Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Prepping for the ADVENTure of Christmas - Day One

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Are you guys as excited as I am to plan a December to remember for your entire family? Well, grab your pen and paper and get ready!  Cause... here... we... go!

Today is Day One.  Today is the day where we take our handy dandy December calendar, print it and get prepared to fill it full of fun!  Don't have time to go searching the internet for a printable December calendar?  Not to worry, I've got one ready for you right here.  Click THIS LINK to be taken to a printable version.

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Once you have your December calendar printed, it's time to get your own personal calendar so that you can jot down any important dates, deadlines and events that you need to take into account before scheduling something else on that day.  You'll see in a bit where that comes into play.

This is where you really have to narrow down what you want to accomplish this December and really think about what activities are definite MUST DO's and what activities are just filler.  This is a good time to rethink your traditions to find out if you're really having fun or if you're just doing the same old crap just because you've always done it that way.  If it's drudgery, it's not worth looking forward to!

For many people this season represents a renewal of their Christian faith and I will have ways to incorporate that into your daily ADVENTure activities as well.  

So, when you take into account all you want to do, read, watch, taste, and experience... it sure takes a lot of planning, right?  Wrong!  It just takes a couple of hours of dedication and a little time once a week to make sure all of your ducks are in a row! 

Without further delay, here are some easy steps to follow to make the process a little more seamless!
  1. Grab a spiral notebook, some blank paper, index cards, whatever you want to use... just make sure you have something write on and something to write with!
  2. Print out your blank December calendar.  In fact, print TWO.  I like to use one as a rough draft.  It's inevitable that I will forget something so it's easier to have one to scratch up before making one pretty one!
  3. Plug in your known commitments.  Include your kids' class parties, your work party, family commitments, anything and everything you can think of -- pencil it in.  If you ALWAYS have dinner with the in-laws the Saturday before Christmas, put that on your calendar NOW!  Seeing what you already have on your calendar helps with scheduling your advent activities because you will be aware of your time constraints for activities that may be a little more labor intensive or time consuming.  
  4. Check the internet, your newspaper, your church, with your friends... anywhere you can to find lists of local activities that you may want to include in your advent plans. If you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you'll be happy to know that I have included a list of them for you at the bottom of this post.
  5. Make a list of your favorite Christmas books you want to incorporate into your advent.  If you don't have one, you will shortly!  Tomorrow's post will include a list of our favorite Christmas books and movies!  For instance, it's NEVER Christmas at my house until we watch It's A Wonderful Life!  I know I'm not the only one that has movies that you just have to watch... the ones you just can't miss each season? Write those down.  There are so many awesome movies out there now for Christmas that you will have absolutely no problem filling your entire ADVENTure with one per day.  Don't believe me?  Be sure to check out tomorrow!
  6. Search Pinterest for your crafty ideas.  There is a wealth of information all over the internet.  Don't try to recreate the wheel!  If someone has done something and you love it and want to do it - DO IT!  This is not a competition... this is simply about making opportunities to make memories with your kids.  Plain and simple!  So, search Pinterest for ways to help YOU bring out the creative side in your kids!
  7. Make a list of things to do... activities and acts of service that you may want to incorporate in your ADVENTUre.  This is separate from the places to go and events to attend (number 4 above).
  8. Have kids that like to draw?  I have created an entire printable "ABC's of Christmas" book for you to print out and enjoy with your kids.  Print a page a day and let their inner artist flow!  
  9. Shop!  Once you have your list of crafts and activities, you will need to go shopping for supplies.  The dollar store IS YOUR FRIEND!  And remember, follow the scouting rule of thumb -- KISS.  Keep It Simple Silly (I actually say "stupid", but we won't say the "s" word today!)
  10. Finalize.  Each day of my December ADVENTure plan includes a book, a movie, an activity, a letter of the alphabet, a bible verse and usually a little piece of candy.
Once you have your December days planned, it will be easy to go with the flow and create your December to remember!

One caveat is to remember that it's better to have planned and failed, than failed to plan. If you have no plan, you're more likely to stalk Pinterest staring at all the awesome ideas you COULD and SHOULD have done but didn't. 

Am I right or am I right or am I right?!?  HA!  

However, simply stated, have a plan because you can always deviate.  Things come up, kids get sick, activities change and so does the weather!  Be flexible but have a framework!

