Peanut Butter Eggs, Made

Gram's Recipe Box

Not too long ago, I posted three recipes for peanut butter eggs, and at the time I thought they sounded pretty easy. So, this past weekend I decided to try one of them! Here we go.

IMG_1334 Ingredients for peanut butter eggs

Here’s the ingredient list:

1 lb box xxx sugar

3/4 c melted butter or oleo

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 T cocoa

5 T peanut butter any kind

I omitted the salt, as my friend and frequent site reader Diane B commented, a pinch of salt in a pound of sugar sounds irrelevant. I used creamy peanut butter and unsalted butter.

It's like brownie batter It’s like brownie batter

Once combined the mixture was a bit loose, like a pudding. Hm, I thought, how am I going to shape these into eggs? Off to the store for a candy mold! Joanne’s is a dangerous place for a woman and child…

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Visiting the Big Guy

So sweet

So sweet

I took Melody to visit Santa Claus. She revealed as we were waiting in the line that she was nervous about seeing him, and when I asked why she told me “It isn’t just every day you talk to Santa!” I love this girl. Santa is an awesome guy. He put her nervousness aside, got her talking about school, and they had a nice little visit. :-)

Why I love Jamberry Nails

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Getting’ the blues

You may notice that my Instanotes feed shows pictures of my hand quite often, with decorated fingernails. Why is that? you ask. I’ll tell you.

I am addicted to Jamberry Nails. These awesome little things are vinyl shields with heat-activated adhesive that come in over 300 styles, take about 20 minutes to apply at home, last up to 2 weeks (I once went 18 days!), and cost about $7.50 per manicure.

How can you not love that?

Retro stripes

Retro stripes

Even better, they don’t chip five minutes after leaving the salon. You don’t have to wait 30 minutes at least for them to dry. You don’t have to spend $35 every two weeks to have fab looking hands.

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Jamberry Juniors

If your little diva princess likes to have her nails done, you can make her look like a million bucks with Jamberry Juniors, specially sized for little hands.

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day

I have always been blessed with attractive hands and nails, and I like them to look good. I’ve tried acrylic nails, gel nails and regular old polish, but it always comes down to the same things. They chip, they are expensive, and they require maintenance in a salon. I don’t like being tied to anything that could potentially be a hassle. Nail salons are a dime a dozen but quality manicures aren’t. Half the time you never get the same person twice, and at some of these large nail salons you don’t even see the same people week after week.

A friend of mine introduced me to Jamberry Nails about a year & a half ago. I instantly fell for the nail art aspect of them. They have florals, solids, graphics, charitable, school pride, even sports. Everything you can imagine you can probably find.

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Red swiss dots

And if you are concerned about doing them on yourself, stop worrying! These are almost fool proof. If you can put a sticker on straight, you can do these. The beauty is that they come multisized on one sheet, so skinny pinky up to wide big toe sizes. You determine which one fits your nail the best, warm it up with something like a hair dryer, place it on your nail with some pressure to seal it down, then file off the end with a regular emory board. Voila, done!

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Dramatic for a party

The vinyl is also BPA free, formaldehyde free, vegan, and made in the USA. If you worry about your little diva princess biting her fingernails, worry no longer. I have even heard stories of people who chewed their nails for years, only to find Jamberry Nails and like them so much they broke their nail biting habit. Awesome.

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Pretty pink plaid

There are a few tricks out there, and it can never hurt to research them. On YouTube there are great tutorials on different application techniques. It all depends on your nails. Some nails are dry, some oily. There are ways to work with them. I personally spritz my nails with hairspray before applying the shield, and then once they are all on I run my hands under the hair dryer.

Also, even though they are easy to change, you don’t want to just rip them off your nails. Just like with a gel nail, you need the adhesive to release, otherwise it can take a bit of your nail with it. The Jamberry Nails website has a gentle removal technique they prefer. I use Melaleuca’s Sol-u-Mel in a little water to release the adhesive and remove any residue. It’s up to you what method you use.

I also use Nailtiques nail moisturizer under the tips of my nails every night. It helps to keep the nails strong. A good hand lotion with vitamin D or a cuticle oil is also suggested by the website.

I don’t sell Jamberry Nails. I just really love them. Frankly, I’m certainly helping my friend Angela send her three kids to college with my addiction haha. If you are a fan of great looking nails without the inconvenience of going to a salon and waiting (and who knows if the nail polish is contaminated with someone else’s toenail fungus, ick), you might give them a try. Plus, they have a buy-three-get-one-free promotion almost all the time. So for $45 you can get a minimum of 8 manicures. Even at a cheap salon, 8 manicures could run you around $120. That’s a $75 savings, and maybe you want to spend that on shoes!

Wait, did someone say shoes??

Dory Boats, revisited

A few years ago, I wrote about a local fish “market” called the Dory Boats, down in Newport Beach. It is one of the few remaining places where fresh caught fish is sold, usually off the bow of the boat after it has bee hauled up onto the beach. As a kid, I went with my family on a number of occasions to pick up fresh caught fish for dinner. It was always better tasting than anything bought in a store. One time we went with my grandparents, and as I titled my previous blog post “An Old Man Feels Like a Young Boy,” my Grandpa Jim was right down at the boats, helping to pull them up across the shore. I knew there was a photo of this event and I searched for many years, but at the time of the post I didn’t have it. I could picture him clearly in his red & blue plaid pants and blue shirt. At the time he would have been in his 70s.

Recently, I found the photo.

Dory Boats, Newport Beach, CA

Dory Boats, Newport Beach, CA

That little kid is me, bathing suit bottoms and a tee shirt. I have no idea who I was talking to, probably just some guy. Grandpa Jim is at the bow of the boat, to the right of that fellow in the jeans & white shirt. Those men hauled the boat up the beach by pulling it across rollers. When the boat cleared a roller, someone ran the roller around to the front.

You can read the original Growing Up OC here.

Painting furniture

Several years ago, I bought a child sized table and two chairs for Melody to use in her playroom. At the time, it was unfinished, but I always intended to paint it. But in the meantime, Melody worked her creativity on the surface, coloring on it, spilling glitter glue, and all together enjoying it. But we finally decided that at 6 years old, she ought to have a finished table and chairs. Over the Independence Day holiday recently, we determined the project would commence.

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After a visit to Home Depot’s paint department, we had all we needed. Melody was very specific about the paint color. She chose a beautiful violet color, and wanted white flowers painted on top. So, with stencils, paint, brushes, sand paper, and primer, we began. You can see there was quite a lot of crayon to remove. The play-doh residue came off quite easily. The glitter glue disintegrated and covered everything in powdered glitter. Once the surfaces were clean and smooth, we primed.

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At this point, Melody lost interest in the project for the day. The primer dried overnight and I applied a second coat the following day. After that, I sanded the surfaces to take down any significant bush marks, dribbles or other imperfections.

Next, paint.

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It is very purple! Looks like we need to tone it down a little bit with some white flowers.

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The stencils turned out very pretty. They are Martha Stewart Crafts stencils and we used a foam “pouncer” to apply the paint. I am no pro at stenciling, but I read the instructions. I have to say, the Martha Stewart Crafts instructions were thorough and very helpful. Melody did the larger flowers and I did the small ones on her chairs. She wants me to make pads for the seats. I’ll see what I can do. Maybe that is something a Gramma could do for Christmas, heh, hint, hint.

The table and chairs are now in her playroom and she uses them to write in her summer journal, color and play. Hopefully some day, she will use the with her own children!