Sunday, February 16, 2014

Adding length

Buying pants for my kids is extremely difficult.  They are too tall for their waist or they're too thin for their hight. BUT as the saying goes ... you can never be too young, too thin or too rich. We try to buy leggings or skinny jeans. Even if they are too short we can pass them off has capris or those flood pants. Mak had to have these bell bottoms with bedazzled pockets. As usual they are too shorts. I remember seeing on pinterest someone taking lace and lengthening short shorts or cutting slits on the sides of shorts then putting lace between the slit to add width. So I just took ribbon and sewed it to the bottom of the pants. It added about an inch to 2.
I hand stitched the ribbon because I never have luck with my sewing machine going through denim hems. Everyone should know how to hand stitch. With jeans you need a thick needle that has a pokey tip. NOT a quilting needle because those aren't very pokey.  These took me 2 episodes of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, but I made lunch, put in a load of laundry & put a kid to sleep so I'd say maybe 45 min was actual stitching. 
I hope this saves some jeans for you! Ribbon and 45 minutes is cheaper than buying your kids pants every 3 months. Plus when we find pants that actually fit the waist then those we need to buy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Kids V-Day

I'm going to be honest here, my kids Valentines Day cards are not REALLY what my kids want.  They are a way to express MY crafty. Yes, MY crafty. And yes, this is the only time I judge. I'm being honest here ... your kids give my kid just a card from the Walmart pack ... massive FAIL. At least make a gum butterfly or cut out mustaches to put on suckers because what happens to those boring paper cards? They get trashed the minute the kids walk in the door.
AGAIN, being honest I did but Mak 2 packs of those lame cards. She has 2 classes to give to and my crafty only goes so far. Her mainstream class is getting little cards, but we added pencils & tatoos. Even if you're not crafty glue gum or a kiss to those cards for fun! Her main class is getting bubbles that say "your fabulousness blows me away" we haven't finished those yet so no photos. I wanted to get this blog out incase people needed last minute ideas. Walmart has 8 packs of bubbles for less than $3. Print out a cute saying, hole punch and tie around the bubbles with ribbon. CUTE!
Madd Hatter decided she would like to do the fortune cookies from my Martha Stewart mag. Luckily I had everything! You need ...
Felt (cut into 4 inch circles)
Wire (cut into 3 (ish) inch pieces)
Ribbon (same color as the felt)
Craft glue
We cut the felt into circles, glued the wire in the middle. Glue ribbon to cover the wire. I let it dry while I watched Last Vegas and the girls played. So that's 2 hours I guess.  Then we bent the wire at the middle and folded the felt over to make the cookie shape. I think we are going to have glue the corners shut or else the candy falls out. We are using 2 caramel fill kisses to fill them and, of course, a strip of paper she wrote Happy V-Day on.
Ok so tips I learned would be 1 sheet of felt made four 4" circles and I glued the wire, put another stripe of glue then put on the ribbon. Seemed to work better that way.
Valentines is a fun holiday.  There's nothing really connected to it. It's not Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter so there's no lesson that the kids need to keep in mind. I love all holidays and teaching my kids about why we have them, but after THE holidays it's fun to have one that is just about candy and telling your friends "I like you! You're a neat person" ...... aaaaaand showing off your crafty. I hope you all have a fun V-Day and you do FUN cards with your kids.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Churro cheese cake?

This has been a very run of the mill week. House is a mess, trying to get laundry under control, but there's that troll that keeps putting clothes in the baskets, art class for me, school for the kids.  Madd Hatter started art this week. She really likes it.  Now to get the other two in swimming.  You wouldn't think this, but swimming is really popular up here in Alaska. I have to be on top of it since it's a first come first serve type of thing.  What I did want to blog about is this amazingly sinful creation a friend pinned on pinterest. A churro cheese cake type thing.
What you need -
2 Pilsbury crescent rolls
2 blocks of cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of sugar (split in half)
1 egg
2 tablespoons cinnamon
You put one sheet of rolls in a greased 13×9 baking dish. Like its a crust. Mix cheese, vanilla, egg 1/2 cup sugar. Lay the mixture on your crust. Lay the other roll sheet on top. Mix rest of sugar & cinnamon and set aside.
Now the webpage says 350 for 30 minutes. It took mine closer to 45-50 min. It looked golden on top, but the under crust wasn't even cooked at 30 min.  It also said to sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar after it was baked. I took mine out at the 30 min mark to check it. I sprinkled half of the mixture on and put it back in. Then once it was done baking I sprinkled the rest. That gave it this crispy sugar shell on top that was really good.
Did this taste like the churros I eat at an amusement park? No, but this was really goooood! Glad I made it. Plus it was a different dessert!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wen, Meaningful Beauty & Younique

