Monday, May 28, 2012

Making Your Own Hula Hoop & The 30 Day Hula Hooping Challenge...

Hi sweethearts!

I hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday week-end. I spent the day cooking out, eating with my family, and making hula hoops! I made hula hoops for exercise and hoops for tricks. Tip: The heavier the hoop, the better for exercising. The smaller the hoop, the better for tricks. :)

I have made several different size hoops and there are many ways to make hula hoops. So whatever way works best for you is perfect! :)

This hoop I made out of flex-pipe from the local hardware store. It is 3/4" in diameter. Here is the picture once it was complete and decorated.



Here is the 1/2" tubing and supplies I used to make the smaller hoops.


This is the video I watched before I made my first hula hoop.


I thought June 1st would be the perfect time to start the 30 day/30 minute hula hooping challenge.

I have really been looking forward to this. I plan on documenting my progress throughout the month. It seems like forever since I have hooped!

I am so glad you are going to do it with me!!!

See you Friday!

Love, love, love,

Anna

Happy Memorial Day!


Happy Memorial Day!

Our sincerest thanks to all the men and women who have served our country. We are blessed and thankful to have the freedoms we do!

Anna ~

Friday, May 25, 2012

Natural Tips and Tricks To Keep Your Home Clean...


Hi friends! Friday is here...I am so ready for the week-end. I'm sure you are too. I have some household cleaning tips and other tricks for you today.

First, let's start with the cleaning tips. I know some of you are probably not as huge a fan of deep cleaning as I am. But sometimes I wish I wasn't so OCD. ;)



Shine Your Sink - This is our master bathroom sink. It was the original sink installed when the house was built in the 1950's. So let's just say over these many years it has lost it's shine. Well, this is what I do. After cleaning and rinsing the sink thoroughly, I dry it. Then, I use car wax on the basin. Spread the wax on evenly, you don't need too much, then buff it off to a shine! It really doesn't take that long to do.

Keep Soap Build-Up From Forming - If you use bar soap on the sink you know how goopy it gets where the soap rests. This little trick will keep that from happening. Put just a little bit of Baby oil on a cloth, and rub where the soap lies Baby oil rubbed on your stainless steel fixtures will also keep them shiny. Simple. simple...

Clean Your Toilet - This lil' trick can come in handy if you have severe allergies to proprietary cleaners, or if you run out of toilet bowl cleaner. ;) If you will take a liter (or two) of cola and pour it in the commode, let it sit say 10 - 15 minutes, then flush. Viola', the acid in the cola will clean your bowl.

Polishing Brass - If you will put just a splash of Worcester Sauce on a cloth and rub your brass with it, it will shine like new. I use this trick when polishing all my brass things.

Here are some links to previous posts on additional tips for cleaning...

Keeping the seals on your fridge clean...

Making Your Stove Top Shine...

Make Your Sink Shine...

Keeping Your Fridge Smelling Fresh...

Now onto some other useful info...


Keeping Apple Slices From Turning Dark - If you will put your apple slices in (or pour on) Sprite or 7-up, the citric acid in the soda will keep your apples from looking less than appealing.

Slicing Onions Without Tears...

How To Store Asparagus...

Proverbs 31:10 - "A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman - who is he that can find her?  She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls." - AMP

Proverbs 31:27 - "She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat." - AMP

Matthew 3:11-12 - "I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: the main character in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand-will ignite the kingdom of life within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house-make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in it's proper place before God; everything false, He'll put out with the trash to be burned." - The Message

It isn't just how we take care of our bodies that shows our reverence for God, it's also how we maintain all He has blessed us with. Not to mention, our husbands deserve to live in a clean home. Notice I said clean, not expensive. And our husbands also deserve to be well taken care of. It's our calling as wives and mothers to do the very best we can.

Have a wonderful week-end friends and I'll see you next week.

All my love,

Anna

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reclaiming Quiet

What irony...in the midst of starting this post, the new mama kitty chases our resident cat Thomas down the hallway meowing and hissing at him. Another shining example of how life gets in the way when we are trying to accomplish things. I have wanted to reclaim quiet for some time now.

What do you do to accomplish this? Do the sudden demands of everyday life seem to be preventing you from accomplishing your goals? My goals recently have just been to get my bathroom and kitchen floor mopped! It has been one of those weeks.

I am however going to the hardware store today to purchase the hula hoop making items for our 30 day challenge next month. I wondered if posting a video of the process might be easier than a post with pictures. What do you think?

Well, I'm off to get those goals accomplished. Who knows, I might even be able to find a little quiet in planting some flowers outside today. :)

Happy Wednesday friends!

Lots of love and hugs,

Anna 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Introductions...


