Saturday, March 24, 2012

Homemade glass cleaner...that works!

3/27/2012 Please Note: check out my recent post on another glass cleaner that works even better... The recipe in this post does work well but I just wanted to make sure you knew about this other one that I like even more.  :)

There are so many homemade glass cleaner recipes on the internet. I have tried so many of them that I have lost count.. including the green ones with club soda and vinegar.  I would prefer to be green and most of my homemade cleaners are. However, I am a stickler for clean mirrors and windows, and being green for this recipe wasn't cutting it.  The cornstarch recipe out there was not working out for me at all. That was my worst experience. It actually made a white caky mess on my mirrors that took me 3 cleaning attempts to get it off.  This cornstarch recipe was the last one I tried and I was really hoping it would work, but to my husband it was a disaster, but a humorous one.  My husband thought I was crazy trying all these recipes and told me to give up after the cornstarch incident. So, after much research and trial and error here is the glass cleaner recipe I came up with. Well guess what?  It works and my frustration is over. If you try it out,  I would love to hear what you think. For some of you the cornstarch or other methods may work.  I just hope you don't have to go through the same disaster I did.   

J's glass cleaner
  2 Cups of Water 
  2 Tbsp of Ammonia
  4 Tbsp of Rubbing Alcohol
  1 squirt of Dish Soap (I use the blue Dawn)
  3-4 drops of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap (optional)
  10-15 drops of Peppermint essential oil (optional, for fragrance)
  1-2 drops of blue food coloring (optional, just for kicks)

Combine all ingredients, shake and your ready to clean glass.

On a side note with glass cleaner the sprayer you use makes a big difference.  The one I use is from an old  Febreze bottle and which gives the spray the perfect spread.  Kind of like a heavy mist. I also use microfiber cloths, which are the bomb.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lexi's Birthday Gift...

One thing about our daughter is she is definitely the most amazing and special thing that Brian and I share.  We feel so fortunate to have her as part of our lives so we both try to give her the childhood we could have only dreamed of.  Taking a look back at many of the things we have done,  she is definitely one lucky girl, but not nearly as lucky as we are to have her.  As a wife to such a wonderful guy, and a mommy to such an angel,  I am definitely the most lucky gal in world.  

So, for her 7th Birthday we surprised her with concert tickets to go see her favorite musician. Mommy feels very lucky because it is one of her favorite artists too.

It was so fun to plan and prepare a very special way to tell her. To begin with, we picked her up from school with our car decorated.  With all these hints, she still had no clue about her gift...

Sparks Fly.... Enchanted.. Best Day... any guesses yet?

Picture to Burn...  Love Story...  TS Bound...

We had way too much fun decorating...

and Brian designed the cake.

Tickets for all three of us to share the experience of Lexi's first concert.

Lexi was ecstatic with her birthday gift and counted down the days before the concert. The concert itself was one of the best ones we have ever seen and was an experience we will never forget.  That will definitely be another post to share.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fabulous Find..Vitamix

If there was one thing that we could not do without it would be our Vitamix.  We have had it for over a year now and feel like it has been worth every penny.  We had been wanting one for a few years and were tired of purchasing a new blender every year at 40 bucks + a pop after they would break down.  When our last Black & Decker blender broke down we made the decision it was time.  Yes, it was expensive...over $500 for the deluxe package, but we feel we have made up for it by making our own smoothies and lattes alone.  We have only stepped into a Starbucks twice in the last year and that was when we were our of town.  We have not purchased a smoothie since we have had our Vitamix, due to the fact that we were afraid mere disappointment.  We love our smoothies and they are nothing but pure fruit, a shot of juice, ice and very little agave nectar.  We have also made many soups, some garbanzo and almond flour, and our homemade dog food in the Vitamix.  The difference in quality between your average blender and Vitamix are huge. We have yet to be disappointed

We make our smoothies every morning.

Looks delish, huh?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We Heart SafeSplash Swim School..

For a few months our girl, Lexi has been attending swim class at SafeSplash Swim School.  We were going to the Rec Center and she just was not making the progress we were hoping for.  After we were told she needed to repeat the same class more than once we started searching for other options. We were introduced to SafeSplash when she attended one of her friends birthday parties there.  Since then we were hooked.  At this point, after a few months "she can swim!"  I say this with so much excitement.  She still has progress to make but wow what a difference.  We feel so much more secure when we are at the pool with her.  I no longer have that panic I used to have when she would head to the deeper water.

I know this is blurry picture, but I just wanted to show the smile she has on her face when she's swimming.  It doesn't go away. Before she had a hard time getting her face and hair wet.

She loves SafeSplash and so do we.

A few weeks ago she received her first ribbon.  We are so proud of her!  We were told by her instructor she is ready to test for her next ribbon in the next week or two.  Yeah to SafeSplash!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another Boulder Walk...

I was going through my pictures and ran across these.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful family in Boulder, CO with a home that backs up to open space.  These pictures were taken Thanksgiving day after dinner.  It has become a tradition for us to go for a walk together.

My most favorite girl in the entire world, my daughter enjoying the fresh air.

Breathtaking..... huh?

..and had to get the sunset

..and the hubby..Hi Honey!

cousins bonding..

my girl loves spending time with her coolest auntie..

..and now back home for some of Uncle Wayne's pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gluten Free Deviled Chicken Breast Recipe

What's for dinner at your home tonight?  We are having Deviled Chicken tonight, and I thought I would share this recipe.  I got this recipe from my BFF a many moons ago and am not sure where she got it from.  The only difference is my version is gluten free. There were other versions on the web but I could not find this one. It has been one of my favorite recipes for many years now and we have it at least once a month.   If you are gluten free like me, you substitute the regular bread crumbs and it still turns out delish.

1 Cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs 
1 tsp Thyme, crumbled
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3 Tbsp Light Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Honey Dijon Mustard
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (4-5 oz each)
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (we use olive oil)
On a plate, combine breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper. 
In a shallow bowl, stir together mayonnaise and mustard.
Dip chicken breasts in the mayo mix until coated, then roll them in the breadcrumb mix.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook, turning only once, about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hot Stone Massage at Elements

My favorite place to go for a massage in Castle Rock, CO is Elements.  This place has such nice people and a beautiful, inviting and relaxing atmosphere.  My husband and I have been going there ever since they opened a few years ago and have no intention of going anywhere else.

This morning I had the wonderful luxury of having a hot stone massage by Kathryn.  I had my first hot stone massage a few months ago and have been hooked ever since.  I received an email from Elements a while back for a free hot stone upgrade so I did not hesitate to book 3 of them .  Today I had my last one for a while. All my hot stone massages were done by Kathryn, who does a stellar job.  Kathryn is very mellow and friendly.  It is very easy to relax and be yourself around her.

For those of you that have not yet had a hot stone massage, I highly recommend it.  It was not what I expected from the pictures I have seen.  The massage therapist not only lays the hot stones on you while he/she massages other parts of your body, he/she takes fresh hot stones and digs them into your muscles with the pressure of your preference.  In my opinion hot stone massage kicks a** and is my favorite.

Here is a brief description for those of you that have not had one so you know what to expect.  Too begin with the stones were placed in the water inside stone pot.  A stone pot looks very similar to a crockpot.  It was plugged in to heat the water, which in turn heated the stones.  To begin with Kathryn placed large round hot stones down the spine of my back to let the heat soak in while she worked on my   back leg muscles with other hot stones.  Then she continued to use fresh hot stones work on the rest of my muscles for the remainder of the massage.    

Having a hot stone massage is an amazing experience and not to miss.  I highly recommend Kathryn at Elements.