Protect your iProducts

5-20-13This was an awesome pin when I found it, but I’m not going to lie, I quickly lost my interest in this. I realized in the long run, it’s easier to just watch my kids play with their electronics. This is a nice little trick to block your phone from changing apps. Basically, I can set this system up, then I go into whatever I app I want my kids play with, then I can let them go and do their thing. Try it once, and always remember, you can undo it just as easily if you decide it sucks! Honestly, even though I don’t do this anymore, I still haven’t disabled the guided access. It doesn’t affect my daily usage.
First of all you go into your settings and click on GENERAL. Scroll down to ACCESSIBILITY and click. Scroll down to GUIDED ACCESS and turn on. You will need to set up a password, one that you will use to leave a ‘guided’ app. Once your done, go back to ACCESSIBILITY, and scroll to the bottom. Set your TRIPLE CLICK to guided access.
Now back on your main screen, go in to whatever app you want your child to play in. Triple click your button (the round one on the front) and a ‘frame’ will pop up asking if you want to enter guided access, click yes.
Let your kid play, then when you’re done, triple click again, enter your password, then proceed as you normally would with phone use.
Like I said, a little disenchanted with this now, but a good trick to have in your arsenal!
Original pin and step-by-step photos can be found at http://igamemom.com/2013/02/20/how-to-lock-ipad-iphone-screen-so-kids-stay-within-the-app/

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

I’m a big fan of Olive Garden. I think my Nana is the only person I know who does not love it. Other than her, I don’t think I would trust someone who doesn’t like it!
I could eat there every week, even if I just did the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. Now through Pinterest, I can pull off the hat trick and make all three at home! See previous blogs for the Olive Garden breadsticks and their Zuppa Toscana recipe.
Now for the salad:
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. white vinegar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Romano cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
I apparently do not keep a fully stocked kitchen. I didn’t have any Romano cheese, so I replaced it with more Parmesean cheese and I left out the lemon juice.
The salad dressing was amazing. It came out white, which made me a little nervous at first, but it tastes amazing. I went through the first batch within a week and am about to make my second one. I meant to pick up my missing ingredients, but even though I work in a grocery store, I failed to do so. It’s great though because it tastes great the way I made it, missing ingredients and all!
I hope yours turns out fantastic as well and hope you’ll all check out my previous blogs so you can do your own Olive Garden night.
Original pin can be found at http://www.mommysavers.com/olive-garden-salad-dressing-copycat-recipe/

Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Usually when people think of Cleveland, Rock and Roll is what comes to mind. It’s home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the beautiful glass pyramid on the water, and of course, we have our own Hard Rock CafĂ©.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that we are also home to an amazing zoo. The layout is fantastic and we have a lot of fun animals. I think the only thing I’m sad we don’t have, is penguins. Our elephant exhibit is new and absolutely stunning. Anytime you have a chance to visit the Cleveland Zoo, it’s definitely worth your time!
It’s not the first time, and I’m sure they’ll do it again, but at least for this year (2013), they have Dinosaurs about from May 9 – September 15. This was quite the discussion with my son, since he insisted Dinosaurs were at Universal Studios, not zoos.
The dinosaurs they built are absolutely amazing! They move, make noise and apparently can scare a certain 3-year-old girl half to death! Tony ended up having to take her through quickly while Arthur and I lingered and checked them all out.
There are over 20 dinosaurs, from the T-rex to smaller raptor like dinos. They even have a massive pterodactyl. It really puts into perspective how gigantic these things are!
This is another awesome place to visit in the U.S.. The Cleveland area is worth a visit, and when you do make it, don’t forget to stop at the zoo and see the dinosaurs, presented by Dollar Bank with support from Discount Drug Mart.

Stuffed Baked Potato

Stuffed Baked Potato

This is another one of those pins I’ve had on my yummy board for many, many months with no immediate plans to make it. Then this month, I was planning out our monthly meal plans and steak was on the agenda. What goes better with steak than baked potato? Um, not much else!
Tony insisted he wanted to grill the steaks because the weather has finally decided to be beautiful here in northeast Ohio! I was more than happy to concede grilling rights to the man of the house and deal with the sides inside.
That was also the night I made up my cheddar bay biscuits so this was a Pinterest night! The basic baked potato is usually a little iffy for me. I can never get them to bake all the way through, so I end up with tough bits. Oh well, moving on!
I made up the baked potatoes as I usually do, I stabbed them like I was Jason at summer camp and put them in the microwave for 10 minutes.
Once they came out, I cut a layer off the top of each potato and then hollowed them out with a knife. Directions indicated spoon, but that was a little too time consuming for me. Knives are fun! *Please use cautiously*
I slathered the inside of the potato with butter and some salt and pepper. Then all you do is stuff it full of whatever you choose. I went basic, based on the recipe online, and used cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon and an egg. The egg was a little weird for me to work my head around, but it turned out yummy.
Preheat your oven to 350* and bake for about 20 minutes. The goal is for the yolks to be soft, but the whites to be set. I didn’t wait long enough so my whole egg was a little runny. I’m a constant bane to my father-in-law because I eat my eggs like this anyway!
I devoured mine, Tony ate all of his and the kids did alright. They usually don’t finish their baked potatoes anyway, so I was happy with how well they did.
We’ll definitely be trying this recipe again and I’ll be experimenting with some of the other suggestions from the site.
Enjoy your own kitchen experiments!
Original recipe can be found at http://www.ourbestbites.com/2012/02/an-idaho-sunrise-egg-stuffed-baked-potatoes/

