Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Iced coffee…

The Pioneer Women’s recent post on cold brewing coffee to make yummy iced coffee drinks at home totally motivated me to experiment with this.  Every morning at work we head over to Starbucks and spend anywhere from $2.50 on iced coffee to $5 on iced espresso drinks.  This costs $13 to $25 per week!  Ugh…not good!

After some poking around on-line for the best system to use, I decided on the Toddy Cold Brew System.  I figured the money I would save at Starbucks pays for this in two weeks and it seems easier than the process Pioneer Women describes in her post. 


So, here’s how it works.  Turn the brew basket upside down and place the plug in the hole…


It came with two of these filters…


The filter goes into the inset in the bottom of the brew basket…


Like this…


Then you fill it with 1lb of ground coffee and 9 cups of cold water (alternating coffee and water to saturate all the grounds).  Cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the frig for 12 hours. 


I started it brewing yesterday when I got home from work and then this morning when I got up it was ready to go.  At this point you just remove the plug from the bottom of the brew basket while holding it over the carafe and set the brewer right on top of the carafe.  It fits perfectly and all the water dripped right through the filter without any grounds getting through.  It took about 20 minutes or so. 


What you’re left with is a carafe full of liquid gold!  It’s a coffee concentrate so if you want regular strength coffee they say to add 1% liquid gold and 3% water or milk.  I’m going to totally start experimenting with this and when I find the perfect combination of gold, cream, syrup, etc. I’ll let you all know!   ;)

I anyone already uses this system and has a drink perfected, I would love to hear about it! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Heart Shutterfly…

I finally finished our 2009 photo book (I know, a little late) of our first year with Lauren.  I decided to go with the 8” x 8” format for this book.  I did our China travel book in 12” x 12” and not only did it cost a small fortune, but it’s pretty darn big.  I designed most of my pages in Photofusion Scrapbook Essentials and uploaded them to Shutterfly as one big image on the page.  I also created some of the pages directly in Shutterfly using their design software.  It’s SO simple and fun to use.

I just got the finished book and we are SO happy with it.  They do such an awesome job with the finishing and binding of the book.  I love the look of their padded cover.  Here’s a few pics…

My cover and all the pages below are done in Photofusion and uploaded…


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You can see the entire photo book here…

Click here to view this photo book larger

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Web surfing fun…

I finally joined Pinterest and it’s so much fun.  It’s like a bulletin board where you can “pin” things you find on the internet and want to remember for later.  It’s like your bookmarks or favorites, but with pictures. 

What’s great is that you can follow other users with similar styles or interests and find all kinds of fun stuff.  Here’s a link to my boards.  Happy Pinning!

Last weekend Lauren had a blast swimming with her cousins and I snapped a few pics…


She loves the slide and Katie was such a good sport with her sliding down again and again…


I just barely caught the top of her head in this pic!  ;)


Love her Ni Hao Kai Lan heart shaped swim goggles…


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father’s Day Gifts…

Luckily Joe doesn’t read my blog, so we can show off his Father’s Day gifts here.  We ordered the free 8” x 10” stretched canvas that Canvas People was offering as a Father’s Day special.  I paid shipping, which was about $14.   I found it difficult to get my photo collage centered correctly on their template so that only the white border was wrapping.  I ended up with lots of room on top and the bottom wrapping under.  Oh well…Daddy won’t notice or care.  

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I had Lauren sign the back.  It looks see-thru in the photo, but it’s not.  I have it propped up and there is a light behind it.  It’s actually very good quality and I would order from them again. 


Daddy is also getting some grill stuff including a pizza pan (I’m dying to try pizza on the grill), hamburger press and seasonings all from Cost Plus World Market.  I absolutely LOVE that store!


After shopping for Dad, Lauren spent some money from her piggy bank at Toys-R-Us and picked out this awesome set of Olivia’s whole family.  The only thing missing is Perry, the dog.  Olivia is holding Edwin, the cat.  Can you tell we LOVE Olivia?  ;)


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flip Flop Fun…


This was a fun little project using flip flops and two packages of those long skinny balloons…both from Tarjay.


Just cut the balloons in half and tie them to the strap of the flip flop until it’s full.  Give the balloons a trim so it looks in proportion with the shoes and you’re done.  Lauren got a kick out of them and she wanted to wear them the very next day.


She tried to help me with the project and here’s her completed shoe.  I think she gave it a good attempt all on her own.  ;) 


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sleep-over Success!

Lauren’s reward for sleeping in her big girl bed at night for two full weeks was a sleep-over with her friend, Lily.  She was SO excited to put the last sticker on her countdown calendar and collect her reward!  She’s been planning what they would do at her sleep-over for weeks and finally the big day was here.

Goodies for the girls from the Tarjay dollar section (love it)…

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Dinner of skillet lasagna on their new Dora plates and placemats…


Popcorn and a movie (Toy Story 2)…

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Lauren wanted blue cupcake liners and Lily wanted green…


Notice Lauren’s finger is almost in the bowl?  She can’t help herself!


I let them lick the bowl while cleaning up the dishes and they ended up covered in batter, but they had a great time.  After this it was straight to the bathroom for clean-up and clothes in the washer!  Sleep Over Food Fight IMG_2042IMG_2050  IMG_2057IMG_2058

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Now THIS is how you eat a cupcake…Lily’s got it right! 

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This shot makes my heart melt…


They actually went to sleep about 15 minutes after lights out and stayed asleep all night with no problems at all.  YES! 

Lauren was very excited about making Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast, as you can see here…

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A game of Cooties after breakfast…


Dressed and waiting for Nancy to pick up Lily…

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Lauren had a fabulous time and talked about it for the rest of the day!