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More April Fools’ Day Food Pranks – Kate’s Escapades

More April Fools’ Day Food Pranks – Kate’s Escapades

In my humble opinion, April Fools’ Day is a highly under-appreciated and overlooked holiday. Years ago, during the beginning of my marriage and mommy-hood, I had many an April 1st prank pulled on me by my husband and kiddies. After several years of taking it all in stride, I decided it was time to strike back at the clever culprits. That’s when I started ‘messing’ with their food. Not anything mean, like making the food … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Kate's Escapades, Let's Celebrate, Let's Eat

Washers, dryers and Earth Hour – Liz’s rant

Last Saturday at 8:30 p.m., I was busy running around the house, turning on every light and appliance in honor of Earth Hour. And don’t even try to act appalled that I have my own ways of celebrating. If everyone in the world turned off their lights and appliances in “honor” of Earth Day, the effect would be the same as shutting off China’s carbon emissions for a grand total of (wait for it…) 45 seconds. But that’s not even the point. You see, I’m kind of fond of electricity. Proud of the fact that we are as advanced as we are in 2011. I pondered the thought that barely more than 100 years ago, we’d have had no choice but to spend Earth … Read entire article »

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Google Earth Secret Places – Kate’s Escapades

Just for fun on this Friday I bring you strange sites from Google Earth! It seems there are some pretty amazing and unusual things out there on this big, beautiful planet of ours. This morning I found myself browsing through some YouTube videos looking for a clip to run with a story for next week. Thirty minutes, and about 20 YouTube video clicks later, somehow I found myself watching this completely random and unrelated video about Secret Places of the Earth. Come on, don’t even try to pretend you haven’t found yourself in a similar situation before. You go to YouTube looking for a funny clip of a baby laughing it’s head off over something stupid, and an hour later you find yourself still staring at your computer screen looking at clips … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Kate's Escapades

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets – Kate’s Escapades

A few days ago I bought a 42 oz. container of Quick-1 Minute Oatmeal on sale for $1.88. I figured it would be much cheaper than buying the instant oatmeal packets that my family is used to. The problem? My family expects things to be fast and easy. If all they have to do is empty a packet of oatmeal into a bowl, add water and pop it into the microwave for a minute or two, well, that’s doable. However, if the process involves opening an oatmeal tub, using measuring cups of TWO different sizes, adding sugar, salt, cinnamon, water…and then putting it all back away, whoa, way too many steps here. Plus, my kids don’t really like the texture of ‘real‘ oatmeal. Too oatmeal-y, they say. Not as smooth as the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Let's Eat

Morning pledge – Liz’s rant

For some time now, I’ve been hearing a lot of malarkey about how some things in our country are outdated – tired and old – and in need of revision, or even replacement. The conversation typically centers on our nation’s founding, and the tripe that we need to move away from our roots, if you will. I’ve never quite understood why there are those who insist on all this change and transformation (you know who you are). Because America was founded on timeless principles – not some fad or passing trend. Freedom doesn’t have an expiration date. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking – “here goes Liz on some political rant.” Not at all (well, maybe a little bit, but I try to keep things in check so you guys … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Liz's Rants

Are you hungering for more Hunger Games? –
Kate’s Escapades

(*Want to check out The Hunger Games movie reviews? Go HERE!) Katniss. If reading that word means nothing to you, then it’s time you high-tail it down to the book store or your local library. If you do recognize that name, then chances are you’re probably already a fan of the heroine of that name in the Hunger Games book series, written by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games series is the biggest thing since sliced bread, facebook, and the vampire take-over of the literary world.  (About that vampire thing, have you been to a bookstore in the last year, or so? There is now an entire section filled with vampire book series…an entire section.) I’ve read The Hunger Games (plus the other two books in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay) and they … Read entire article »

Filed under: Entertainment, Headline, Kate's Escapades

Please hold the pine nuts – Liz’s rant

Before we do anything else, I must give credit to Come for the Wine for this rocking image that is oh-so-appropriate to today’s rant. Now, on to the meat of the post. I have pine mouth. I know what you must be thinking. “Did Liz eat a pine tree? Did she drink Pine-Sol? Did she put pine cones in her salad?” No, no, and no. This whole fiasco began last Friday, when, in an effort to tide me over until I ate real food, I popped a Ghiradelli’s Chocolate Hazelnut square in my mouth. As soon as I began to chew, my mouth was filled with a horribly bitter, maybe even metallic-y nasty taste. Kinda like I’d just eaten an asphalt and sheet metal sandwich or something (although I really don’t know what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Let's Eat, Liz's Rants

Tsunami Relief – Liz and Kate

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama Our hearts go out to all whose lives have been affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Pause for a moment today to ponder, reflect and pray for those affected by this devastating natural disaster. Please do what you can to help. For donations • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 (American Red Cross) • American Red Cross: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. • Save the Children: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter. For crisis response • Google has launched a Crisis Center and Person Finder for Japan earthquake & tsunami victims. This footage of the tsunami is absolutely riveting. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Kate's Escapades, Liz's Rants

