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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dog House Repair Month


July is Dog House Repair month. If you dog needs a new home there are many different plans on the internet that can help you make them the perfect dog house. My dogs have houses and other than cleaning they are in great shape. I take this time to make a fe changes that are needed. While, it is hot outside in the middle of summer and winter may be the furthest thing from your mind it is the perfect time to make changes so this winter your dog will be better off.


That's right so lets get started:

Remember last winter and the cold wind that blew?? What direction did it blow from?? You will want to face the opening of the dog house away from the direction of the win. By the way your doghouse should be in a well shaded area during the summer months.

Make a door flap on the dog house so when your dog goes in and out their home stays warm and comfortable. It can be easily done using a piece of carpet, heavy fabric or linelium Simply hang over the opening of the door where your pet will be able to get in and out. You may not want to do this til it gets cooler as it may make dogs house to hot in summer

Put the dog house up on a palate or something so that the chill will not get them to cold.

Purchase some cedar shavings or straw to place in and around your dog house

In all weather types make sure your pet stays fed and watered. Both winter and summer weather have the possibility of dehydrating your dog

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's heating up with this Lollipop recipe

Summer time is not the only thing heating up. These lollipops will heat your taste buds up as well. Mango and chili is a combination that you will find in many Asian and Latin American countries. Mexican cooking will also add a bit of Tajin, a combination of chili powder, salt and lime juice. Add the seasoning to a lollipop mix or dip into the powder for an extra spicy kick. You can find tajin at most mexican grocery stores if you cant find it substitute chili powder

recipe comes from cookbook Lollipop love


1 cup sugar
1 cup mango nectar
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon mango candy flavoring
1 tablespoon Tajin Clasico seasoning


Coat lollipop molds lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Place lollipop sticks in the molds.
Combine the sugar, mango nectar, and corn syrup in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 275 degrees F (soft-crack stage). Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.
Add the candy flavoring and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into a heatproof measuring con­tainer with a spout, or a candy funnel. Fill each of the molds halfway.
Sprinkle the Tajín seasoning over the lollipops. Pour the rest of the mixture over the lollipops, filling the molds completely.
Let the lollipops cool and harden, about 15 minutes, before removing them from the molds.

Cord Blood Awareness



Cord Blood is blod that is drawn from the umbilical cord and the placenta after a baby is born. In the past this material was discarded as medical waste. Recently it was proven that cord blood contains stem cells that can be frozen for later use in medical therapies such as stem cell transplantation or regenrative medicine. 

The stem cells in cord blod can be grown into blood and immune stystem cells, as well as other types of cells. These cells can be used to boost immune system cells or transplanted into patients who need a transplant blood forming stem cells that will help a number of illnesses including leukemia. There is current on going test to see what other medical issues cord blod can help 



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Go Ahead and Stick Out Your Tongue


That's right its another one of those off the wall holidays. It is stick out your toungue day. It is so super fun you simply walk up to someone and stick your toungue out If they ask why simply tell them it is the day of the year to do just that.



July 19th is "Stick your tongue out day" It is a great day to introduce your family to different flavors and tastes. It is also a great reminder to visit the doctor for a physical where they will often ask you to stick out your tongue. Did you know that your tongue can actually tell a lot about you






So go ahead and stick out your tongue





Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies



¾ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 pint raspberries



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter, flour and line a 13" x 9" baking dish with parchment and set aside.
In a glass bowl, set over a pan of boiling water, mix together dark chocolate, milk chocolate and butter. Stir mixture until completely melted and then remove from boil water.
Add salt and sugar to mixture and beat well. Stir in vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in flour and cocoa powder until just combine.
Gently add in half of the raspberries to the mixture, stir together, being careful not to break the fruit.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Top with the remaining fruit.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the middle and comes out with moist crumbs. If the toothpick comes out dry, you've over baked your brownies.
Allow to cool, then remove from pan and cut brownies into 12 squares.
Brownies are best kept refrigerated.

