Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sugar Scrub

So, I made a coffee sugar scrub, because Mrs. Hill loves the smell of coffee. Me, not so much, but I had to test it out anyway. But first, a funny story.

I don't drink coffee. Most of my neighbors don't either, because most of us are Mormon. Fortunately for me, my next door neighbors are Lutheran, so I went to their house first. Well, they aren't coffee drinkers either. They are Diet-Coke-to-get-going-in-the-morning drinkers. Darn! But I was in luck (and, as it turns out, doubly lucky). Tony's parents, who had just been visiting the week before are coffee drinkers, and they left a can of ground coffee behind! There was much rejoicing. Then I was offered some cucumber dip. Okay, just so you know, even though my mom is allergic to cucumbers, I love them! I said, "Just one chip." And I started with "just one chip." And I ended with "just one chip", but there were many "just one chip[s]" in between. So, I didn't get the exact recipe, but I know it calls for cucumber, cream cheese, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce (who knew?). I would do it all to taste. And they mix it all up with a "Ninja", though I'm sure a blender or magic bullet, or something else would work just fine. They served the dip with plain (I mean Classic) Lay's potato chips, but I think pita chips, or baked Lay's or original Sun Chips, or bagel chips, or, or, or would be equally as yummy. So, I left with 2 cups of ground coffee (happy dance!) and a belly full of cucumber dip (uh oh, I'm salivating again, just thinking about it).

Once I got home, I proceeded to make the body scrub. I found the recipe at LiveStrong, did you know that Lance Armstrong had such a huge website? I didn't. I thought the website would be about biking and cancer, but there are all sorts of resources on there, and tons of recipes for different body scrubs. So, if you don't want to head over the the LiveStrong website, here's the recipe, for those interested.

1/4 cup ground coffee beans or 1/4 cup used coffee grounds
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. honey

And here's what I did:
1 cup of ground coffee (after all, I had two cups, might as well us it)
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 dashes of cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Mix together first three ingredients, then add honey and everything else.

And here's what I thought: Too much EVOO, plus I don't like the smell of it, so if I can find some almond oil for a decent price, I'll try that next time I make a body scrub. I don't know if I would waste my time again with the cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract, because I can't really smell it because of the coffee grounds. I do like the exfoliation of the scrub. The first time I used it my hands felt much softer, but I think I rinsed with too hot of water, trying to get some of the extra oil off (I seriously thought my skin was coated in the EVOO), so my hands were pretty dry again right after using. However, this morning I used it in the shower on my thighs (the coffee is supposed to help get rid of cellulite), and on my arms where I've been having some dry skin issues because of a wicked sunburn a few weeks ago. I had a little bit left over so I put some on my heels, even though I've recently exfoliated them, and on my hands again. Then I used my regular body wash after (I didn't want to smell like coffee all day). So, what do I think? I think I liked it a lot better the second time. My thighs felt baby soft (though I wish they would look as smooth as a baby's thighs, but those darn stretch marks did not disappear), my arms look a lot better, but I should have used more on my hands, because they are looking pretty scaly, but they do feel soft. So, would I do it again? Well, I still have some in my little ziploc container in the shower, so I'll use it until it is gone, and then we'll see what sort of results I'm seeing on my skin, to decide if I make more. After all, I still have a cup of ground coffee in my cupboard that I need to use.

Oh, as a side note, do not use it on your face or sensitive skin. Apply to moistened skin, rub in circular motions, and pat dry. If you do make the scrub, let me know. I'd love to hear what other people think of it. Tonight I think I'm going to make a straight brown sugar scrub for Miss Ashley, the aide in Miss A's classroom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I know Teacher Appreciation Day was at the beginning of this month, but as the school year winds to a close, I am again reminded of those choice souls that choose to teach our children for us. Especially so in my case. Miss A and I do not work well together on learning activities, so I will be eternally grateful to each teacher she has, that teaches her, so I don't have to. You won't find me home schooling, no sir, no way, no how. Mr. B, on the other hand, I might consider...but, I digress.

