Fizzy Bath Bomb Recipe

Have you ever had a bath bomb? If not, you are missing out! I absolutely love these, and they are easy to become addicted to. It’s even more fun to make them yourself.

It’s the citrus acid that makes them fizz. This ingredient is actually easier to find that you would think. There’s two different places online we’ve managed to find it. One of them is Shaman Shop, and the other is Mountain Rose Herbs.

Here’s a real basic and easy recipe for making fizzy bath bombs:

Bath Bombs/Bath Fizzies
2 tbs. citric acid
2 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
3 tbs. coconut oil  (or any other emollient oil like almond, avocado or apricot kernel oil)
1/4 tsp. fragrance oil
3-6 drops of food coloring (if desired)
Paper candy cups

Place all of the dry ingredients (first 3) into a bowl and mix well. Place coconut oil into a small glass bowl and add fragrance and food coloring. Slowly add oil mixture into dry ingredients and mix well. Scoop up small amounts of the mixture and shape into 1″ balls. Let the balls rest on a sheet of waxed paper for about 2 to 3 hours, then place each ball into a candy cup to let dry and harden for 24 to 48 hours. Store bombs in a closed, air-tight container. To use, drop 1 to 3 bombs into warm bath water.

You can find more bath bomb recipes at Idea Queen.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

With all these snow days we’ve had recently (yesterday made number SEVEN! ARG!), you may be looking for activities to do with your kids. What better thing to do than spend the day in the kitchen making cookies?

Here is a recipe we pulled from the Chocolate Lover’s ebook for Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (or as I like to call them, chocolate chocolate chip cookies). It’s super easy, and only takes a few ingredients. PERFECT for kids!

Double Chocolate Cookies
18 1/4 oz Package devil’s food cake mix with pudding
1/2 c Vegetable oil
2 lg Eggs
1 c (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

Combine first 3 ingredients, and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on cookie sheets 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 3 dozen.

My Newest Game Addiction

So I admit – I get addicted to games very easily. Especially when they have “tycoon” in the name. Zoo Tycoon has always been one of my favorite games, and ranks up there with my absolute favorite of all time. I even tore the house apart looking for the CD one day so I could play.

Imagine my delight when I saw there was a Zoo Tycoon 2. I know, it came out a few years ago. So I’m a bit behind. Sorry! But I finally got my hands on a copy of it. LOVE IT!

There’s quite a few things that are the same as the first. The animals of course, certain buildings, zoo keepers, etc. However, there’s other objects that are brand new to this game. Some replace some of the old buildings (no more pizza stand, sorry!), while much of it is just in addition.

They’ve made a few changes to the game play as well. You no longer have to worry about fences wearing out or trampled terrain. That’s a HUGE plus to me and allows you to focus more on other activities in the zoo.

But the biggest change was the ability to put yourself in the view of the visitors. I LOVE this feature, and LOVE to see exactly what the visitors see (no more stuck on just overhead view!). Also you can do the tasks of your staff, which is another huge plus. I always got annoyed when staff wasn’t doing their job the way I wanted them to. Now I can just do it myself! (Feed the animals, empty trash, etc).

The last major addition was that of the goals. They have already set up zoos where you complete certain tasks to move on to the next campaign. I don’t remember this being an option with the first Zoo Tycoon. I really like this feature, as it gives me something specific to do. More challenging I guess.

If you already have the first Zoo Tycoon, this one is still worth buying. If you already have it too, they have several zoo tycoon 2 expansion packs available now. I might have to look into those expansions once I’m done playing all the regular features. Although I really don’t see that being an issue any time soon!

Highly recommend this game for both kids and adults – very fun to play together!

Do You Change Wallpaper Often?

No, I’m not talking about the stuff you put on your wall in the house. I’m talking about “desktop wallpaper” – that picture that appears in the background on your computer.

Much to my surprise, searching for free desktop wallpaper is quite a hot search topic. Maybe I’m just so afraid of spyware and other icky things getting attached to my computer that I completely dismiss the idea there could actually be cool desktop wallpaper out there without a threat to my poor old ‘puter.

Although I did go out on a limb for the purpose of this post to see if maybe some of these sites weren’t bad – unfortunately my anti-virus program prevented me from even viewing the page. Hmmm, that’s not good.

So for those who are just as nervous and over-protective as I am, do you change your wallpaper often? Do you download it from a safe site, or do you use your own? I have no idea where my current wallpaper came from, but I do remember it was originally on my Windows 98 IBM. (Yes I’ve had the same background THAT LONG – sad, isn’t it?).

VERY interested in hearing replies!

Fun Freebies for Moms

Today I stumbled on a page of freebies I had to pass along. I know freebie sites are a dime a dozen anymore, but they are starting to get loaded up with a whole lot of junk.

This page, on the other hand, only lists actual freebies which are individually checked for quality. You will NOT find any junk here.  There’s quite a few different crafts, scrapbooking freebies, graphics, and a lot more. She’ll be updating this list over the next several weeks, so DO bookmark it!

See freebies at Shop with a Mom.

