Kindle Love

I love my Kindle so much.  It’s always near me.  Right now for example it’s on my desk.  When I’m in bed it’s on the floor next to me.  When I’m not at home it’s in my bookbag.  On this Kindle lies my friends, the authors I have spent hours and days with, laughing and crying, angry at plot twists or sad because I didn’t want the book to ever end.

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I know you are probably surprised by my selection of pillowcases, sometimes I surprise myself.  Anyways, this is what I’m currently reading, I just started last night and I’m going to jet off to the couch soon to snuggle up with some blankets, cats, tea and this book here.

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This is my Kindle’s home.  There are so many cute Kindle covers on Etsy that you’ll find something you’ll love. I got this for Christmas, Matthew  made a good selection!

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Did you know that most libraries are connected to Amazon Kindle now? That means you can use your library card to browse downloadable books online and just check them out straight to your Kindle.  You can even put digital holds on books so you get a email when they’re available.  You seriously never have to leave your home.  Btw, that’s my signature, you can’t read it, I know.

Garden Seeds Update

Today is the last day of January and it’s going to be 60 degrees today and tomorrow.  What is going on! I’m kinda upset to be honest.  You see I would love to garden year round, but I would also enjoy a blizzard or 2 every year.  Blizzards were my thing as a kid.  Hot chocolate, sledding, watching the morning news to see if your school was cancelled, calling in the radio station every 2 minutes to ask for a school update, making snowmen.  But this year we haven’t really got any snow except that freak storm in October (which was weird).   Where was I? I forget now, my mind is full of snowflakes and the sun is shining into our loft and the cats are running around my feet.. Oh yes, seeds.

Here is our seeds update! This is for our garden that will go into full effect once winter is over and we get our first big snow storm (I’m not leaving you alone winter until I get what I want).
These were just planed on January 12, also we started Kale which I didn’t post about.   In just 3 weeks the peas will be planted in the actual garden on the roof, where is time going!?!?
To stay up to date with our garden planning chart, check out the list over there ——–>

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We added in a additional light here.  The lights are on timers, they come on at 8AM and shut off at 1AM.

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Here’s the broccoli, I’d say they are about 4 inches tall now.  Looking real good.

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Here’s the onions, we  never grew them before, but they look pretty here.

 

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Here’s the kale! We just planted these about 1.5 weeks ago.

Essy Birthday Time!

Happy 18th Birthday to our Mama Meowza, Miss Essy Francis! Today she is allowed to vote! She will be spending her birthday in her luxurious heated cabin, nibbling on Fancy Feast Medleys and getting belly rubs in front of the heater.

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Happy Jar

This is our happy jar – it’s for one thing – happy thoughts.  When you get a happy thought, you write it down and put it in the jar.  At the end of this year we will sit down and open up this jar and read all the thoughts while reminiscing about them.  The jar is to be used sparingly, we’ve only put 4 in it this month.  What can you put in it? Anything that brightens your day. Maybe you had a beautiful lunch with some friends, maybe a stranger did something out of their way for you, maybe your cat warmed your heart (more than usual) that day, it’s really for you to decide what’s special.  I’d like to start doing a jar every year….

How can you do this? Grab a jar, it can be any type – I love colored glass so ours is a vintage teal mason jar.  Keep a stack of paper and a pen nearby.  Whenever a thought comes to you, jot it down, fold it up and put it in the jar.

Happy day to you!

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Tea Time

The last few days have been pretty busy with pizza machines and limited sleep, but more about that later.  One thing I have been craving during those long days is some hot tea, the love of my life.  Usually I’m a girl who uses tea bags but a friend surprised us with some loose leaf tea and it’s knocking my cat print socks off.  The flavor can be described as a tea that feels like a dessert – I know, I’ve amazed you already.  The description of this wonderland of clouds and kittens:

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It’s my dream come true: black tea (check), mint (check) and chocolate (check).  Art of Tea has some other delicious sounding teas that I’m eyeing up.

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This is literally what it looks like.  The mint is little trees and candy canes.  It makes me happy, especially on rainy days.

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A teaspoon of this and let it sit for 5 minutes with hot water, well, you have a  magical experience.

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Do you like my new cup/infuser too? Same friends got us this with the tea.  We have such good friends. And are spoiled. With delicious tea.

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This is my official  breakfast.  And then I drink another cup of this tea about 5 more times.