Coffee Filter Butterflies



one half of a black chenille stem

paper coffee filter
water color paints
paint brush
water

Flatten the coffee filter and place it on a plate or newspaper, the paint and water will soak through. Set aside on paper towels to dry.
Fold the chenille stem in half. (Remember, you are only using half of a chenille stem to begin with.)
Fold the coffee filter accordion style, in about 1/2" pleats.
Position the pleated coffee filter into the bent end of the chenille stem. Center the filter at the bend.
Twist the chenille stem around the filter to secure it in place.
Bend the tips of the chenille stems over about 1/4" to create the antennae.
Fan out the butterfly wings.
If desired, hang with yarn or fishing line.


Helpful Hints
  • * For a more vibrant butterfly, be sure to paint all white areas with paint.
  • * Tie a piece of fishing line around the "neck" and suspend from the ceiling. They will look like they are flying!
  • * Instead of using all the colors on one filter, make some with warm colors (red, yellow, orange) and some with cool colors (blue, green, purple).
  • another great idea is to mix the food color and water and place in a sprayable bottle little hands will work out better 

craft resource here 

Hodgepodge Wednesday




Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

I was very close to my grandparents. They were both farmers and worked hard. The one part that they differed was that one set owned their land and had for many years and the other simply farmed the land. This was never an issue til after their deaths when one family inhereted the land and the other went to the rightful owners and was tore down. But we are not talking about that we are recalling memories so let me tell you a bit.

It is what my grand-pa would call "roastenere" time He would pay us kids a penny an ear to head to the sweet corn field and pick corn. It would take us all day and it was so fun. I am not sure if this was to get us out of my grand-mothers hair or not but this was so much fun with all of our cousins out there. 

Cooking was another area that both my grand-mothers were great at. The yumminess of it all was so good whether it was savory or sweet you could count on it to be good. I can recall the many family reunions that we would go to with both sides of the family and the line would stop and someone in the back would say "is that Bob up there.... keep the line going Bob taste it after you sit down" lol. My mothers family was responsible for a fish fry that gave all proceeds to the nearby cemetary. 

Whats an item that you were attached to as a child?? What happened to it?? 

I was attached to a musical bear and my raggedy ann doll. While I am not sure where the doll went I still have the musical bear. I also had an imaginary friend but one day when I was young she just left and went to her own home (no memory of this but my mom said it happened)

When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

I look out the window I see a line of trees, not a forest for I can see through them and past them  but still the trees are there. This is sort of like my life right now I still have to go through a lot to get to the goal but I can see the future within reach 

Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?

I do not really care for sour candies, it seems as if my grand-children do though. I like grapefruit both pink and white, I do not eat yogurt, tart cherries are a favorite of mine and often miss my cherry trees, lemons and limes are among top fruits for me as I often add them to my drinks and food and love a good lemonade or limeade, sauerkraut along with something else is yummy, not quite sure about buttermilk as I use it for cooking but do not drink it alone, have no idea what a kumquat is . 



July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

Blog wise going great, Family doing well, work could be better 


Insert your own random thought here.

Back to school time often means trip to dr. , dentist and eye doctor. If the child in your life needs glasses for schools there is a great book called Arlo needs glasses that would be great gift for them. 



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

National Blue Berry Month







FOR THE TART SHELLS:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE FILLING:
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
small pinch salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 tsp neutral oil

FOR THE TART SHELLS:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add in the flour and salt on low speed and mix until just incorporated.
Scrape the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Flour work surface and roll out your dough to 1/4" thick. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides four 4″ tartlet pans. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line your crust-filled tart shell(s) with tin foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights from the tarts and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the tart shells are golden. Let cool on a wire rack before filling.
FOR THE FILLING:
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries and the sugar over medium heat.
In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water, and add into the blueberries and sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and boil for a couple minutes, smashing the blueberries. Stir in the remaining berries, butter, and lemon juice.
Divide the filling among your prepared tart shells. Allow to cool for a couple hours.
In a small bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil. Heat in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring very well after each time, until fully melted. Drizzle over the tartlets! (I used a ziplock baggie fitted with a tiny pastry it, but you can do it more haphazardly, if you desire.)

