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Showing posts from December, 2011

Christmas for Kitty

Our cat loves Christmas. Before she destroyed the Christmas tree (climbing inside and biting all the wires), she used to lie beneath it and just bask in its essence. For weeks before Christmas, she busies herself with biting all the bows, ripping the paper, and jumping through the packages. She inspects every new present, chews it, and comes again to repeat the same actions. Last year was her first Christmas and I wish I had taken videos. She jumped in and out of boxes like crazy - chasing after balls of wrapping paper, ribbon, and..... her first gift. Last year she opened a big container of freezed dried bonita tuna flakes. She couldn't get enough of it. She love, love, loves tuna flakes. The canister lasted an entire year and we had high hopes of repeating the gift this year. But alas, none of the major pet stores around us carry the yummy tuna treats. I have one more specialty store to check and then Kitty will have to wait for Amazon to deliver after Christmas - since I

Plan Your Garden for 2012

A well planned garden is usually a successful garden, and the best time to plan is after you've had time to reflect on what worked or didn't last season. Planning in the winter is also a great time to pass the gloomy winter days and focus on all the activity and excitement of spring. Earlier this winter, I read a book called Square Foot Gardening and I think it just  might revolutionize my garden this year!  Over the years, I have battled with efficiency in the garden. I want to get the most out of each square foot - but I also need walkways. And I want it to look nice, and keep producing all season, and... Each year, there are high hopes, but I have never maximized efficiency the way this book explains. Take a look at how my tomatoes were spaced last year (this is 6 tomato plants in a 3'x12' box.) Not very efficient! And devastatingly sad because tomatoes are one of my absolute favorite things to grow and eat. The more the merrier is my tomato (and ber

Compost Your Cat Fur!

Every once in a while I find myself staring at a humongous clump of cat fur - the results of furminating. And I hate to just vacuum it away. So I don't! No, I'm not knitting cat fur sweaters or making anything from it.... I'm composting it! And my hair too. Ever since I have been reading about the creepy underworld of worms, I couldn't help but think of all things I could be adding to our soil (and keeping out of the landfills) to increase the organic matter in our garden. If you'd like to see a whole list of things you can be composting but never knew you could (like pencil shavings, used tissues!, and nail clippings) then check out this cool composting website .

Can you be productive and have long fingernails?

For most of my life, I have chewed my nails. Disgusting, right? Well - it used to be a nervous habit. And after fighting it for a long time, I have finally quit. Woo-hoo!! Not so fast. Now I have super long nails. And it sucks! I can't punch without cutting into my own hand, hold weights effectively, type without it being weird, or open things well. They do look nice though....and they make cool noises when I tap them on hard surfaces.... But what's an active, dirt digging, weight slinging girl to do? I'm tapping my nails on the desk as I ponder that situation. Maybe I should just chew them off. Does anyone live with long nails and still do a lot of grabby, active things with their hands?

Chex Party Mix and $25 Sams Club Gift Card #Giveaway

This year - it's all about keeping the holidays simple. To make simple snacks for your holiday gatherings, consider Chex party mix! Did you know how many great combinations people have created??!!  Head over to the Chex website to find exciting new combinations like  Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch   and   Hot Buttered Yum Chex Mix   Who doesn't love pumpkin pie flavors? My personal favorite is the one for Chex Muddy buddies .  MyBlogSpark and Sam's Club would love to help you make the perfect Chex Mix for your upcoming get-togethers and are offering One Suburban Jungle reader a Chex Mix and Sam's Club Prize pack: What's included: a $25 Sam's Club gift card and a large Sam's Club sized Box of Chex (including 3 varieties) To Enter: Fill out the rafflecopter form below: <a href="">You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>. Disclosure: The Sam’s C

Pillsbury Pot Luck Party

When you think of Holiday parties, do you think about all the prep work, time spent in the kitchen, and clean-up? That's what I used to think about  - UNTIL.... we hosted a Pillsbury Pot Luck party.  We asked each guest to bring an item made with a Pillsbury product.  And we made quite a few ourselves. After having made almost everything from scratch over the last few years, I was in utter shock at how easy it was to use these products.  I mean, there was literally NO work. You just open a can, bag, or package - dump it on a pan - and you're done in a few minutes (all oven time.) Wow! My kids, of course, loved this because they felt like they cooked.  I made very simple things and we ended up with a LOT of cookies that this party, but some of my guests made extremely impressive items like these: These little puffs were filled with bacon (BACON!), egg and cheese. She baked crescents in a muffin tin, loaded them with goodies, and then layered the strips (ar

Mike Donavanik's Extreme Burn Review

As someone who exercises regularly, I'm always looking for new routines and videos to try. So when I came across Extreme Burn and read more about Mike Donavanik (he's a celebrity trainer with a lot of buzz right now,) I wanted to give it a shot. To be honest, before I even tried the DVD, I had a bad attitude. I was sure the video was going to be annoying and I wasn't really in the mood for an intensive interval session. The night before, my husband and I carried 3 couches up 2 flights of stairs, and my body was not happy. So as I popped the DVD into the player, I was searching for things to pick apart. My first....and only...critique was the coloring and angle of the set. It came off as a little stark white/blue and in the beginning I felt like I saw a lot of feet/legs.  But soon enough, I was no longer paying attention to the coloring. The warm-up is fast! One of the best parts of this whole workout series is the limited talking. The workout starts - you

When Vegetables Become Berries

I love vegetables, but I've been getting some harassment lately because.... as it turns out , many of my favorite "vegetables" are actually fruits. It's true! Cucumbers, Zucchini, Buttercup squash (OMG! Buttercup squash!! Yum-o!,) Tomatoes! They are all fruits. My kids love to razz me about my love for "fruits" vs veggies. And then we heard the news: Tomatoes are actually BERRIES! That was the end of it! They know how I love berries. And now my all time favorite veggie (oops - fruit!) is actually a berry. Oh, how I love berries..... I guess it made sense. I gladly welcome Tomatoes into the berry world, and I love them all the same. I take solace in the fact that asparagus and swiss chard (two of my all time faves) will most likely remain vegetables. Right?  Right???

Only Boring People Get Bored!

Here's something to ponder next time you (or your children) are feeling Bored : Only Boring People Get Bored! You don't need a heap of evidence to see the truth in the above statement. Just as we make our own happiness (or misery) in this life, we make our own excitement, challenges, and entertainment. If you're feeling a little bored - turn off the t.v and write down what you'd really like to do in this life. Think of things that interest you, hobbies you can get involved with, how you can reconnect with family/friends. Then get up and do something . Life's too short to spend it on the couch!