Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SpongeBob Square Pants

We're Ohio bound for Labor Day weekend. It's always kid mania with my niece and two nephews all having birthdays in the same week. It's hard to believe another year has gone by.

I meant to post this video last year but I was waiting around for a lesson in video editing from Jim and it just never happened. But, even though it's unedited and sideways I couldn't resists posting it. He's just the cutest kid and was so SpongeBob crazy last year.

My sister also handcrafted this amazing cake with frosting, food coloring, and a few marshmallows.

Seriously how good is that?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

Friday night I spilled bright red cherry water ice on my in-laws white carpet. It was by far my worst moment as a daughter in law.

Saturday was work, hurricane prep, and lots of laundry because having only one pair of clean underwear with the threat of days or weeks with no electricity is just something no girl wants to deal.

Saturday night was rain, CNN coverage of Hurricane Irene causing us to worry endlessly about a tree crushing our house, scurrying around for buckets to catch all the water pouring out of our leaky roof, and some good old fashion ass whoopin' at Yahtzee. Seriously, Jim never beats me. Two weeks ago I rolled double 6's on my final roll of the game to get Yahtzee, beating him by less than 10 points. Poor Jim.

Sunday was waffles, your typical home improvement hi's & lo's, and lots of pick up sticks and yard clean up all accompanied by a very strange version of our dog who insisted on being literally at our heels every single moment. I nicknamed her Shadow for the day.

Next weekend we're Ohio bound, so at least there will be interaction with other people which is bound to be a little more exciting.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Battery operated

It's Hurricane Irene madness around these parts. Of course I'm hoping it turns out to be more media hype than actual huge problematic, damaging storm but we did take a few necessary precautions just in case. We decided to stick with basics; extra water in the fridge; easy access to the flashlights and candles; and most importantly some outdoor wind proofing by moving all our patio furniture to the screen porch, trash cans and flower pots to the garage, and parking my car not under a big tree.

I do agree in cases like this it's better to be safe than sorry and everyone should be a least a little prepared. But what is the freakin' obsession with batteries?! People just can't stop talking about it for DAYS now. It's all over the radio and local news stations this morning where you can still buy batteries. I do understand that there's a chance we may lose power, but come on people!

We do live in the northeast.
Where there are major blizzards and ice storms that cause major power outages in the middle of the the freezing cold winter.
When we only have like 3 hours of daylight each day and subzero temperatures.
And it's freezin' ass cold.
You don't have any flashlights or candles in your house?
Or just can't survive a few nights of darkness after 8pm?
I mean you can go outside and cook on the grill during a summer power outage.
You can go outside without a shovel, snowboots, gloves, and a parka in the summer.

I did not rush out to buy a bulk size package of batteries. I did however swindled a large cup of milk out of the guy at Manhattan bagel in case Jim wants to make me waffles tomorrow morning. You in case we don't lose power.

Monday, August 22, 2011


"It was the love of love, the love that swallows up all else, a grateful love, a love of nature, of people, of animals, a love engendering gentleness and goodness that moved me and that I saw in you."

~William Williams

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gluten Free Dump Cake

This is a super simple recipe and easy to change up the flavors to suit your taste buds....

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake

1 21 oz can cherry pie filling/topping
1 gluten free devil's food cake mix (I used Betty Crooker)
1/2 C. butter, melted

Empty can of cherry topping into a 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan.
Sprinkle dry cake mix over cherries.
Spoon melted butter over cake mix.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

It turned out so moist and delicious! So good in fact that I might actually be having a heaping pile of it for breakfast as we speak. But I'm pregnant so I that gives me some kind of free pass to stuff my face with whatever I feel like and it's not appropriate for anyone to pass judgement or tell me that I'm becoming a fat slob. That will cause me to burst into tears and no one wants to be the jerk that made a pregnant woman cry. I'm also drinking my morning cup of Mama wellness tea so that makes up for something, right?

ps. If you're modifying this recipe to use a regular cake mix you may need to double the fruit filling and use a 13x9 pan. Gluten free cake mixes are usually less than the regular dry mixes.