shared at
friendship friday 

Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwich



1 - 12 ounce loaf of your favorite Italian bread
1 - 3 ounce package proscuitto
1 - 6 ounce package of mix Italian meats (salami, capocollo, calabrese) your choice
12 - 14 slices Tomato
12 - 14 slices Fresh Mozzarella
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup basil leaves
Italian Oil
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  1. Mix ingredients for Italian oil and set aside.
  2. Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally. Spread each side of bread with oil mixture.
  3. The layer ½ spinach, ½ cheese, meats, basil, tomatoes, remaining cheese, and remaining, spinach.
  4. Drizzle oil mixture on each layer as you build the sandwich.
  5. Place top on sandwich and press down. Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic wrap, then in tin foil. Making the sandwich on the plastic wrap makes it easier to wrap.
  6. Place sandwich on a plate or small cookie sheet. Lay a weight (I used a 5 pound bag of flour) on top of sandwich and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Unwrap, slice and enjoy!

Nelson Mandela Day



Nelson Mandella lived his life to make a differenc. I first found out about him when I was in high school. At that time he wa imprisoned and still he was fighting for freedom. 
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” – Nelson Mandela
Nelso Mandela was born on July 18 Today, we celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day to carry his wish that young people carry on the burden of leadership. 


A few ideas of things you can do to participate in this give back day:
  1. Donate clothes to a homeless shelter
  2. Make kits with essentials like toothpaste, soap and shampoo for those in need
  3. Collect canned food for a community centre in need
  4. Make sandwiches and hand them out to the homeless
  5. Serve food at a soup kitchen
  6. Bake a birthday cake for a disadvantaged person
  7. Donate blood
  8. Start recycling at your home
  9. Plant a vegetable garden
  10. Clean a public park; cut the grass etc

Sour Candy Day:: Lemon Drop Candy recipe


Today is sour candy day. Candy is a lot like life it can be sour or it can be sweet.  I can recall as a child my older sister loving lemon drops. They were a bit sour for me but she loved them. So today, I share this recipe with her 




Lemon Drop Candy Recipe from SouthernFATTY.com
Serves: ~45 pieces

1 cup sugar, granulated
½ cup water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons citric acid
yellow gel food coloring
super-fine (granulated sugar in food processor), powdered or granulated sugar, to coat

Prepare work stations-- sauce-pan, silicone mat/marble/oiled parchment paper on sheet pan, oiled/buttered kitchen shears, oiled/buttered spatula, pan of coating sugar. Have ingredients all measured and ready to incorporate before starting. Sugar isn't very forgiving!
Heat sugar, water and cream of tartar (prevents crystallization) in stainless steel or copper saucepan over medium/medium-high heat.
Heat to exactly 300 deg F, using a candy thermometer to verify temperature.
At 300, immediately remove pan from heat and pour to silicone mat or marble surface.
Mix in lemon extract, citric acid and a small amount of gel coloring. Incorporate with oiled spatula.
When cool enough to handle (this will happen quickly), form into rope.
Using oiled kitchen shears, cut rope into individual pieces. Let fall into pan of coating sugar. This prevents the pieces from sticking to each other.
Sift excess sugar and allow candy to cool completely. It will harden after some time.

Playground safety



Each year more than 200,000 children are injured at playgrounds. Now, while kids will be kids and yes some do play rough there are things you can do to help ensure your child does not get injured.

First of all when your child is at the play ground make sure you or another adult is present and activily supervising.

Many playgrounds are getting older and have been used many times so it is best to look for any broken or missing pieces as well as any hardware that may be sticking out

In the summer time surfaces of the play equipment may be hot. This heat may be hot enough to burn your child

Make sure area around play equipment is covered with soft material. This will help cushion any falls that may occur




Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS Awareness



If you recall I shared a post on RLS here on Annies home some time back. You can find that post here  To help remind you of what RLS is:



A sleep disorder that affects 7% of people. It is a sleep disordeer that gets worst at night and at times the only relief you can find is if you walk.

This is not something that is thought up or overacted. There are medications and supplements that can be taken to help manage RLS.