I am the person that infomercials aim to hit. I soak up everything.  I totally need a bacon bowl maker, even though all it really is is a muffin pan upside down. I seriously need that knife nothing sticks to because, let's be honest, I'm too lazy just to peel the piece of food off. I mean these products are AMAZING so when there's a 30 minute infomercial ... the products have to work, right?
I started the Wen hair care line and Meaningful Beautiful before I decided to start my blog again so no photos.  Let me be clear this is just my own opinion about these products. I've tried them out and am just saying how they feel, look and how easy (or not) they are to use for me and my family. I didn't do a poll or look at other data to come up with my conclusions. I simply used to product as directed. So take my opinion for what it's worth ... a mom of 3 who saw these products and decided to try them out. 
I'll start with Wen. This is a hair care system that is supposed to give you better hair then you would get with the regular shampoo/conditioner you buy in stores. I ordered the 90 day package. Wen is a reoccurring order, you order then every 30 or 90 days you get charged and a new order shows up at your door. They have different scents, I got winter cranberry. Smells really good! My bonus products are scents like vanilla mint and I have a lemon something too. All smell really great and even though I mix all the scents my hair smells really good. Even on the days I don't wash (washing everyday is bad for your hair)
Let's do some hair background! I'm half white & half black which gives me hair not like either side of the family.  It was kind of fly by the seat of your pants hair care growing up. I don't have black hair so grease and that stuff doesn't work. I don't have white hair so I need more than just conditioner, a leave in is a must.  I was iffy about Wen because my hair care routine (when my hair is down and out) is a tad complex.  Wash, condition, leave in conditioner, let sit, a little more conditioner, moose, let sit, style then hairspray. I thought IF Wen can cut out some steps it would be worth the money.  I'm on week 2 with Wen. They say results in 3. Right off the bat I like it! I do the conditioning cleanser and that's it in the shower. Instantly 1 step down! No shampoo. They do suggest you use a lot of pumps. I think they said 10 or something.  I use about 4 to 5 for my shoulder length, thick curls. Keep it in for your whole shower then rinse. I also got the extra conditioner, Sixthirteen. 2 pumps on soaking wet hair. I towel dry and with those 2 things I can finger comb. My hair is knot free and smooth. On a regular day that's all I do. For my "down hair" I add the anti frizz gel and replenishing spray. I still put some moose in, but really the Wen products all I need.
I was worried about no foaming action when cleansing. My super scientific experiment was simply this ... to scratch my head to see if I get that "stuff" under my nails like if you didn't wash for a couple days and I don't.  I never wash on Sundays and usually my hair gets that crunchy feel. Not with this product. My hair is soft and my ends aren't all crazy in the morning. Even my whispies (that fringe hair around your face) are calmer. So I'm sold with this.  I even use it on my girls. I no longer need detangler. I still use hairmilk on them, though. I just don't like how it's an auto order product. BUT Wen is great!
Now Meaningful Beauty. This is Cindy Crawford's Europeans, melon extract blah blah skin care. Being 31 I'm not really concerned with wrinkles, but I do have dark circles. I decided to watch the space between my eyes and my dark circles. Again I went for the gusto and bought the larger package. It's A LOT of steps. Once again the cleanser does not foam. I'm thinking foaming may only be good for your laundry and your dishes. The cleanser is REALLY great. The bottle says to put it on your dry face. I wet my hands then put on the cleanser. It removes makeup (including eye makeup) REALLY well. If I don't buy anything else this is my new cleanser. The eye cream is good too. My circles are several shades lighter. I also got some serums and neck creams. They feel really nice, but again being the age that I am fading wrinkles isn't a need for me right now. The product smells really good and fresh. My skin does feel smooth and moisturized. I don't get the oil sheen later on in the day or when I wake up. The jury is still out on some of the products, but the cleanser and the eye cream are great. The space between my eyes is a little smoother when it comes to that crinkle you make when you frown. The bad thing is that this is another reoccurring ordering product. If you want to just order one or 2 items then you can't be a "member" and you'll pay more for the products. BUT I don't know how you can get to the part of the webpage without being a member with a password. So maybe the higher prices are just to make us members feel better.
Younique is a makeup direct sales company. I have seen all over facebook about their 3D mascara. SO you know I had to order. The girl I ordered from sent me a couple of instructional links. My case didn't come with instructions, but by the youtube tutorial I watched I think I was supposed to get one. You get this nice case with 2 mascara tubes in it. One has the gel and the other has the fibers. You're supposed to put mascara on, then the gel, then fibers, let sit, then gel, let sit. Repeat gel, fiber, rest sequence until you get the effect you want. Problem ... I couldn't do it. I don't know what I did wrong, but I didn't get it. Looked like I was wearing my regular mascara. I tried it twice and it ended up the same both times. Once with a mascara base and once without. I decided to give it one last shot today for the sake of giving it a good review on here! It looks THE SAME! I don't know what else to do about it. I'm a simple makeup gal so if it takes 3 to 4 tries and I still look like I'm wearing my $6 mascara instead of the $30 set then I say fail. Here are some photos. I did 1 photo without anything and 1 photo with 1 eye with my drug store mascara and 1 eye with the 3D. My 5 year old couldn't tell the difference.  I did 3 coats of each.  I really want this product to work so I will continue to try it out, but I've googled more tutorials, I've read things on their website. I mean it shouldn't be this hard, right? I'm supposed to look like I have full lashes like I'm wearing falsies and I just don't.  I even had Mad Hatter hold my phone so I can go along with the youtube tutorial. You decide =) excuse the flattering photos ... I was trying to get a good photo of the lashes lol

