Festival of Lights

To everybody celebrating Chanukah (or Hanukkah) this week the December issue of Parents magazine has some great ideas in case you haven’t yet purchased the 8 nights of presents you need.

PTMA Hanukkah

The LED-lit menorah that you build (above) is super colorful and what a great price!  The scooter is really colorful too!  We did end up buying a scooter for our youngest this holiday over at the wonderful local toy store… White Horse Toys.

PTMA kiddi-o scooter

However you celebrate your holidays we all hope that they are great and that you support those local businesses!

The fresh scent of Pine

Do you remember the slogan from TV commercials talking about the “fresh scent of Pine”? That slogan always reminded me of the holiday smell of christmas trees.

Well we have a fake holiday tree, so every year I miss the smell of real trees like the PNW outdoors gives us so this year I thought I’d try an advertised product from the December Parents magazine for fir-scented ornaments from Scentsicles (there are five different scents to choose from).

PTMA Pinetastic

I have them hanging on the tree as we speak and yep, they do smell like a real fir tree! But I would like to mention that the smell fades after 24 hours and is non-existent after 72 hours unless you get right up to the tree (like the logger above is doing). Another thing that I would like the Scentsicles company to consider is that not everybody has extra ornament hangers lying around and their product doesn’t provide any so adding a couple of the hangers into the containers would be a GREAT IMPROVEMENT to me!

We improvised with no extra ornament hangers and used a paperclip which works too!

PTMA Fir Freshner

I’m sure if you have a holiday party or dinner coming up if you fill the tree with multiple Scentsicles that your fresh-tree-smell would linger for longer than 24 hours but it could be so pungent that your guests can’t smell or taste anything but Fir or Pine?! So I would still suggest using these things sparingly and just provide a fresh-fresh scent for the days you need it!

Dinner Bell!

School bells aren’t the only thing going off around here in September… the dinner bell is chiming in too, so we thought we’d try a Parents magazine suggestion for a new spin on what’s cooking.

I used the fish recipe above (except traded Flounder for Tilapia) and the green bean recipe.  Both turned out fantastic and the kids were coming back for MORE!

I made the salsa recipe but added my own “leftovers” and instead made this salsa (which was AMAZING by the way!!!) my own special way.  The recipe for my salsa is below…

1/2 pear sliced, 1/3 jalapeno finely diced, 10 cherry tomatoes quartered, 1/2 cup freshly cooked corn from the cob, 2 cloves garlic clove finely diced.  Mix all ingredients with 1/3 cup of honey and 1 lime (juiced), add a dash of sea salt and ground pepper and VOILA, dinner is served!

I finished off the meal with some decaffeinated black tea (iced) and some yummy just-baked corn bread topped off with honey butter (an absolute favorite of mine).  With the cooler fall season upon us, these recipes definitely hit the spot for our family!