Monday, August 15, 2011


"A ship under sail and a big-bellied woman, are the handsomest two things that can be seen common."

~Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, August 14, 2011

There's a bun in the oven!

Jim and I are overjoyed to share that our first mini Robinson is schedule to arrive mid February 2012!!! For now our lil one comfy, healthy, and safely tucked away in my belly. Watching all the little dancing, prancing, and wiggles on the ultrasound screen and not feeling a thing (unless you count my lack of appetite, headaches, and nausea) is the strangest thing! Pregnancy is such a beautiful reminder of how amazing the human body is and how much of it really is innate.

Baby Robinson 13 weeks

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On a blog roll

I always love it when someone I know starts blogging. Especially so when that someone is a friend or family member that doesn't live close by. I think it's such a fun way to keep up to date and stay in tune with that person. That being said, I was super excited when my sister-in-law (the other Rachelle!) started a blog awhile back. Unfortunately (and no offense Rachelle!) she has been a bad blogger and hardly ever post. sad!

She's super busy doing the mom and student thing so who can blame her. I know that I sometimes have a list of things to chat about and pictures I want to post and just never get around to. But, when I do get back into the swing of things and started regularly posting on my blog I'm always happy to have this little outlet back and bummed that I missed out on expressing myself and sharing my life during my lazy breaks.

Rachelle is totally on a blog roll (3 post in less than 2 weeks!) so this is my shout out to give her some extra encouragement to keep going.

She's super cute and always up on the cutest fashion stuff, plus you can sneak a peak at my cutest ever niece and handsome nephew!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ice Cream Special

Walking Sofee dog is daily routine. Three times daily routine in fact.

We have two normal neighborhood routes: short walk and long walk. Jim sleep walks her on the short walk every morning, mid day walk depends on how much time I have, and our evening family walk is always the long walk. On super lucky days and weekends we usually get in a trip to one of our local parks to really tucker her out.

Recently we added in extra special ice cream walk. Ice cream walk is special because we don't do it often and also because it's a little crazy. It involves extending our long neighborhood walk through a weird fence opening, through the retirement home parking lot and some back streets, then finally onto the city sidewalk and crossing over a busy street. It's really only crazy because Sofee dog is crazy.

She just can not contain her excitement for people or food of any sort, so combine the two in an overwhelming environment and she's a maniac. She pulls, tugs and wiggles barely able to keep herself still for a millisecond. We've been down this road one too many times and have learned that large crowds or overexcitement always result in Sofee dog pulling so much that she practically chokes herself and starts hacking and wheezing. It is quite the scene.

So, awhile back I'm tried to implement a harness to protect her poor lil doggie throat and neck and make outings more comfy and fun for everyone. It's turn outs that Sofee dog totally hates the harness. I don't really know why, although she actually does look a little ridiculous. Her body shape is apparently not proportioned properly and even trying several sizes and models, the harness just doesn't fit her exactly right. Jim says she looks like a nerdy dog and knows it.

He laughs and mocks her.
She hangs her head and looks sad.
I try to soothe her.

In the end everyone gets ice cream and an extra special long walk, so I suppose it's all worth it.

Monday, August 8, 2011


An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth." The boy thought about it and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?" The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Bob Dylan has a grandson named Pablo.
That is a bit humorous to me in itself.
And to top it all off, he's an aspiring rapper.

Which even lyrically gives a little shout out to his grandpop.
Young Pablo even commented, "I consider him to be the Jay-Z of his time."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adelphia Apparel

Sunday afternoon Jim and I headed into the city for the 2nd Street Folk Festival in Northern Liberties. It was a hot, sunny day perfect for strolling the streets sipping homemade lemonade and checking out all the cool vendors. TONS of jewelry, pottery, and artwork along with cute little handmade soaps, doggie treats, and handmade clothing and crafts. I've always liked street type festivals, but the main reason we were there was support my brother-in-law, Tim.

He and his buddy started a t-shirt company as a side project about a year ago and are really starting to make their mark with custom designed Philadelphia related apparel.