Birthday Freebies

Birthday Freebies

This list was not as exciting as I had expected, but I still consider these things good to know.
Unfortunately I didn’t get enough of a jump on this to really take advantage of some of these, I’ll try to be more on the ball next year!
The one I did take advantage of was the free Starbucks drink. The catch is, you have to have a gift card that you use. I have the mobile app for Starbucks so I don’t even carry my card, I just reload and use my phone.
Once you register your card and buy at least 5 drinks, you get a free drink on your birthday. What is really nice about this is that you don’t have to get the smallest size, like so many things like this do. I got my usual Iced Venti Soy Chai. YUMMY!
If your birthday is coming up, get a jump on this because some of these are really good deals. Happy Birthday all!
Full list of freebies is at http://www.freebie-depot.com/birthday-freebie-list/

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

So this is by far the yummiest and easiest of all the bread recipes I’ve posted! Tonight was all about the yummy-ness. Tony has been waiting for a beautiful day because he wanted to grill the steaks we picked up. Luckily the rain held off and he was able to fire up the grill.
I had told him I wanted to try the stuffed baked potatoes and cheddar bay biscuits with the steaks, so tonight was a joint effort. I got started on the biscuits fairly early, knowing I would need the oven for the potatoes.
I could’ve thrown these together after everything else, because these were done in no time!
2 cups Bisquick Mix (I used Hungry Jack and it turned out just fine)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2/3 cup milk
Mix all of the above ingredients together. I used my hands and it gets extremely sticky, but that’s good! Once it’s well combined, drop fat dollops of it onto a greased baking sheet (I just foil lined one). Place your biscuits in your 400* oven for 10 minutes. Pull out and brush the following mixture over the top
2 tbsp melted butter (I don’t know if I slathered too much, but I ended up melting probably double this amount of butter)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
Mix these all together and slather over your biscuits and place them back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown.
These were absolutely wonderful. My favorite part is that you don’t have to wait, or let them rise, or anything like that! Easy Peasy are my bywords in this house and this tops my list so far!
The do crumble fairly easy, but the ones I’ve had at Red Lobster do as well. I can deal with that because they are do very yummy!
MUST TRY THIS PEOPLE! Enjoy!
Original pin is located at http://onsugarmountain.com/2012/08/15/homemade-red-lobster-biscuits/
Check out my yummy board and others by following me at ads061006

Better Texas Roadhouse Butter

Better Texas Roadhouse Butter

I tried another pin for this 2 months ago and it was really gross. I promised to find another and now I can proudly say success is mine! It turns out, the other recipe, had the right ingredients, but the proportions were off.
You take 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. honey and 1 tsp. cinnamon, adding more honey and cinnamon to taste. You then proceed to mix them together until your arm feels like it will fall off!
I didn’t have any rolls on hand, or the ambition to make any, but this is amazing on bread or toast. I’ve been having this as breakfast for the last few days.
Everyone who goes to Texas Roadhouse always has great things to say about the butter there, and who can blame them? It’s amazing! I can’t taste the difference and you won’t be able to either. Enjoy!
Original pin is http://www.tammileetips.com/2013/01/copy-cat-texas-roadhouse-butter/

Your mouth is a speaker……

Your mouth is a speaker......

