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Friday, October 25, 2013

Gem Explosion

my flier


I am taking a break from regular programming to let you know about something new in my life.

Big news!  I've started an online jewelry boutique called Gem Explosion. Each week you'll see my hand selected collection of fabulous, hard to find, styles at up to 60% off. For exclusive access, click below.

My flash sales go live on Wednesdays. We carry all sorts of accessories from scarves to barrettes in addition to our fine jewelry.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Healthy Dish: Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

I often heat up sweet potatoes for my lunch. They take no more than 5 minutes in my microwave, so it's fast and easy. One day, I decided to take my sweet potato and make it more nutritious by adding chickpeas. There's a local store that makes really good chickpeas and we often have them in the house. I also never usually add spices because I felt that sweet potatoes were good on their own, but I was doing healthy and there are many benefits associated with spices, so I decided to add them in this time. The result was amazing, and perfect for a chilly day, the spices warm you up and totally transform the sweet potato. Perfect for a chilly fall day. The picture does show a lot of chickpeas, you don't need to add that much, it may have actually been a little too much. You can serve this for dinner, or as a side as well.

Sweet Potato with Chickpeas
1 medium sweet potato-washed and scrubbed
store bought chickpeas (prepared)
Spices to taste if you don't like any of these just leave it out-Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Fennel Seed, Cumin

1. Cut an X in your sweet potato. Bake your sweet potato, this can be done in 5 minutes in your microwave. If you don't mind waiting longer, this can be done at 350 in your oven for an hour.
2. Peel and Cube Sweet Potatoes, you can leave the peel on if you'd like.
3. Spice to taste
4. Stir in generous amount of pre-seasoned store bought chickpeas.*

Other ideas for add-ins include baby spinach leaves, raw or lightly sauteed. You can also add other sweet squashes. It's very open-ended, so play around have fun.

*Please note that if using a canned chickpeas recipe make sure to rinse them and let them dry on a paper towel, as well as removing loose skins. You can always use your own chickpea recipe and/or use chickpeas you have sitting in the fridge.

Here is a recipe that may be somewhat similar to the prepared chickpeas that I use:
Chickpea Recipe-if you make this recipe, leave out the olives, tomatoes, scallions and parsley/cilantro for use in the above dish.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Connect Four

Remember my hijara game board?
I created a flat connect 4 game board and you can use the pieces from your Hijara game for this.

Connect Four Template: Open in new tab and print. Cover with packing tape on both sides to make a sturdier game board.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Imagination Box

I used to love making tents out of chairs, flat bedsheets, blankets, and binder clips (clothespins weren't strong enough).  We used booster seats as shelves, and really enjoyed playing in our "tents." We made "tents" pretty often, they were never the same, although we usually had to dismantle the tent, so people can sit on the chairs.

 Young children have the greatest imaginations. Cardboard boxes become trains, boats, and houses. Under tables becomes the secret headquarters. Underneath blankets becomes tents.
Imagination is how inventions, ideas and concepts happen and society moves forward. I believe imagination should be encouraged and developed. I believe that we should let kids remove the couch cushions and build forts. I believe in playing along, foster creativity and imagination.

If I would make an imagination box, here's some items I think it should include:

Basic-Imagination Box
Flat bed sheets
Binder Clips

Regular Craft Items

An imagination box can include a number of things:
foam, felt, toothpicks, balloons, silver foil, bottle caps anything can be a craft item.

How about giving your kids an imagination box and seeing what they come up with.

What imaginative things have children in your life done?
If you gave your kids an imagination box-tell us what you put in and what they came up with?

Include some MakeDos which can be found in my amazon store.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Help! I'm Trapped In the Library!

via Google Images

I was in the library the other day. That place is entrapping and takes you on journeys to lands you've never seen, or you're like a fly on someone's wall or shoulder. I really went into to pick up one book, I knew I would come out with more that just that one, but I didn't really expect to be as long as I was.

I read all types of books. I browse through the young adult, the young adult, children's, how-to's, and the DVD collection-I actually found an interesting one there that I liked, but that's for another post.

The way our library is set up is that the young adults and adult books are downstairs and the children's books are upstairs. Downstairs is where you check out the books.

So on that hot day, I go in to pick up my book that I had reserved and I find it on the shelf. I pick it up and tuck it under my arm and continue walking further into the library. I am now near the DVD section, there is a modest selection to choose from. I found a few that seemed interesting but being that DVD late fine is $1 and you only have them for a week. I only took 2. I then came upon the area where they have their selected books. Read the backs of a few and found one that seemed maybe interesting. I picked it up, put it back, picked it up and finally added it to my collection. I then went to the new books selection and picked up one or 2 that seemed interesting. Then on to the adults to check out if authors I'm interested in. I didn't luck out on that one, but I found some interesting titles that I picked up. I think I even got a bit absorbed in one while I was deciding whether to add this one to my growing collection of books. At this point I added the book in and placed my books and the DVDs in the bag I brought along. I went to check for one more of my favorite authors and mused about how we're always taught to never judge a book by its cover, but we still do that. Especially since the covers as well as the titles are what attracts our attention in the first place. I pay my fines at the kiosk before heading upstairs. I now made my way to the children's section. The set-up is a little different from what I remember. I found some authors that I loved when I was younger, but books I didn't read and added that to my collection. I now had a quite heavy bag and full arms. But I am trapped in that place, and I need to go check out the craft and DIY books in the children's section of course. Interesting over there, it got me really wanting to try a new hobby. I'm keeping the hobby I want to try a secret for now. I did place those books back on the shelf. I decide to take the elevator downstairs and get complimented on my necklace. It made me feel really good.

At the checkout machine I start checking out my books, there is no room in my bag for more books, I wonder how I am going to get them all home. I then notice a big plastic empty shopping bag on the floor near me. It doesn't seem to belong to anyone and it's got some holes. I decide it will do the job. Then on to my trek home.

I noticed all the private school kids in the library while I was there, so I figured it was around 4 o clock, maybe getting close to 5 o clock. I was shocked when I got home and realized I had been in the library for 3 hours!

On that note: You can check out my books I recommend page to help you start building a library of your own.

via Google Images

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