Pork Chops with Mushroom Soup

Last night we had the most tasty pork chops. They were very tender – I baked them this time instead of frying. Well that and they were smaller chops so easier to cook.

Since I didn’t really feel like cooking a huge complicated meal, I just threw the pork chops in a glass casserole dish with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Nothing else. No water, butter.. nothing.  Just baked for about an hour at 400*. After about a half hour I flipped them over. Oh did they come out DELICIOUS!

If you have the chance to pick up little pork chops, I highly recommend just baking them with little to no extra ingredients. YUM!

Yummy Baked Bagel Recipe

Forgive me for the bad title, but I don’t know what else to call these little things. They are not really an appetizer, side dish, or snack. I’m making them for lunch today, but I think you would classify them as a side or appetizer. It’s just really hard to classify them. Either way they are oh-so-yummy.

First you’ll need bagels (of course). The number will depend on how many people you are making for (the beauty of this recipe is you don’t need ANY type of normal measurements or counts). Align them on a cookie sheet. Spread mayo on each, followed by pepper rings and shredded cheese (I use colby-jack). Pop in the oven at 400* and cook until cheese is golden brown (about 15 mins). Cook them longer for more crispy bagels and cheese.

You can leave off the pepper rings for any or all of them depending on your taste. I love them but my kids don’t, so I usually do about half and half.


Should Kids Get Paid for Chores?

Before I dive in, let me first state this is my personal opinion only. I don’t claim to be a specialist in anything, but I AM a parent. Based on how I was raised, and how my children are, I can give you an honest opinion on the subject. Do be sure to seek out opinions of others as well.

Personally I believe that yes, children should get paid for some chores one way or another. I believe we are setting them up for the real world, where their hard work is paid for with a job. I also believe by making them do certain chores, we are also creating independent adults who will take care of their own house.

I think when you reward them for good deeds it keeps things in balance. Most don’t hesitate to punish bad behavior, but we often forget to reward when they behave. Paying them for good behavior (doing their chores) IS a reward.

Some may chose to set up an allowance system, where they get money at the end of the week only if all their list of chores are done. Since mine are younger (5 and 7), I pay them per job. Picking up their room gets a quarter. Putting away clothes is a dime per trip. Cleaning up something without asking is a dime or quarter based on the size of the job. Since they are little, I can get away with paying less per job than I would older kids.

Not only is giving them money for chores a reward, but we’re learning about money too. We get the chore jars out once in awhile and count how much money we have. When I need to replenish my quarter and dime supply, we “cash in” with dollars which are used to buy a toy or something they really want. Right now we are saving money for Webkinz.

What’s your opinion on this subject, and how do you handle chores in your home?

Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipes

Today I thought I’d share a few sandwich recipes from our ebook. Personally I don’t care for chicken salad, but I know others do. So here are two very unique and interesting recipes for chicken salad sandwiches.

 Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich

1 c. chicken breast, cooked & diced
1/2 c. celery
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. avocado, diced
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 slices sourdough bread

In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, celery, mayonnaise, avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toast gently until thoroughly mixed. Using a spoon or scoop, spread the chicken salad on the bread. Place the other slice of sourdough bread on top. Using a sharp knife cut the bread in half and
place on plate and serve.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Smoked Almonds

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup minced green onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped smoked almonds
6 lettuce leaves, washed and dried
12 slices fresh bread, your choice
In a bowl stir together chicken, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, green onion, tarragon, smoked almonds and pepper. Mound mixture evenly on 6 slices of bread, top lettuce and remaining 6 slices. Cut diagonally and serve.
Makes 6 sandwiches.

Want more sandwich recipes? Pick up our ebook featuring over 300 different types of easy sandwich recipes just like the two above.

Natural Cure for Pink Eye

If your kids are in public school, they will most likely have pink eye at some point. Fortunately pink eye is similar to the common cold – it DOES go away on it’s own.

Most schools will require they be on antibiotics to be able to come back. Our school always says that, so I just keep the kids out for a few days. I would never put my kids on antibiotics unless it was necessary. Especially for something that’s easily treated at home and needs no extra help to get rid of.

It’s simple: Just make sure you keep their eyes clean to avoid any long term damage to their eyes. A warm wet rag will do. I also use chamomile tea bags over their eyes to draw out the infection. That’s it! Their eyes stay clean and their bodies are able to fight off the infection on their own.

The kids have had pink eye twice now, and this has always worked. Even I caught it once last year. It takes about 2-3 days to be completely free of symptoms without antibiotics. Both times I’ve only kept them out of school about 2 days. Actually the first time there was a “threat” of pink eye in school this year and my daughter’s eye started to water, I immediately treated it with tea bags. She never fully got it. Did we prevent it? I couldn’t say, but I do know she hasn’t had pink eye yet and there’s now been two threats at school in the past few weeks.

Now of course if the symptoms get worse or it doesn’t go away within a few days, you DO need to seek out medical attention. I cringe just saying that because I really do not respect most doctors, but you also want to make sure your kids are well taken care of.