They have tons of cool, unique designs and they pride themselves in selling sustainable shirts made of 50 percent organic cotton and 50 percent post consumer P.E.T recycle polyester (I'm not even exactly sure what that means but sounds fancy, right?!)

You can check them out Etsy for sizes (including ladies cut), colors, and a variety of designs.

Rock on Timmer!

Monday, August 1, 2011


"A life without love is like a year without summer."

~Swedish Proverb

Three Cheers for BS

I guess it's time to break my blogging silence. And I can't think of any better topic to do so with than baking soda.

Try to contain yourself.

Personally I get giddy just thinking about all the fun and exciting ways to use this stuff. It all started with removing a little water ring from the butcher block top on our kitchen island but the phenomenon has spread into my bathtub, sinks, and drains. It's soooo versatile, effective, and cheap.

Let's start with the island....

At one point this lovely Ikea piece filled with water rings and heat spots had me swearing that I'd never purchase furniture from those darn Sweds ever again. The butcher block top does take some upkeep, but now that I've figured it out it's no so horrible. And honestly we're a bit lazy about the upkeep and just down right lazy about using coasters, so it gets a little rough looking before I decide to spruce it up.

First I use steel wool over any water rings or imperfections that have popped up since the last go around. ALWAYS go with the grain of the wood. It will actually pull up some of the wood but don't panic, it's kind of like a light sanding.

Gentle wipe away any dust.

Then it's on to my dearest friend B.S. (baking soda) to clean and deodorize the surface. I just sprinkle it directly on the surface and scrub away with a damp rag or sponge. This does sometimes result it a bit of a mess on the floor, which I don't mind because I like to actually see the baking soda working. If it's an issue for you just mix a few tablespoons of BS with warm water and apply with a sponge.

Now it starts to get exciting.
I cut a lemon into quarters and use the lemon to give the surface a nice deep scrub.
That's right. Use the lemon as a sponge. CRAZY.

Then it's time for a finally wipe down with clean, warm water. I'm a bit excessive with the BS so it sometimes takes a few wipe downs to get it all cleaned off. First, any chucks of BS go right into the kitchen sink for my next exciting kitchen cleaning venture. Then a rag usually does the trick.

At this point things are looking pretty good...

But the key is to seal it off with mineral oil to keep those water rings away a little longer. First the surface needs to dry. So this is the point where I turn to the kitchen sink filled with chucks of BS. I usually sprinkle in a few more tablespoons and grab another lemon quarter and scrub away. My stainless steel sink has never looked so good! Even Jim noticed how shiny and clean it was the first time I tried it.

After I I'm finished scrubbing alway all the grim with my lemon sponge, I take my bucket of warm water that I used for rinsing the island top and add about 1/2 c. of vinegar and it to rinse the sink. Make sure to jump up and down as it bubbles and fizzes. The vinegar and BS will act as a natural drain cleaner to keep those pipes nice and clear.

If I'm feeling really ambitions I haul my supplies up to the bathtub. Again I just sprinkle with BS and scrub away. For the tub I use a reusable scrub brush with a handle on it. I guess I don't feel like it deserves or necessarily needs the lemon scrub. Plus it usually involves a little more scrubbing in the tub to get the soap scrum ring off, but the BS works sooo good you won't need any other bathroom/tile cleaner. I again mix some hot water with vinegar with I'm all done to rinse down the drain to keep it all free and clear.

I'm exhausted. Is that darn island dry yet?

On a superwomen type of day I take my bucket filled with clean warm water and 1/2 c. vinegar and take to window washing.

On a regular house cleaning day. I probably stopped at the kitchen sink and sat on my butt with a glass of lemonade by the pool waiting for the island to dry.

Once the butcher block surface is completely dry I apply a generous coating of mineral oil, wiping with the direction of the grain in the wood. I found the mineral oil cheapest at Ikea and it's definitely worth the extra effort for a beautiful, radiant island top.

If it's the first ever application, I recommend doing 3-4 coats and then just try to keep up with it. This also needs a little dry time, followed by a little swipe with a clean dry cloth to remove any excess oil that didn't absorb.

Now my island, sink, tub, and drains are all fresh and clean with just a few simple household ingredients. Pure and simple.