Good evening friends! May I introduce the sweetest babies! They are from top to bottom: Speckles, Golda, Milkshake and Snowball. They are eight days old today, and just starting to open their eyes. What fun this has been!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Week-end Update - Kittens & The Hula Hooping Challenge...


Good morning friends! How was your week? If it was anything like mine it was busy, busy. I thought I would share a picture of the precious kittens. This picture was taken yesterday - Day 5. I can't believe how much they are growing! Is it a bad thing to name the kittens you are fostering? ;) I am getting so attached to them.


Anyway, I have had my hands full to say the least. With taking care of mamma cat and her kittens, and end of school activities, I'm afraid my hula hoop challenge has gotten pushed back later than I had planned. I am hoping to start it in June. But maybe that is the best time with the kiddos being out of school and schedules being a little more forgiving. I will post on how to make your hula hoop in advance of the 30 day challenge.

Here I am the last time I got to hoop which was I think almost 2 weeks ago!


I have really missed it! I'm sure you all have been just as busy with your families!

I hope each of you have a wonderful week-end.

Hugs,

Anna

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012


Hi sweethearts! I hope each of you had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday! Mine was so special in that not only did I get to spend it with my family, as you can see from the picture, we were blessed with four baby kittens too.

It's not a terribly long story. More like only 24 hours. ;)
On Saturday, the sweetest female calico cat "adopted" us. She has been seen in our backyard before, but I just assumed she had a home somewhere in the neighborhood. She seemed very well groomed and didn't look like a stray. She was noticeably pregnant, and so loving. I never imagined she was that far along. But as of yesterday afternoon, she was the momma of four baby kittens.

Poor thing, it was looking like rain so my friend, husband and I made a little make-shift bed for her on the patio. We put food and water out too. Bless her little heart! And we did it just in time, no sooner had we gotten her babies in the bed with her, here came the rain. Actually, it was more like a downpour!

I am so grateful my husband went exploring for her just to make sure everything was alright. That is when he stumbled upon whimpering. :)

Anyway, that was my Mother's Day, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

Here is a picture of me and momma kitty - (Taken on Saturday)


Today's Bible verse seems appropriate:

"For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self know right well." Psalm 139: 13-14 AMP

Not only did we experience the birth of these four precious babies, this week-end was also prom for our daughter who is graduating high school next month. Busy, busy. :)

Have a blessed week friends. And I will be sure and keep you updated about the kittens.

Blessings!

Anna

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Or should I say Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

These are by far the BEST oatmeal cookies...period.

And the recipe is on the Quaker Oats Oatmeal container. :)

Here it is:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.

2.Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.

3. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

4. Add oats and raisins. Mix well.

5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. TIP: (I always line my cookie sheets with parchment paper. That way they never stick)!

6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Store tightly covered. They don't last that long in our house. ;)

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies


These are so chewy and delicious.

xoxo.

Anna

Friday, May 4, 2012

Storing Asparagus...


Did you know there is a way to preserve asparagus? There is, and it will help your asparagus last longer and retain it's taste and appearance.

As soon as I can after purchasing asparagus, this is what I do.

I wash it thoroughly with homemade veggie wash. (It is quite simple to make and much less expensive than commercial varieties). For those of you that missed my earlier post on making your own veggie wash, it is equal parts vinegar to water. I just mix it in a spray bottle I have. (Shake the bottle before each use just to make sure the wash hasn't separated).

After having washed the asparagus, I start at the base and slightly bend the stalk going up it until it "snaps". Doing this will get rid off the tough end. After having snapped off the end, I put the asparagus in a glass of cool water and then store it in the fridge, The stalks will "drink" the water and retain their freshness for much longer.


Although asparagus doesn't tend to last very long at our house. :)

And did you also know that asparagus has beneficial anti-oxidant qualities? I will share a fabulous recipe for roasted asparagus in an upcoming post.

And be sure to check my blog again very soon as I am going to show you how to make your own hula hoop, and I sure hope you will join me in the 30 minute/30 day hula hooping challenge! :)

There is no reason getting into shape can't be fun. After all, we need to maintain our bodies since they are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19 - "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;" NIV

I hope May is off to a good start for you! This year has gone by way too quickly for me!

Blessings!

Anna

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring!


Spring and fall are my two favorite seasons. And did you know today is May day? It's May 1st!

I've been busy baking cookies to celebrate. But then again, I never need a reason to bake. ;)

I've also taken up hula hooping for exercise, and I love it. I made my own hula hoop so it would be sturdier than the store bought ones. Here is a picture after it was made.


Here it is after I decorated it!


I just wrapped plastic tape around the hoop. Simple!

Now, here is a picture of me using it.


What a blast! Making your own hula hoop is so easy! I'll tell you how in an upcoming post.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Love,

Anna