Pregnancy can make RLS worst

It feels like tingling or crawling sensaton that goes from slightly uncomfortable to painful. The pain and symptoms are not the same for everyone. It makes you feel as if you have to move your legs

RLS seems to be more common in the older population. Symptoms may get worse as the individual gets older.


We all Need Hugs

  • Many years ago lived a King Frederick II of Germany. Like many he had more time on  his hands than he knew what to do with. He began to wonder what it would be like if a child would speak if they never heard anyone around them speak. So he took 50 infants and gave them to a foster mother who were told not to cuddl , rock, or talk to these children. These babies never made it out of infancy as each of them died with failure to thrive. 

Another such story occured prior to fall of the Berlin wall. The Soviet bloc countries did not care for their orphans as they should have leaving orphanages over crowded with babies being neglected. There was not enough staff to care for the infants who were only touched when fed Due to this neglect the babies did not cry, babble , or whimper. When a doctor performed a physical it was learned that each of them possessed brain damage stress hormone, stunted growth and did not have behaviors of a child their age. 


Babies not toched or spoken to with love are unable to thrive and have the possibility of dieing. We all need and desire love, affection and communication. Children are no different and without it can not be succesful. This is a good reason why we should hug our children. 



Hugging helps our children feel safe and secure. Hugs build trust which helps them feel safe
Hugs elp build self esteem and lets them know we are always there for them
Hugs make our children feel happy. In fact it makes both of us feel happy
It has been proven that hugs help reduce stress
Hugs help us release the tension in the muscle





Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness

We live in a world where image is important. The worlds of fashion, sports, and entertainment set the level of image that many want to copy. Todays society demands a certain look or image. This is often how someone is judged before the individual is offered a chance to demonstrate who they really are.




July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention month. Cleft and craniofacial conditinos affect thousands of infants, children, teeens and adults in the United States each year. Some are born with a cleft lip and palate, others are caused by accidents.



Cleft lip is a condition where the baby is born without their lip not join completely before birth. An opening in the upper lip is left and this opening can be small slit or a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. The cleft may be on either side, in middle and on both sides of the lip. Children with cleft lip are also often born with a cleft palate. Cleft lip and cleft palate develop during development in pregnancy. A cleft palate is where the roof of the mouth does not join together. This can happen in the front, back or both of the palate or it may be that only part of the palate is open.



Cleft lip and palate are the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Problems with cleft often affect cultural individuals such as Asian, Latino, or Native American. More boys than girls suffer from this issue as well. Smoking, diabetics and taking certain medications increase the risk of having a child with cleft.







Craniofacial is a birth defect where the bones in babys skull join together too early. The skull is not fully formed when the bones come together when this happens. It is while the babys brain grows that the skull can become more misshapen. Normally a typical baby's skull bones are filled with flexible material and called sutures. The sutures allow the skull to grow as baby brain grows. It is normally not til around 2 years old that the babies skull bones join together as the sutures become bones. In Craniosynostosis one or more sutures closes too early and slows the growth of the brain and th babys head stops growing in that area. The other areas continue to grow making an abnormal shape, This has the possibility of build up of pressure in skull.




Mexican Caviar

One of my favorite memories happened during a summer where I was able to hang out with a family that loved horses. They were individuals that lived on a farm and knew how to have fun. This recipe would have went well at one of their many gatherings.


Mexican Caviar {aka Cowboy Salsa}



(Another great recipe passed on to me by my friend Laura! Slightly modified to the original.)

Mix together & bring to a boil:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I used regular white vinegar)
1 Tablespoon water
salt and pepper to taste
Cool and add to mixture below:
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup onion (preferably red)
1 cup diced celery
Cilantro – as much or as little as you want! The more the merrier :0)
Chop veggies very fine and mix together in large bowl.

Drain,  rinse and add to veggies:

1 large can black beans
1 large can lentils
1 small can corn niblets


Let marinate overnight and then drain.  Keeps for 3 weeks in fridge – if you can keep your paws off it for that long!  Serve with tortilla chips (if you’re a health-conscious person, Tostitos rounds are only 7 grams of fat per serving!)