BINGO, I GOT BINGO.

Man, I love bingo.  Seriously.  Sometimes I crave finding a bingo hall, plopping down for the night with my neon color daubers and getting ready to win some dollars.  Let me explain..
Some of my fondest childhood  memories involve bingo.

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-In my neighborhood all the kids played together, we were basically outside from late morning until our parents made us come in at dark.  We played the usual freeze tag, dodge ball, monkey in the middle, kickball (where we would constantly hit cars and get yelled out), skateboarding down hills, etc.  But some of us loved bingo and that was really because of me.  At a local auction I found a old bingo set that was the kind enclosed in a wheel that you spun around.  Add that to some bingo cards (the paper and the real kind – we had selection) and daubers, you have a intense bingo addiction that’s about to begin.  So that afternoon when I brought it home I got all the kids together and told them we were going to play bingo.  For weeks after that we took up an entire part of our sidewalk where I would be the bingo caller while the others hopelessly dabbed their B-4’s and O-72’s.  I remember people would try to walk by on the sidewalk and they would have to hop through a bunch of 10 year olds who wouldn’t even look up but instead stared down at their card looking for possible ways of winning.  It was a highlight of my life.   Most of the times we wouldn’t even play for prizes, the prize was really just pride.  Occasionally  we made someone a “BINGO WINNER” banner that they could wear and very occasionally we would play for money (quarters) but it didn’t matter. 

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-On Saturday nights the place to be if you were over the age of 60 were the church bingo halls. These ladies were SERIOUS.  They weren’t there to become friends or even smile at you, they were there to win the big dollars.  I don’t remember the cash prize amounts, they’re probably smaller than what I think they were (everything seems large as a kid) but I used to think that if I was to win the end of night bingo game my life would be changed forever (I think I was about 10-14 during my intense bingo years).  My sister would often go to these bingo events so I would go with her. The churches would be packed, 2 floors worth of bingo players.  There was a speaker system set up, there was light up bingo boards, there was food being sold, and there was lots of silence.   At each table you saw the ladies that ruled the hall, they came with every color dauber possible, they would randomly change their color depending on game # and mood.  They had lots of hairy neon trolls to wish them good lucks, other dolls set up, I love Bingo shirts, they were the real deal.  I was in awe of them hoped one day I could create a life like this.  I’m still hoping for this.   I remember I won occasionally, I think $20 or $30 which I probably blew on brownies and sugar highs and extra bingo cards. 

So here I am, many years later, living in New York City and having the bingo urge again.  Last night I posted on Facebook about bingo halls in NYC and if anyone would be interested, surprisingly many of my friends were excited about this.  Are there secret bingo lovers all over, hiding their love of numbers and dots?   So this leads me to this…

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This is what I’m thinking, imagine a night of bingo.  Bingo would happen at my home, I would send out bingo invitations, friends would RSVP.  Everyone is required to bring 1 thing: a wrapped present that would be enjoyed by all.   The place would be decorated like we were in a bingo palace (is that possible? I don’t know).  There would be snacks, cupcakes with numbered balls on top, you know, everything.   There would be tables set up with the bingo wheel in front.  We would bring our bingo gear,  receive our bingo cards and begin the night of fun.  Each time someone wins, they get to pick one of the gift wrapped presents someone brought.  It would be like friends giving friends gifts, just for fun and love, but with bingo added in.  We would chat, dance when we win, throw popcorn into our mouths (or at each others heads when someone else wins).  Has anyone had a bingo party before?

So this is where I stand.  With dreams of bingo… I want to make this night a reality so I need to begin planning.
Or if you don’t live nearby and have no bingo friends you could always play online too.

Here’s to BINGO!

Chocolate Nutella & Sea Salt Fudge – YES.

FUDGE. MMMM. FUDGE.  FUDGE. FUDGE. I LOVE YOU. FUDGE. Did you like my song?
As a kid every time we went to the candy store I would get a square of fudge, either vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter.  Last year I had such a craving for fudge that I constantly whispered “i want fudge” while standing in the kitchen that Matthew surprised me with cookies and cream fudge.  I think I cried.  Fudge does that to me.  So when I saw this recipe that said I could make my own fudge pretty easily, I was in.

This fudge is Nutella and Sea Salt.  It’s sweet with chocolate and then with the added sea salt.. OH MY.  This is dangerous. I have 48 pieces of fudge (well ok 45 now) in my fridge.  Please come over, I’d like to share with you. Quick.