I’ve had a really crummy day. Work was long and involved (it sucks being a grown up sometimes), I got frustrated by my children and ended up crying because I threw something down the basement stairs instead of putting it back in the drawer it belongs in.
A crap day like today calls for something hilarious. I actually did this a few days ago, but looking at the picture today did make me laugh. So that counts for something right?
I saw this picture and pinned it, thinking that it would be worth 30 seconds of my time to try this out.
My expectations were a little unrealistic, I’ll admit, but they tend to be when I see pictures like this online! I did try this myself and it took a few seconds for me to realize it even worked. I had the volume cranked all the way up on my phone, and as with most headphones you can hear them even when they are away from your ears.
So picture this, I’m standing in front of my bedroom mirror, just so I can see how ridiculous I look, headphones pointing into my nostrils, opening and closing my mouth so I can hear the difference. It does work, but it’s really quiet. There is a notable difference when you open and close your mouth.
For your own good I got Chiara to do this because she looks so much more adorable with headphones aimed at her nose! It took me a few tries to convince her to leave the headphones in her nose. She’s 3 and definitely knows where they are supposed to go! Once I got her to leave them there, I had to turn the music down for her to hear the difference, but she finally got it.
It’s worth a few minutes of your time and a little bit of your dignity to give this try! Let me know how it works out!
The website the picture links to has a whole mess of funny pictures, but I was a little to lazy to find it! Feel free to check out the picture on my board ‘freaking hilarious’. Follow me on Pinterest at ads061006
Original pin came from http://imgfave.com/popular/page:10

T-shirt to summer shirt

T-shirt to summer shirt

This is another one of those pins that I’ve had on my board for awhile without making any attempt at getting it done. This last vacation that I just took was great for hitting some of those. We didn’t go anywhere so I was just kind of putzing around the house and decided it was time to play with some clothes!
This started as a t-shirt that I got at my brother’s Marine Corps bootcamp graduation. I love the color red and feel it looks good with my complexion (part of the reason I was a red-head for so many years). Anyway, it has the company he was with at bootcamp and it’s just a t-shirt that I enjoyed wearing to show how proud I am of my brother. However, I haven’t been wearing t-shirts too often lately, mainly because I think they make me look bulky and I’ve been trying to dress a little more mature.
Nothing about this design is mature, it does however, scream summertime!
You start with your t-shirt of choice, then cut the sleeves off as shown in the second picture. You also need to cut the seams off of the end of the sleeves. You won’t need the actual sleeves, just the seam part. Cut straight across to take the neck of the shirt off as well.
Next up, fold the top of the shirt (below where you cut the neck off) over to create a little tube. I can’t think of a better word for it, but you’re going for an opening like on a curtain. I apparently am incapable of using a sewing machine (Tony found this hilarious), so I just sewed it by hand.
Once you have your tunnels, front and back, you are going to push the seams (the ones from the sleeves that you cut into a long strip) through you’re tunnel. I used a chopstick to help with this.
Once both seams have been pushed through, sew the ends together so they are a continuous loop.
Et voila! You have an awesome summer shirt made from a t-shirt that you might not otherwise be getting much use out of. I know when the temperatures go back up, I’ll be rocking this one!
Original pin at http://nichoward.typepad.com/my_weblog/2013/03/t-shirt-restyling-the-pinterest-way-again.html

Calzones

Calzones

We are big pizza fans in this house. I married an Italian man, 4th generation off the boat so we do it from scratch, you know, the way it was meant! We usually eat it once a week, and it’s always fantastic, but I thought it might be time to shake things up and try these Pinterest pizza things.
I figured I’d start with the calzones since they are basically pizza wraps. The website did have a dough recipe, but we’ve been using the family recipe since we got married. I was very relaxed with following the exact directions. I’m not going to lie, all I did was take my pizza routine and wrap them up the way the website told me to.
I made my dough this morning so it would have plenty of time to rise. I started putting the calzones together early though. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to wrap them up. Instead of one huge calzone, I made 4 smaller calzones and we had enough dough leftover for the kids to make little pizza wraps of their own.
I rolled out my dough, and sliced the strips in the side with my kitchen scissors. Make sure you have a large enough solid piece in the middle to layer your pizza toppings. I started with the sauce, moved on to the pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, then I topped it off with cheese.
Then you take the strips you’ve already cut and flap them over your toppings, alternating the sides so you get a cute, almost braided look. After it’s all wrapped, brush some melted butter over the top and sprinkle with garlic salt for a little extra kick.
Once again, I blew off the directions on the website and used my normal cooktime and temperature, adding a few minutes to ensure done-ness.
The only concern from myself and voiced by Tony was that the dough was a little thick. It’s a carry-over from when we’re making pizza. We like thicker crust on our pizza so I just need to remember to pound it a little flatter when we do calzones again. It was a huge hit with the kids too.
This strikes me as a great travel meal, car trips, zoo trips or whatever, it’s something easy to pack up and eat with your hands. As opposed to pizza, you won’t lose your toppings in a baggy either!
The link below has the original recipe, but I feel obliged to provide my recipe so you have the option in case the website recipe is less than stellar.
3 cups flour, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. yeast, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper each. Let rise for a few hours, then once you are ready to bake, preheat to 500* and bake for 15 minutes, or until your wrap is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Original pin is at http://www.squidoo.com/homemade-calzone