Choice souls, yes. They are amazing. I thought I might be a teacher at one point in my life. Well, at many points in my life, starting with kindergarten, and my wonderful teacher, Debbie Hadley. There were two brief stages, one where I wanted to be an astronaut, but what kid didn't? And the other where I wanted to be a marine biologist. Again, what kid, especially girl, didn't want to play with dolphins all day. But always, always there was teacher in the background. So, when I went to college, it was quite easy for me to declare a major. Then after my first semester, when I had thoroughly screwed up my GPA (who knew that you actually had to study in college, whereas in high school you didn't have to?), I thought I wouldn't be able to get into the elementary education at my university (it was a very competitive program). But I did get in. And I was stoked! I couldn't believe it! My dream of becoming a teacher was coming true. Until one day it came crashing down around me. Turns out I wasn't well-suited to teaching. I failed my second pracitcuum twice. I finally passed it the third time around, but by then I was disillusioned with the teaching thing. I didn't want my own classroom. I wanted to teach science and social studies in someone else's classroom. So I never did my student teaching, and I never became certified to teach. Which brings me back to the people that are actually doing it. Teaching, that is.

And so, that brings me to my next point. Teachers can be very underappreciated. Not because of my child, or even yours, right? It's that other kid, you know the one I'm talking about, right? Anyway, in Miss A's class there are quite a few of those other kids, partly because they are at school for 6.5 hours a day, and they are either in preschool or kindergarten, and that's a long time for such a little kid. And, even though, as a room mom (did you know that I'm crazy?), the class made her a huge card, and chipped in on a gift card for Teacher Appreciation Day, I still feel like the amazingly wonderful Jessica Hill deserves more appreciation. Plus, sadly, she won't be coming back to our little school next year, so I really want her to know how much she rocks, and this is where the topic of the post finally comes. Teacher Appreciation Gifts.

I don't know of any teachers that want coffee mugs. I've never heard of it. And some teachers don't want homemade goodies (because, let's be honest, if your little dear helped, there just might be a few "special" ingredients). And most don't want another candle, and some are really particular about lotion (heck, I know I am!), so really, where does that leave us? Well, cash speaks, that's for sure. And gift cards (as long as they like the store), and lots of them like books for the classroom library, but really, these teachers need to stop being martyrs, and they deserve something exclusively for them. So, we gave Mrs. Hill a gift card already. And a hand written note and card at Christmas time (which, by the way, hand written notes are also a great gift), but I want to do something I haven't done yet. So, I'm going to make her a sugar scrub. It's not lotion, so I'm not going to be too cliche here, but her hands are sure to appreciate it in the warm, dry climate that is Eastern Idaho. Ya gotta love those high altitude deserts! Now, I personally haven't tried the scrub yet, but I should. My hands got a sunburn a few weeks ago, and the skin is starting to flake. Not peel, no, it seems my skin is too stubborn for that now (though I used to peel when I was a kid), but flake. And it's annoying. So, if I can manage to peel (hehe) my butt off this here couch, I might go make me a scrub, and see how lovely my hands feel afterwards. I've seen quite a few "recipes" floating around the blogosphere, so when I settle on one, I will update the blog with a new post. I know I promised you a post about it in the last post, but I tend to procrastinate, and get lazy, and read my children books (sometimes, though the Dear wins the book reading award for today), and help them clean the play room, and empty the dishwasher, and make food, and, and, and. I think you get the idea. So anywho, stay tuned!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Give-Away Winner

Well folks, the moment you've all been waiting for.....DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!!!

Ummmm, yeah, I could never do a drum roll, no matter how hard I tried, but I can do a slow, mean paradiddle. :) Anyway, there were 32 comments spread out over two posts (this means some of my followers didn't comment, since I have 32 followers, and I know of several people that did multiple comments, but I digress) and came up with #31. I decided that #1-31 were in the original give-away post, and #32 was in the bonus post, and #31 is bysb! Congratulations! I have your e-mail address, so I'll be sending you an e-mail ASAP. I sure hope you live in Idaho Falls, so I don't have to pay shipping! I'm cheap like that :)

BTW, Mom, other family, and local friends, my heart sank when I saw the results, only because of the shipping. But then again, I am cheap like that. Thanks for everyone's entries. Stay tuned for another post soon about end of the year gifts for teachers (including an easy-to-make sugar scrub).


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Like I said before, one of my loves is gardening. There's just something about being outside, picking your own food, and getting a wicked sunburn. I love it! Last week the weather here in Eastern Idaho was GORGEOUS! A lot of my free time on Wednesday and Thursday was spent outside, working in the yard. By the time Friday rolled around My arms were getting pretty red, but it was My Dear's Friday off, so I skipped out on helping at school (I try to volunteer in Miss A's classroom every other Friday), so we could get more yard work done. That darn Dear of mine though! He beat me to the lawn mower and he was the lucky one that got to mow the back yard. And that is not sarcasm, I actually enjoy mowing. I've gotten some high quality weeding time in, and I'm itching to start planting our garden here at the house. Alas, it is not to be. Yet. The tomato and pepper seedlings are still under lights in the basement, and I'm wishing, and hoping, and thinking, and praying, and planning, and dreaming (does anybody else want to go watch My Best Friend's Wedding now?) that those little seedlings will grow. I put some mild fertilizer on them when I watered them on Sunday, so hopefully they will grow some more leaves.