Full credit to this recipe comes from here with my tweaks below.

Servings: 48 pieces in mini bake cups
Baking Spray
10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella (or equivalent)
3 tablespoons salted butter
sea salt (to top)

Directions:
Spray the bottom of a 8×8 pan with baking nonstick spray.  Then put wax/parchment paper inside the pan, lining it, you should have about a 2 inch overlap.
In a stainless steel bowl stir together milk, vanilla, chocolate chips, Nutella and butter.
Make a double boiler and bring to boil, then put your stainless steel bowl on top.  Stir the mixture until everything is smooth and melted. (Look behind the cut for double boiler details)
Put the mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle with sea salt.  Put in fridge for 3 hours.
Once the fudge is chilled, cut with a hot knife to loosen the fudge and then lift it out.  Remove the paper and cut the fudge into squares.  Keep in fridge.
ENJOY!

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From this..

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To this…

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To this! MMMM….

Full instructions and lots of pictures behind the cut.

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Cat House

This is what a home looks like with limited space and 4 cats.  

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This is their eating area, their names used to be relevant to their bowl area but they have switched over time.  Everyone gets their own bowl and Essy eats off to the side as she doesn’t like when the other cats watch her.

Cat corner section of our home.
This is pretty much the cat pantry.  These cats are made by Jessica Ennis for a shoot we did for V-MAN

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This is Essy’s food + the treats.  Essy only eats soft food and right now she only (seriously, ONLY) eats Fancy Feast Medley’s. 

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Hard food that all the cats (except Essy) share plus the best litter in the world.

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This is the cat’s toy bin, isn’t it adorable? I was looking for one all over then I just found this kids canvas bin made by 3Sprouts that works great.  I had no idea how big it was! The cats could easily dive into this and swim around.  But they have alot of toys….

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They will never run out of toys.  The easily have over 50 balls.

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Remember I did that post on heated cat beds? Yeah well Xanadu won and we’re up to 3 heated beds now.  You can’t see but Essy is off to the side here looking out the window, stretching it out.

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Brother is a big guy so he usually just lays on the floor in his non-heated bed.

Collagen Masks

Collagen masks are all the rage right now so I found a super cheap 2 pack to try.  This pack came with 2 masks, 1 aloe and 1 cucumber.   They are made by Nu-Pore, you might be able to find them in your local drugstore, but if not… Amazon has them too (I love Amazon).
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When I got the package I thought the woman  looked so relaxed with her perfect fitting white mask, her smooth wet hair, her white robe.  Then I realized the mask wasn’t real on her face and it was just digitally put on top. 
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First up wash your face and then put toner on it.  All ready to go now! So yeah, either I have a small head or the mask was too big, but there was alot of extra side room for this mask and I had to struggle a bit to get it as straight as possible. Btw, this is the aloe one.
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I left the mask on for 25 minutes while I freaked out the cats and Matthew while chasing them around.  I also enjoyed some tea.   When you take the mask off you rub in the collagen that is left and nothing else – don’t wash your face.  At first I couldn’t notice anything different but a few hours later I walked by the mirror and thought “not bad”.  Obviously this is just 1 mask so it’s not going to make a huge difference, but I feel softer and my skin appears a bit brighter.  I’m hoping I won’t have to change this review after a freak breakout or anything, but definitely worth the price as it stands now.

Creamy Ham + Potato Soup

The last few days I’ve been craving ham and potato soup. I bought some ham earlier this week but haven’t got around to it till tonight.  Tonight is the night, all my worries were erased, it was just me and my creamy soup. This is a favorite of mine and is especially good in the winter months.  Even though it  might not look like it, it’s pretty hearty and will be hard to finish 2 bowls (not saying you can’t, I surely do).

4 cups peeled and cut potatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 stalk celery
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 cups water
2 bouillon cubes (chicken)
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
-Combine potatoes, onion powder, celery and water in a pot.  Bring to a boil then put on medium heat.  Add your bouillon cubes and salt/pepper.  Keep on medium for 12 minutes.
-In a small saucepan, melt butter and then fork in flour making a smooth mixture. Add in milk and continue to stir.
-Add milk mixture to pot of ham and mix together for a few minutes. 
-Serve and enjoy!

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More potato cutting + full walkthrough behind the cut.

 

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