As promised, if you're in the D/FW area, here is a list of the upcoming events and local activities in my area that you may want to include in your December ADVENTures.

So, like I said, what I like to PLAN on my rough draft for each day is a letter of the alphabet, a bible verse, an activity, a movie and a book.  So, if you want to incorporate those into your daily plans -- more power to ya and here ya go!

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If right clicking and saving the above won't work, here is a link to take you to the document.  

One thing that always brings more fun to our days is to actually create a theme to the day.  For instance, if we cut out snowflake ornaments, we may watch Frosty the Snowman and make snowman pancakes for dinner.  It's easy and fun to tie it all into everything together.  

So, for now, this should hopefully be enough to get you well on your way to planning your best Christmas season ever!  

See you tomorrow!  Stay warm!  Snuggle!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Baked Potato Soup

I posted this...

A photo posted by AprilD (@ardriggs) on

...on my Instagram feed and was asked for the recipe so I thought I would share it with everyone.  Soup is good food.  Did I mention it has bacon?  You're welcome.


1 onion, diced
1.5# bacon
1/2 cup flour
1.5 tsp dried parsley
2 cartons chicken broth
1 quart half and half
1 stick butter
salt and pepper
1.5 cups shredded cheese
1 small box of instant mashed potatoes (don't hate, you'll understand why)
3-4# potatoes

For garnish:

green onions, chopped
shredded cheese, your favorite
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
bacon bits


I'm going to have to go all Pampered Chef snob on ya here because I will attest that there is absolutely NOTHING in the world that can cook bacon quite like this baby can!
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This, my friends, is the Pampered Chef stoneware large bar pan.  I use this to cook bacon...every...single...time.  Why?  I like my bacon flat.  I like my bacon even.  I hate the splattery mess it makes all over the cooktop.  I hate getting hot bacon grease pops on my skin and clothing.  I simply lay the bacon out, pop it into a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes and voila.  Remove onto a drainage tray or some paper towels.  BAM!  You can't beat it.  And frankly...

But I digress.  Directions for baked potato soup...

Wash your potatoes and bake them. "Bake" is a subjective term here that can mean one of three things:  

  1. You're going to roll your potatoes in foil and stick them in your crock pot to "bake" until they're done which, in turn, means that you're out of luck for making your soup right now.  Nexxxxxt?
  2. You're going to roll your potatoes in foil and bake them in the oven.  This means that you not only need to have dual ovens (because you're a genius and you are baking your bacon in the oven right now) but you also need to allow more time which means that you won't be making your soup anytime soon.  Sooooo neeeeexxxxxxxt? 
  3. You're going to give your potatoes a good rinse and throw them in the microwave to "bake."  Truth be told, that's the only way I "bake" potatoes anymore.  I'm busy.  It works.  Deal with it.  I haven't jumped on the bandwagon that microwaves are guilty of leeching all of the minerals out of our food and turning them into micro carcinogenic anti-nutrient GMO franken-potatoes.  

Cook your bacon.  Set aside to cool and drain.  You'll need to use a good ole butcher knife and chop those bad boys up into whatever size bits you like.  I prefer a little more substance so I have hearty sized bits, but you may want to just chop the shit out of them until they're like... pulverized.  Go for it!  Whatever floats your boat.  Knock ya self out!  

Next, use the drippings to cook your onions until they're soft.  While those are sweatin' it out, pour the cartons of chicken broth and the half and half into a large pot over medium heat.

Your taters should be done baking in the nuclear reactor so just pop them out, slice them in half and let them cool a little bit.  Your finger tips will thank you.

In the mean time, don't forget you have onions in bacon grease cooking on the range.

Once those are done you'll sprinkle in your flour and butter.  Stir that around until you have a bit of a roux.  Once this is cooked through, into the pot it goes.  Stir well and often.

Next, peel and dice up your baked potatoes and carefully add them to your soup. Typically I ladle them into the soup so I don't get burned by the hot plops.  (That doesn't sound appetizing does it?  A "hot plop"?  Well, if you've ever been burned by something plopping into something hot, you get it.  You just do.)

At this point is when I add the parsley, a few turns of freshly grated sea salt and pepper and a big old heaping handful of shredded cheese.  Above it says 1.5 cups... I eyeball it... measuring isn't usually my thing unless I'm baking.