Great recipe! Here’s how I made it – Liz’s rant

I realize this is probably quite petty, but as I’ve become a regular recipe hunter, there’s something that absolutely irks me to no end. To what do I refer? Five star recipes with comments that totally alter the recipe from its original state. How can you rave over a recipe that you’ve drastically changed? More important – why do you insist on throwing me off? You leave me wondering who to trust: the original recipe submitter or the commenting critics? This has become such a thorn in my side that I thought I’d peruse my recipe box on a certain recipe site in search for at least one recipe that commenters hadn’t drastically changed. Just one. Here’s what I found: Comments on a 7-layer salad: This is an excellent recipe. Because the dressing is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Let's Eat, Liz's Rants

Rising gas prices just the tip of the iceberg – Liz’s rant

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that gas prices are on an uphill climb, with some pundits predicting $6 a gallon in the not-so-distant future. Chances are, you’re already feeling the pocket book pinch. And it would appear there is no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, a recent Energy Department analysis found that the average American could need to come up with a cool $700 this year in order to fill up their tank. But here’s the real rub. Gasoline isn’t the only thing you’ll be paying more for. Consider these products – all made from crude oil. And please note that I’m only grazing the surface, here (no pun intended, of course): Crayons Dishwashing liquids Deodorant Eyeglasses CDs and DVDs Ballpoint pens Football cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Nail polish Fishing lures Dresses Perfumes Caulking Petroleum jelly Transparent tape Antiseptics Curtains Food preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin capsules Antihistamines Umbrellas Hair coloring Lipstick Candles Trash bags Hand lotion Shampoo Toothbrushes Toothpaste Balloons Sun … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Liz's Rants

Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent – Kate’s Escapades

We dirty a lot of dishes at my house. I have to run the dishwasher every single day. In fact, I could probably run it twice a day, but that is something I absolutely refuse to do. No one should have to do two dishwasher loads a day, so instead, I carefully place it all into one load, kind of like puzzle pieces. Suffice it to say, my dishwasher is one of my very best friends, but paying for the expensive automatic dishwasher soap is not. So today, I’ve got for you my recipe for Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent. There are only 4 ingredients and it takes just minutes to make. Plus, it’s eco-friendly, if you’re into that kind of stuff. Give it a try! Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent! 2 cups … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Kate's Escapades

Oreo Truffles – Kate’s Recipe of the Week

There’s a chance you might just hate me for sharing this recipe. That’s a risk I am willing to take. These Oreo Truffles are THAT good. So good you can’t stop eating them, good. Should you become addicted, I take full responsibility. And guess what? There are only 3 ingredients and 4 steps…just how I like my recipes, short, simple and sweet. Oreo Truffles Ingredients: 1 pkg. Oreos 1 8oz. block cream cheese 1 pkg. of chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate…you choose, they’re all delish)             Directions:         If you want to copy and past this recipe so you can print it, here it is. Oreo Truffles Ingredients: 1 pkg. Oreos 1 8oz. block cream cheese 1 pkg. of chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate…you choose, they’re all delish) Directions: Crush Oreos in food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Let's Eat

Liz’s rant: When bad guys call 911

Do you remember the movie Liar, Liar? There’s a scene where Jim Carrey’s assistant, played by Anne Haney, gets fed up with the whole dirty lawyer deal and quits her job. As Carrey’s character begs her to stay, she relates a story to him that goes something like this: Several years ago, a friend of mine had a burglar on her roof. He fell through the kitchen skylight, landed on a cutting board on a butcher’s knife and cut his leg. The burglar sued my friend. My friend had to pay the burglar $6.000. Is that justice? To which Carrey’s character responds, “No, Id have gotten him $10,000…” This brings me to today’s oddball story, which proves once again that life can be stranger than fiction. It seems an Oregon man recently broke into … Read entire article »

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Mardi Gras 101 – Kate’s Escapades

Today is Mardi Gras. Don’t live in New Orleans? Never celebrated Mardi Gras? No worries. My philosophy is Never let a good holiday go to waste. So, just for you, dear readers… Mardi Gras 101. What is Mardi Gras? The Romans’ Lupercalia festival was held in mid-February to honor the god of fertility and agriculture, Lupercus. The party had definite Mardi Gras-like qualities, including drinking, feasting and “pleasures of the flesh”. During the Crusades, the carnival-like Lupercalia became adopted as a “last fling” of indulgence before the 40-day Lenten period of penitence. ~Mardi Gras on the Net How did New Orleans become the Mardi Gras capital here in the U.S.? Some think the French explorer Sieur d’Ibervilled introduced Mardi Gras when he landed in what is today Louisiana in 1699. Others say that early French settlers … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Kate's Escapades, Let's Celebrate, Let's Eat

Liz’s rant: Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

You guys know how I love quirky things – like botched headlines and stupid laws that make us laugh out loud. So I thought I’d share some of these signs that my dad recently emailed to me. I got quite a hoot out of them, and I suspect you will too! Enjoy! Our first sign leads one to wonder just what kind of laundromat these people are running: AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT Here’s a real head-spinner, found in a London department store: BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS I’m glad I don’t work in this office: WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN For that matter, I’m glad I don’t work in this office either: AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD … Read entire article »

Filed under: Headline, Liz's Rants