Rory was obsessed with Willy Wonka (not the crappy Johnny Depp version—the legit Gene Wilder one, of course). So starting in February last year I’d hear once a week about how she was going to be an Oompa Loompa for Halloween. At first I blew it off; she’s two—she’ll come up with something else. Then I realized she was dead set on this costume. I googled “Oompa Loompa toddler costume” because of course, I can’t sew, and came to find a pre-made costume–for $70. Ouch. Totally ridiculous to wear once, but with a mom that has no artistic ability it was probably the reality I would have to face. That was, until I found the cutest Oompa Loompa costume (homemade, of course) on Pinterest. I suddenly felt like a crappy mom for even thinking of sending my daughter out trick-or-treating in this cheap-looking (although rather expensive) generic costume. My “mom cred” was in serious jeopardy. I knew we had to find a way, and luckily for me I have a sister and mom that sew and love to make stuff for Rory, so between the two of them she ended up being the hit of Halloween.
I know it seems silly–being concerned about a store-bought costume versus a homemade one. To many of us it’s so much more. It’s really about “how good of a mom am I?” and, even more concerning, “how will other moms perceive me?” Because let’s face it–the hardest people on parents are other parents. If you say you’ve never cared one iota about what other mom’s think of you, you’re a liar. We all care. This is the most important job we’ll ever have–we want to do it right. We want to do well. We want our kids to grow up great. So it’s easy to start thinking that we need to buy them certain clothes, cook them certain food, teach them certain things–all the while looking down on people that don’t conform because it’s easier to say “they’re wrong” versus “maybe we all are doing it well.”
Early on in my parenting of Rory I realized that moms were MEAN. I’d see my Facebook explode with debates of cloth diapers vs. disposable, breastfeeding vs. bottle, which car seat was the best, co-sleeping vs. crib, homemade baby food vs. store-bought. It was an endless fight–and I grew weary pretty quickly. I decided to no longer engage in these discussions. At the end of the day if you love your kid, you treat them well and do the best you can–does it really matter if you make your costumes or buy them or decide against Halloween all together? I don’t think so. So please, don’t let Pinterest tell you that you need to make your own laundry detergent, sew a fort cover for a card table or make your own fruit roll-ups in order to feel like a great parent; just by reflecting on the question, you’ve come to the answer, because bad parents don’t realize or care if they are.