Now, THIS is where personal preference will come into play.  I prefer MY baked potato soup to have a thicker base.  I've been elsewhere and had it served and it was a little "soup-ish" and runny.  Neither tasted bad, we all just prefer what we prefer.  So, I learned this little trick from my grandma -- to thicken the soup, sprinkle in instant mashed potato flakes.  This way, it's thickened to YOUR liking with something that isn't going to alter the flavor because -- duh -- they're potatoes!  Why do I use instant mashed potatoes rather than more flour?  Well, sometimes too much flour can really render a dish flavorless... plus, this just works.  It just does!  Trust me.

I let it all simmer for about 10-12 minutes while I prep the serving area.  I set out bowls of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (whatever we have on hand), grated cheese, bacon bits and fresh chives.

It's a hearty, fill-your-belly kinda soup.  I hope you enjoy!
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Trendy and me just don't go together

Welcome back to the November Blogathon.  The topic du jour?  What are your favorite Fall/Winter trends?  What clothes flatter your body type?  Feel free to make this shoppable!

I don't really follow trends plus I hate to shop.  Don't get me wrong, I love seeing everyone else's look, but I really hate following trends because they come and go which means more stuff I have to buy... and I just feel like I look SOOOOOO fake.  I feel dressed up and stuffy... not comfortable in my own skin when I'm wearing something super trendy.  For me, I prefer classic pieces that are just "me" rather than trendy looks that really look like everyone else in town.  

Fall/winter clothing for me is all about layers and textures.  Layers meaning, I'll wear a long-sleeved t-shirt under a flannel shirt... couple that with some jeans and snuggly footwear and I'm golden!  

This is also prime sweatshirt weather.  I don't know about you but there's not much that's more comfortable than some cozy yoga pants and a big ole over-sized sweatshirt!

However, my FAVORITE thing in the world?  

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Flannel jammies like these from LLBean (one of my most favoritest places to shop -- if shopping has to be done!)

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My big fat red plush fleece robe just like this one from LLBean

Super loud, bright, fuzzy socks

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My favorite squishy soft Dearfoam slippers.  

Give me that... my Kindle fire... and go away!  I'm all about the warm and cozy because "trendy" and me just don't go together.

Be sure to stop by the MRS. & the MOMMA to link up to her #NovemberBlogathon

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Talking Turkey

1. Are you celebrating Thanksgiving at home or elsewhere this year? With whom will you spend Thanksgiving Day?  Holidays are at home.  Lucky for me my son's football team won the last two play off games so instead of spending the holiday with his dad in Iowa, he gets to be here with me!  He gets to go to football practice every single day (except Thursday) of his week off from school and they play another game on Saturday, but it is always a blessing to have my babies with me on the holidays!  So, it'll be the five of us, my parents and a family from Josh's baseball team that relocated to Keller from Abilene last year.  I love having new friends to celebrate the holidays with!

2. What do you have for breakfast on Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving breakfast is always a casserole that has been made in the crock pot overnight so I don't have to cook.  Want to know one of my favorites?  It's this one from Eat At Home Cooks  I mix it up because I change out the cheeses, the meat, add in green onions, etc. but this is a great place to start!

3. Do you go to a Thanksgiving parade or watch one on TV?  I love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade at home.  It makes me happy.  I DVR it so I can fast forward through the commercials.  I hate commercials... and most commentary.

4. Do you serve appetizers, lunch, or snacks during the day?  Yes.  

Ha!  I almost just left "yes" there as my only answer.  

We eat Thanksgiving "dinner" at noon, so after breakfast, we really have no appetite for snacks.  Everyone just waits until the meal is served.  I generally have the appetizers leftover from lunch and they're out for people to snack on for supper, too.  I actually call "supper" dinner, but since I used the term dinner when referring to lunch, I decided to mix it up.  Does anyone really say "supper"?  I'm curious.  For me it is usually breakfast, lunch and then dinner... but since the Thanksgiving meal is called "Thanksgiving dinner" it screws everything up.

5. What do you wear on Thanksgiving?  Nothing fancy... jeans, shirt... though I do think it would be cool to request everyone to dress in their "Pilgrim" best.  Although, you know, if you know your history, you would know that this actually wasn't their traditional dress.  Just like any other Puritan, they just wore simple clothing... not necessarily the black/white as depicted in all the children's books.  Trivial information to help you embrace your inner Cliff Claven.