The photo below is the 2 different mascaras. The eye on the left side of your screen is the 3D (3 coats) and on the right side of your screen is my drugstore mascara (3 coats) 
And here is my naked lashes =) 

Saturday, February 1, 2014


You need to say my title like Sandra Bullock on The Proposal. ;) This week seemed like a great time to talk about where we are stationed! There was an article in Spousebuzz (military online mag), the Yukon Quest was today and I get questions from friends and even other service families that find out we are up here and contact myself or the hubs on FB or ask in FB threads. Seemed like a good time to blog.
Alaska has "been in the family" since I can remember. My uncle lives on the Kenai Peninsula and my grandpa would come up here and hunt with him all the time. We always knew when he went hunting because the next trip to the grandparents house in California was ...... you guessed it moose roast. BLAH! My grandma could cook anything, but moose. I don't think anyone can cook moose well. I don't like it. It's not a good meat to me. I can do the sausage, but not the actual moose steak or roast. GROSS! My point is when we got orders to come up here in 2008 I wasn't shocked about Alaska. I was surprised we got this place as an assignment, but Alaska itself wasn't scary or mystical like it is to a lot of others. This is our 2nd tour. We were here from 2008-2011 and now again 2013 until further notice which will probably be 2016.
I get a lot of questions about Alaska. I'll chat about my most common ones.
How bad is the darkness? I don't mind it. I don't suffer from seasonal depression so it really doesn't bother me, but I do have happy lights in the kids rooms and in the main living area. I do think it messes with my kids so they turn them on.
How do you sleep during the summer with the sun? We have blackout curtains, but really all that time in the winter with the short days you will see kids at midnight playing trying to make up for lost time. The land of the midnight sun is what it's called and Alaskans celebrate it!  I do have a watch and I really recommend wearing one if you come up here. Time gets lost here whether you're in the dark or in the light you can't tell what time it is just by looking outside like in other states. And it gets so cold here that your cell will just shut off if it gets too cold so I say wear a watch.
where do you shop? We have Walmart, Sams Club, Fred Myers, several sporting goods stores. Anchorage has way more stuff. Online ordering is key. Some place don't ship up here and those places have lost my business and I will tell you why. We didn't choose to come up here. We are up here because my husband is in the Army, if a big bad company can't swallow the shipping or even charge a little extra for shipping because its too much trouble then I don't buy. You don't support me when I'm far away I don't support you when I'm close.  There's my spill lol
How BIG are moose, really? The largest moose I have seen with my own 2 eyes had a rack wider than my Ford Expedition and it's chin was taller than the top of my Expedition. Not taller than my ski rack, but for sure taller than the truck. They get really big and they are really mean! The moose I am talking about charged our moving vehicle. They are no joke! I believe that Alaskan moose are the largest. Don't quote me, but I think so.
How do you deal with the cold? Just like you deal with hot, humid or dry climates. You get used to it. If you hate the cold all you need to do is make it to your 1st January because everything after January will feel warm. Anything above 0 will feel ok. I've lived next to the hottest place, Death Valley, being stations at Fort Irwin and now one of the coldest places. You DO get used to it. It's not bad.
