Ok, so it turns out that high fashion for kids isn’t always my thing, but Tsukihoshi Sneakers are adorable.  Not only do they come in a bunch of stylish colors, but one great thing about them is that they’re like a kid tracking device.  Put bright shoes on a kid, and you can see them out of the corner of your eye.

Take a look…

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=tsukihoshi+kids

I’ve always been a fan of recycling.  Well, really, I’m just a fan of more responsible consumption.  But when it seems unreasonable to expect from people and companies, I’ll take recycling as a close second, and especially if it can be made to pay for itself.

Truth me known, I prefer free-cycling.  You have things that fit my kids?  I’ll take ‘em!!!  When my kids outgrow things, I like to give them away to specific people.  There is no need for intermediary companies like GoodWill and such.  (I dislike them, actually.)  Sure, they can play a role in distribution of things, but they aren’t a charity.  They’re a business.  I find it much more rewarding, and more efficient, to provide used goods to others as directly as possible.  There is a chance I’ll get more credit for it, but I mostly derive more enjoyment from it.  I can leave someone a box of stuff with no return address on it.  I can hand out clothes to homeless people and never see them again.  There is something wonderful about helping fellow humans, and when intermediaries are involved, it lessens that feeling for me.  I like to see the people I can help.  Helping people is part of what makes us human.

Ok, back on point here…  Kids love crayons.  I love kids.  Kids find multi-color crayons fascinating, and I kind of do too.  Here’s a simple way to recycle old crayons, and your kids will love you for it.  If they don;t, then give those recycled crayons to kids who will.

http://frugalliving.about.com/od/frugalfun/ht/Make_Crayons.htm

Ok, so we can get into the intricacies of whether Surfas is in Culver City, or Santa Monica, but I simply don’t care right now.  When a busy mom needs fuel, and you don’t have time for drinks, one of the best places to buy supplies is Surfa’s Culinary District, located at 8777 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232.  Ok, so it’s not Santa Monica, but it’s on the way.

What is it?  It’s a bonanza for adults who like to throw food items in pans.  And despite that I’m not the best cook, they always have a way of making me walk out with something.  (not stuffed in my shirt… don’t worry friends, I pay for everything I leave with!)

One special thing about Surfa’s is that they offer gourmet frozen foods.  Don’t feel like cooking?  Then don’t.  Throw stuff in a microwave, and your family will think you’re a chef.  For one thing, they don’t need to know where it came from. (Oh, the possibilities! LOL)  For another thing, they wouldn’t care, even if you made a big deal out of it.  For that aspect, it reminds me of a store called Land and Sea.

On top of  wonderful prepared meals, they also offer a wonderful array of high end cooking supplies.  I’m more of a mom than a cook, but I simply can’t resist marketing sometimes.  I swear I’ve bought pans that claimed they’d turn me into a superhero.  They never do, but I feel like on on the way to the car, and I guess that’s a start.

 

 

Do you have little girls?  If your girls are anything like mine, you know how they love Disney princesses.  It’s like those little cartoons are the masters of marketing for young girls.  Good?  Bad?  I dunno.  I just know they make my own little princess quite the happy girl.

It turns out that you can play Disney Princess Games for free.  That’s right, free.  My own princess likes them, and I do too!

http://princess.disney.com/games-activities

No download, and they play right in your browser, with pretty good graphics.  Give them a try and see what you think.

 

Cooking, is a great skill to have, but not all of us have the time.

 

 

However, it doesn’t always have to take a lot of prep or cooking time.  One of my favorite recipes is vegetarian chili.  Here it is…

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 1 carrot, medium dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, medium dice
  • 1 zucchini, medium dice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans light kidney, dark kidney, or black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • Quartered lime pieces, for garnish (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco, for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the bell pepper and zucchini to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are knife tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, water, and tomatoes with their juices and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve and garnish as desired.

YUM!  Try it yourself!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/106819822383458392/