6. What's your Thanksgiving table like -- do you use special plates/silver/glasses, etc? Do you have a centerpiece? A color scheme? Candles?  Funny thing, I have china, but I never use it.  I decided I'm really NOT a "china" person.  Some years we've used really big sectioned disposable plates to eat lunch from and other years, we use our regular everyday dinnerwear (Fiestaware).  I don't have two plates that are even the same color.  Not a fan of the whole idea of matchy-matchy.

I use no "special" anything other than this old enamelware serving dish that was given to me by my grandmother.  She taught me how to cook and it was what she used every Thanksgiving so I use it, too.  I have no centerpiece, no candles, no color scheme.  No pomp and circumstance, just friends, food and fellowship.  I'm about the company and the food... not the superficial.  In fact, I actually already have my Christmas crap out!  I got antsy today and didn't want to wait!

7. Do you serve buffet-style or family-style? What do you have to drink?  Buffet style is a must because we generally have more people than space at the table so we just gather wherever and dig in!  Drinks are sweet tea, water, wine, coffee and usually some type of punch for the kids.

8. Once you're at the table, do you say grace or a toast or does everyone go around and say what they're thankful for?  Before anyone digs into anything to make a plate, everyone gathers in the kitchen and grace is said.  We've done the shin dig where everyone says what they're thankful for... but I really hated being put on the spot as a kid so I tend to not make anyone do that now.  I've done the "thankful" tree.  

9. Do you have dessert right after the main meal or later on?  Dessert is available immediately afterwards.  Most guests aren't spending hours at my house so they eat... talk... eat dessert... talk.... leave.  And this... this beautiful thing... is always on my plate!  Calories be damned!

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10. What do you do with your leftovers?  I LOVE leftovers!  I make all kinds of things with leftovers.  We always have ham and turkey leftover so I'm making tons of leftover dishes with those!  I'll be sharing those on my blog next week!

Come join in the theivery at Sunday Stealing!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Main Event

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Saturday 9: The Main Event (1979)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This is the theme from a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of boxing. Sam admits she's not crazy about boxing. What about you? Do you enjoy boxing, martial arts or wrestling?  I'm not real crazy about anything that is based around one human trying to pummel another.  Boxing... makes me sad.  Tyson ruined that for everyone because... ya know... if you're getting beaten, just bite an ear!  MMA is just beastly.  Wrestling... you're kidding, right?  You see, I grew up in the era of the VonErich clan.  And I know THAT was real (insert eye roll).  Even the non-cheese-laden wrestling bores me, however.  
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2) If you went to a dance club on a Saturday night in 1979 or 1980, you might well have danced to this. What are your plans for this Saturday night?  Sleep.  I'm truly exciting.

3) Gilda Radner was one of the original Saturday Night Live performers and in 1979, she parlayed her TV popularity into her own one-woman show on Broadway. Who is your alltime favorite SNL cast member?  Yee gads I hate choosing favorites!  I'm from an era of FANTASTIC actors on SNL.  The crap they come up with now -- I can't even watch. You can't put Steve Martin, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Billy Crystal, Bill Murray, Al Franken.... I mean.... they're comedy GOLD.  I will admit that I love Jimmy Fallon.  I love Will Ferrell in Elf.  Chris Rock and Chris Farley... David Spade... Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey were okay... but I just love the SNL cast of yonder year.  I don't even know any of the cast members now so they don't count.

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And who couldn't laugh at this?  Source
4) Sally Little and Nancy Lopez were at the top of the LPGA in 1979. Do you golf?  I'll drive a cart but no, I find no enjoyment in taking a long narrow stick and trying to accuratly whack a ball the size a jumbo Gobstopper into a hole 10,000 miles away and being excited about that... in any way shape or form whatsoever.

5) The movie The Main Event co-starred Ryan O'Neal. He is better known for Love Story, and saying the line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." When did you last apologize?  I apologized to Benji tonight for not having a washcloth ready for him to blot his eyes as I poured water upon his head so that I could wash the shampoo out.  Such a bad mom.  

6) O'Neal got his big break on the nighttime soap opera, Peyton Place. He played Rodney Harrington, the handsome golden boy that all the girls dreamed of dating. Tell us about your big high school crush.  My big high school crush turned into my big high school boyfriend.  I say "big" because the dude was like over 6'3"tall.  I'm a mere 5'2" with shoes on.  He ultimately met his future bride after we broke up and they're happily together after all these years!  It's so cool to see things play out that way.