Our pole beans got to tall, and they had to be brought upstairs. My kitchen now is the home of 16 pole bean plants. Hopefully by this weekend they will be residing in our garden at Taylorview Farms. See, my church, it has this huge farm due south of our house, a few miles, and each year they set aside some of the land for people to have their own garden plots. Some of these people don't have any space where they reside to grow a garden, and some (like us) just want more space to grow more. So, all of our more hardy things (well, the pumpkins and cucumbers aren't so hardy) will be planted out at Taylorview. The tomatoes and peppers will stay here at the house, because they aren't ever quite ready when the frosts start in the fall.

Yesterday evening (Monday) we went out to Taylorview and started planting. We planted rows and rows and rows of carrots, a few rows of onions, three pumpkins (we have four seedlings under the lights too), lots of sunflowers (hopefully they grow fast and make a good wind break), quite a few rows of cucumbers (we want to make pickles this year), and a few rows of brussel sprouts. Sometime today I'm hoping to get back down there and plant pole beans and peas. We'll see if I make it. It'll probably be after picking up Miss A from school (mental note: bring a snack to keep the kiddos happy). And when I remember I will bring a camera down there and take some pictures. Right now it just looks like a lot of dirt, because not even the farm fields behind our garden are planted.

Oh, and as a side note: I have 29 followers!!! The give-away is still open though, since I changed the date to May 22nd, so go comment on the give-away post to enter the contest, and I will post the winner on the morning of May 23rd, and, as long as I have the winner's e-mail address, I will also e-mail the winner. Remember, you need a separate comment for each entry! And, if you look through my blog posts, there might be a bonus entry opportunity! ;)

And tell me, do you garden? Have you gardened in the past? What sorts of things have you grown, or would like to grow? And if you don't garden, what sorts of home grown foods do you like to eat?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Deadline Extended

I was hoping I would be able to reach 25 followers, but I only have 18, so I'm going to have to extend the give-away for two more weeks (this way I have more time to advertise it on some of the give-away blogs). So, to recap, I only need 7 more followers, and there are two weeks to find them. That's only half a person a day! That should be doable, right? Right? Hello, is anyone there? Oh, there you are. So, you say I should be able to get seven more followers? Oh, great! And you say you will spread the word again? Great! Oh, what will I give you in return, you ask? Well, if you comment on this post, I will give you an extra entry in the give-away. That's a total of five possible entries! And if only seven more people become followers, and many of them only leave one comment (meaning only one entry), well, my dear friend, that makes the odds pretty fantastic for you!

Stay tuned as I gradually move my digital scrapbooking blog over to here. It will become it's own separate page up at the top, under the title, next to the wooden blocks tab thing.

I hope all you mothers out there had a fabulous weekend. I got to sleep in until 8:00 am, and my Dear, Miss A, and Mr. B brought me breakfast in bed. Dry Cinnamon Life! I love it. Easy clean-up and I actually eat my cereal dry, since I have this slight problem with dairy. :)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Getting Closer

I might have to extend the deadline for the give-away another week. I have 17 followers right now, I only need 8 more, so we'll see what happens by Sunday night. Tell me, followers and guests, what would you like to see me post about? As of late I've been in a creating funk. I switched medications for my depression, and it's been a rough go, with the medication taking two weeks to kick in, and then female troubles probably complicating matters this last week (TMI, maybe?), but I'm trying to think of something to do.

My daughter's school is having a Spring Carnival that I'm helping with, and I'm probably going to donate a set of blocks for the raffle. The same deal that I'm doing for the give-away. A set of already made blocks, or a custom set.

Now that the weather is getting nicer I've also been spending more time outside. I wish I had something to show for it, but it's mostly involved dethatching our grass and aerating the lawn. It's been slow going. I'm longing for a power rake now. Maybe that's what I should have asked for for Mother's Day, to go with the step aerator my Dear got me for Mother's Day a few years ago. A romantic he is, right? :) Whelp, have a great day, spread the word about the give-away, and make sure you do a separate comment for each entry. And, please, do tell, what would you like to see me posting about? I need inspiration!