What do you wear? What is always wear. I have a large wardrobe anyway. We move to such drastic places I might as well just keep everything because you just never know. The key is good outerwear! If you have good boots, mittens, snow pants and ear covers you'll be good to go.
How beautiful are the northern lights? Beautiful!!! Have you seen Memoirs of a Geisha? There's a part that shows them washing the dye out of silk strips in the water. The cloth just flows in the water as the dye swirls around the fabric then down the stream. That's what it looks like only in the sky in the dead of winter.
It's a different way up here. I think things go slower, the people appreciate their state and what it offers, they keep with tradition. Today was the start of the Yukon Quest. It's a 1000 mile dog sled race from Fairbanks, AK to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. They still mush up here and it was a great thing to see! The dogs were ready! Jumping and pulling at the sled. One musher had all Siberian Huskies! They were beautiful! I hope he wins because he has all the same breed of dog and it looked like how you would imagine a mushers sled would look. I also hope one of the women come close. There's a special education teacher mushing so you know I want her to be at the top. It was a great morning watching them start on their journey. Great watching the tradition of the race! Although, it has been so warm up here they had to start downtown when they usually start on the Chena river.  They also drove in the snow and dumped it on the street so the sleds could glide. 2nd street had about 2 feet of trucked in snow. They didn't have to go far to get the snow, but it was pretty crazy to see one street downtown full of snow.
At the risk of having a crazy long blog today I will say this, I don't want to make Alaska seem too fantastic because that could contribute to people coming up here which will ruin the core of what this state is about. I think Alaska likes being the forgotten state because they are left alone. This state is everything America stands for. They love their state, their people and the biggest thing I notice is how much they try to give back. They either try to live off the land or try to keep Alaska goods being sold in the stores. Last time we were up here my hubs friend gave us about 30 lbs of salmon. Just gave it to us! He could've sold it and make some good money on that 30 lbs. That's how they are up here. I really do love it up here even if people think I'm crazy. There's a stillness to this place when other places have this underlying buzz to it. It's almost like when you walk into your home and you can feel a TV on verses when you walk in and there's no TV on. If you don't know what I'm talking about try it. You don't have to hear the TV you can feel the TV. That's what it's like up here for me, like I've come home to a nice clean house with every turned off. =)
Here's some photos from The Yukon Quest ... Sorry so long, but people ask me and wonder about this place so I thought I'd do one long blog.

This is a painted vent. Most cities just have them flush on the sidewalks, but because of the snow ours look like this. It's fireweeds =)

The boys by a team getting ready

Notice the shoes on the dogs

The start line

Reces Pieces was cheering so loud fir this guy he turned and waved at him.
 How I'd like to compete =)