7) In researching this week's Saturday 9, Sam discovered that The Main Event is a popular name for sports bars all across the country. Do you enjoy sitting at the bar or do you look for a booth or table?  I would prefer sitting at the bar where you can engage in conversation with people.  I feel more shut off sitting at a booth.

8) The Mane Event was the salon Sam went to for years. She switched when it got too hard to get Saturday appointments. As a consumer, what's more important to you -- convenience or price?  Yes.  I'll definitely pay more for convenience, but there is a price threshold that I"m not willing to level up.

9) More than 50 years after her first million-selling album, Streisand recently had a #1 hit with her current CD, Partners. What's the last song you bought/downloaded?  I downloaded a song by Blake Shelton called Doin' What She Likes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

When I Grow Up...

Welcome back to another edition of the November Blogathon.  Today's topic:  What did you want to be when you grew up?  How did that pan out?  Do you still have those dreams?

When I was in 1st grade my teacher, Mrs. Adams, had all of us lay on crisp white butcher paper and using a permanent marker, she traced around us.  From there, we were to cut out our giant paper doll of US and draw a "uniform" (and ultimately a self portrait) of what we wanted to be when we grew up.  That 2D version of us was sitting in our chair for Open House that year.  

I drew a police officer.  You see, both of my parents were in law enforcement.  For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a cop -- just like them!  When you're a pie-eyed naive youth who hasn't had their mind warped that cops are racist power-hungry savages out to put everyone in jail and raise your insurance rates with speeding ticket quotas, you believe they are brave heroes, saviors and, much like Superman, they fight for truth and justice.

As an innocent first-grader, that was my aspiration -- to be a police officer (or Marie Osmond, but ya know... I'll just go with my initial response and paper doll personification.)

That was, however, until I got old enough and, more importantly, smart enough, to realize what an ass whip of a job that really and truly was!  I have no idea how someone would want to do that for a living, but I'm so thankful that there ARE people who want to deal with the dregs of society on a daily basis.

So... flash forward to the early 90s.  I moved to Colorado Springs and worked in the Child Support Enforcement Unit of the District Attorney's office as a liaison with the IV-D (welfare) office.  After a while in that environment, I became completely burned out and jaded by dealing with the welfare moms who kept popping out babies like Pez dispensers, not knowing who the names of their babies' fathers.  One mom had 8 kids from newborn to age 8... by 8 different dads.  I had a dad pull up in his Jaguar, wearing some fancy-schmancy suit complete with a blinged out Rolex watch walk his mortified 16 year old daughter inside with her newborn.  Why were they there?  He wanted to put her on the welfare system for food stamps and WIC because he didn't feel it was his responsibility to care for her "bastard son."  

Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself to interview for an open position in the Communication Center at the Sheriff's Office (conveniently just as my section of the DA's office was being privatized), I jumped at the chance!  While I wasn't involved in "law enforcement," I was involved in law enforcement SUPPORT which was much better for me!  

Our commander was big on teamwork and we were actually asked to go do ride-alongs with deputies from our shift every few weeks.  This gave us an opportunity to see first-hand what they did day-in and day-out which, in turn, enabled us in the Comm Center to do a better job of supporting them.  Because of this experience, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of... well... the intensity of the job.  It was one I would never EVER want to do.

One of the major take-aways from that whole experience was that they (officers) were there for the greater good even when they typically only saw people at their worst.  And, that it wasn't anything I would ever want to do.  Ever.  Never.

I was able to witness domestic violence, drunks, gang bangers, strung-out druggies, violated children, homeless, racism, pursuits, fights, and horrific car accidents involving dismemberment and more.  I have had to help remove a passed out, drugged up heroin addict from a bathroom stall where she still had the needle in her arm.  Not her finest moment... and that's why it's always important to heed your mother's advice to always wear clean underwear.  You just never know!

Working in the Comm Center wasn't all fun and games either because although we weren't present, we often SPOKE with people when they were at their worst as they dealt with major trauma and/or life-changing events.  It was all part of the job, you see.

