Making your home sing Mondays

The best way to keep a pool clean is to keep it covered. If you do not have a cover a large tarp will do the job nicely as well.

Another easy thing to do is to either shower off or hose off prior to entering the pool this avoids getting hair and skin care products in the water.
Using an old pasta strainer for any small debris that accidently gets in the pool is another great idea
Using a 1/4 cup of borax to help keep wading pools clean also works nicely.
Add one cup of baking soda after washing, cover the pool for the night, and it will be bright and sparkling in the morning.
Posted by: shopannies | June 21, 2010

Summer Time Crafts for Kids


View ImageSummer Time Crafts for Kids


Sun Prints – Anyone who’s left their child’s construction paper project sitting in the kitchen window knows that bright sun makes construction paper fade. Why not take advantage of that? Cut some shapes out of re-adhesive paper, stick them to construction paper and hang them in a window. After about a week you can peel off the stencils and you have a great card or picture to hang in your room. The most fun part is making the stencils, let them be as creative as they want with it!

Permanent Sandcastle – Buy about 3 cups of play sand from your local hardware store, 1 and a half cups of corn starch and about a cup of water. Mix all those ingredients together in an old cooking pot, and cook it over very low heat always stirring. Once it’s thick enough, let it cool, then spoon it out onto some newspaper. With this concoction you can make a sand castle into any shape you want and after it dries it’ll stay like that forever! This is great for smaller children around ages 4-6.

Posted by: shopannies | June 20, 2010

Great Ideas for Gift Baskets

1.   Use a large terra cotta plant pot for a “basket”. If you like, you can personalize the pot by painting it with acrylic paints. When the paint is dry, spray a light coat of polyurethane over the pot to add a shine. Fill the pot with:

a.. Gardening gloves
b.. Hand trowel
c.. Hand rake
d.. A selection of vegetable and/or flower seeds (go for something unusual)
e.. Bottle of liquid fertilizer
f.. A gardening book
g.. A subscription for a gardening magazine

2. Use a large pasta bowl for a “basket”. Fill the bowl with:

a.. A package or two of gourmet pasta
b.. Tongs
c.. A package of sun-dried tomatoes
d.. Extra-virgin olive oil
e.. Spices: oregano, basil, garlic powder
f.. A collection of your favorite pasta recipes hand-printed on recipe cards
g.. And/or a pasta cookbook

3. For the golfer, fill a basket or a golf bag with.

a.. Golf tees
b.. Golf balls
c.. A baseball cap
d.. Sunscreen
e.. Score cards
f.. A small towel
g.. A can cooler to keep a can of pop or beer cold
Of course, don’t forget to personalize the towel or baseball cap – you can stitch on them, use fabric paints, etc.
9. How about a relaxation pack .. Fill the basket with:

a.. A gel eye-pack
b.. Epsom salts or bubble bath
c.. Aroma therapy oils
d.. Scented candles
e.. Books on tape (to listen to in the bath)
f.. A hand-held massager
g.. Relaxing music on CD or cassette

10. Kids Coloring Kit. Fill a rubber/plastic storage box with:

a.. Crayons (get the big package with tons of colors)
b.. Non-toxic markets
c.. Assorted papers, include a variety of colors and textures
d.. Coloring books
e.. Assorted stickers
f.. A paint box and brushes

11. For the sports enthusiast, use a sports helmet or hat as a “basket” ( e.G. Baseball cap, football helmet, etc.).

Fill the helmet or hat with:
a.. Sports cards
b.. Baseball, puck, etc.
c.. Shoe, boot or skate laces
d.. For the hockey player, add: lace tightener and some tape
e.. For the baseball player, add: mineral oil, batting glove and gum
f.. A sports video
g.. A subscription to a sports magazine
h.. A poster of their favorite player

Posted by: shopannies | June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

View Image

Posted by: shopannies | June 19, 2010

Small Talk 6


Small Talk 6 hosted by where the theme this week is Today’s topic is “6 things you and your Dad both enjoy.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc


My dad passed a few years ago but there were a few things that we both enjoyed:

  1. rhubarb pie
  2. leaf lettuce salad
  3. a morning waking up in country air
  4. going to church
  5. crossword puzzles
  6. old trucks
Posted by: shopannies | June 19, 2010

Easy Three Bean Salad

  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, celery, onion, parsley, and rosemary. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Serve at room temperature.

Source: real simple

Posted by: shopannies | June 18, 2010

Friday Fave 5 is where I can share my 5 favorite moments of this week which would be

  1. My granddaughter hollering through the phone I love you NANA. This always makes me smile I may not get to see her everyday but at least I can hear her beautiful voice
  2. My hubby purchased me a Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz nutcracker. This is surely something to be proud of and I am for sure. Thank you hubby
  3. My son with a personality disorder was a very nice man yesterday afternoon. He was able to be in conversation without getting emotional or upset. Days like these are wonderful and are prized for sure.
  4. Being able to watch my family go without cable tv and live to tell the story without complaining is something that I thought would never happen and yet it is.
  5. Daughter bought herself a bike that she paid for by working it off. This is another moment of happiness for a mom to watch my kids figure out ways to pay for things

Share your fave 5’s or read omre at Living to Tell The Story blog

Posted by: shopannies | June 17, 2010

Melon Ice

Here is a delicious recipe for summer easy I can just sitting around the yard enjoying delicious melon ice

  • a nice, ripe musk melon
  • sugar syrup
  • a little vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a little orange blossom water


Choose a nice, ripe musk melon, cut it in half, remove the seeds and green portion and press the soft part through a sieve; mix it with an equal quantity of sugar syrup, the vanilla extract, lemon juice, orange blossom water and freeze as directed.

Posted by: shopannies | June 17, 2010

Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Chicken



1/4 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup pineapple preserves
1 deli cooked chicken
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet, cook preserves, vinegar and pepper flakes 1 min. Remove from heat. Add green onions. Let cool 5 min. Place chicken on rack set in foil lined roasting pan.
*Brush 1/2 preserves mixture over chicken. Roast 15 min. or until heated through, brushing with remaining preserves mixture after 10 min. then serve.

Shared with Diary of a Stay At Home Mom

Posted by: shopannies | June 17, 2010

Easy Stir Fry Veggies


hosted by The Nourishing Gourmet


2 tsp each minced garlic and gingerroot
1/4 pound each trimmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms and snow peas
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups each cubed red bell peppers and onion wedges
15 oz can baby corn, drained
3 tbs Asian style salad dressing
1 cup bean sprouts

In skillet, cook bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and snow peas in oil 2 min. Add garlic and gingerroot. Cook 1 min. Stir in corn, salad dressing and bean sprouts. Cook until heated, then serve.

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