I've talked suicidal callers down off the ledge, assist in coordinating rescues for horses who have fallen down a ravine, helped deliver a baby over the phone, helped coordinate the rescue of a man who was starting to descend into a diabetic coma -- while driving, spoke with a woman who had just shot her husband (thanks again to CSPD for transferring THAT one 3 minutes before my shift ended!), lightning strikes, cougar attacks, vehicle repos that turned into shooting matches, meteorites, choking infants, child abuse, crazy people who had the interior of their homes covered in aluminum foil because they thought aliens were sending satellite beams into their home, officers in distress, shots fired, house fires, wolf attacks... and the random caller who misdialed and thought he was ordering a pizza from Pizza Hut.  

The best calls were always when tourists coming down Ute Pass (Hwy. 24) would call 911 because a herd of elk were blocking the road.  When you have to explain to morons that that wasn't an emergency.  We had to remain professional, but don't think I didn't pop a mute button to sarcastically ask someone if he politely asked them to move.  

This job, too, led me to become a bit more jaded in that I have always had zero tolerance for bullshit... and dealing with WHINEY ASS WOMEN complaining their ex boyfriend (whom they have a retraining order against) wouldn't leave their house... after they invited them over... and welcomed him into her home... (insert eyeroll here).  "Well, my love, you violated your own restraining order, so we will send a deputy to bring you both to jail.  Sound like a plan?  I thought so.   Buh bye."

Between the two, I would take the Comm Center job again in a heartbeat but there is NO WAY I would EVER want to be on the streets in any capacity.  My hats off to those who do, however!  

My mom was employed at the Irving Police Department for almost 30 years.  My dad was a lieutenant at Dallas Police Department and retired after 32 years.  I have no idea how they did it... but so thankful that they did.  They'll always be heroes in my eyes but neither of them think of themselves as such.  It's just part of the job.

But, I have to admit, it would have been reallllllllly cool to be Marie Osmond, cause I'm a little bit country.  Yes, I had these!  Donny was such a heartthrob with his purple socks.

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Come link up and join us at the MRS. & the MOMMA every day this month with the #NovemberBlogathon 

Shiny Silver - hack that works!

You know those "life hack" memes you see all over Pinterest and Facebook?  Yeah, well, I saved one of them before I became a complete Pinterest whore.  

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Pinterest?!  Because I have... and I do!  I LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE Pinterest! 

Anyway, yesterday, in my "free time" (complete and utter sarcasm) I came across a life hack that I had actually BOOKMARKED on my computer.  How did I find such a creature?  Well, in my quest for complete and total organization (read that as "I am a complete OCD organization freak"), I spend about 15 minutes a day every few days decluttering bookmarks and digital files on my computer.  When I stumbled upon a bookmark, it was a broken link that I promptly deleted but I was able to ascertain what it was by the html address so... I started to Google the concept of what I had saved.  This led me to a science-based report that had evidentiary links which led to further theory-based proof experiments and yes -- my 15 minutes turned into a complete and total tangent that let me to this...

A photo posted by AprilD (@ardriggs) on
It is seriously the most amazing thing.  I don't put a lot of stock into many of those life hacks but this folks, is the real deal!

I have some jewelry that came in those BEEEEEEEEEUTIFUL turquoise boxes tied with white satin ribbons.  You know the ones I'm talkin' about!?!  

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Tiffany & Co. jewelry is just the epitome of wonderfulness oozing with amazing and covered with special!  I'm not a girlie girl, but I luffs me some Tiffany & Co.  However, without proper and frequent polishing, like any silver, it tarnishes.  No one wants to wear Tiffany silver that looks like it's been dredged in suet from your fireplace.  Seriously, does this not look like your mom's cookie sheet?  Sad panda, ya'll.  It's been like this for several years.

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But this simple process took it from bad to BEAUTIFUL!
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So, you want to do it too?  Let me tell ya just how simple this is!

First you take some type of plastic basin.  I used an empty Rubbermaid container.  I lined the bottom with aluminium foil.  Shiny side up!  I got my trusty tablespoon and added two tablespoons of both salt and baking soda.  

I'm telling ya, this is really complicated! 

Here's the hard part.

Add your silver jewelry right on top...

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...and then cover it all with boiling water... 

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... and wait five minutes.  Oh... to be noted -- this part stinks.  Not the waiting... just the whole soda, salt and the idea that you're creating a chemical reaction to release the sulfur and oxidized film on the surface of your silver means that it literally STINKS!  

I rolled my foil so that it had little "handles" so that I could pull it out of the water bath, I transferred it to a bowl that had warm water in it (to rinse) it off... and then used a soft towel to wipe each off.

And look how it SHINES now!?!

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