Day 346 – Holocaust Museum

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC is definitely a place that I think any adult should visit. I would certainly not say it is “fun,” but it is very interesting and very somber. Even as I was looking at pictures and artifacts that prove that this really happened, I found myself wondering how humans can do this to other humans. I wonder if any of the SS Police felt bad about what they were doing, or if every single one of them believed in their cause; if they truly believed that every Jewish person (and others they deemed inferior), deserved to be obliterated from the earth.

Many years ago, I was watching an old movie with my dad. I hardly remember anything about it, but it was about the Holocaust and Jane Seymour was forced into a train car with a lot of other people to be taken to a concentration camp. I don’t remember much more about this movie than this scene, but I think about it quite often. I think about how they shoved people into train cars and did not give them food or water for days while they traveled to concentration camps.

At the museum today, they had a train car to represent the size of one that up to 100 people were herded into, and it was sickening to realize just how horrific and inhuman this was.

The museum was organized very well. It began with the events leading up to the Nazi occupation of Germany, and brought us through the end of the Holocaust when people could finally be rescued/come out of hiding/reunited with their families. There was a lot of reading and it was a little difficult to fully understand some of the artifacts because most things were written in German. The plaques did a good job of describing things, but I feel like some pieces were missed because of the language barrier.

I could go into detail about some of the specific things that really struck a chord with me, but there were so many. Photographs were not allowed in most of the museum, so I just did not take any, but this picture from the brochure speaks volumes:
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The smell of leather that filled the air was a very real reminder that this horrible part of history actually happened. The people who once wore these shoes had real hopes and real dreams about their future, having no idea that one day, their belongings would be used as a memorial for one of the world’s darkest moments in history.

Total cost: $0 for museum entry (Or $1 if you want a guaranteed entrance time. You can order it online)

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Day 345 – Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Tonight, I decided to make some granola bars. Mostly because it seemed fast and I had all of the ingredients already.

It is really easy because you just melt some chocolate chips, peanut butter and milk and then stir in oats. You can stir in some other things if you want to, but I stuck to the basics.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Chocolate Chips

2 to 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp Milk

1/2 C Oats

Optional:

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Sweetener (Brown/White Sugar, Agave, Maple Syrup or Stevia to Taste)

1 Tbsp Other Dry Ingredients (coconut flakes, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, more chocolate chips, raisins, scoop of protein powder, etc.)

Directions:

Melt the first three ingredients together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring and checking frequently. Mine took about 45 seconds

Then add the Oats and any optional ingredients, stir to combine. You want this mixture to be fairly dry.  If it’s not dry enough, add more oats one tablespoon at a time.
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Press mixture into bars or balls.   Using a piece of plastic wrap on the inside of a square plastic container will save on dishes and cleanup.
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Put in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes, or until bars have set up.   Slice or break apart.

It makes 3 granola bar sized bars, which seems like not many, but it’s good for a quick easy snack.

I followed this recipe almost exactly. The only change I made was mixing 2 Hershey’s Kisses in with the chocolate chips. I added fewer chocolate chips to try to get as close to 2 tbs as I could. I thought the mixture of semi sweet and milk chocolate would be a good combination. It was.

I put them in the refrigerator for much more than 10 minutes. I’d say closer to 20 or 30, but they didn’t really set up. Here is my “bar”:
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It tasted good though, so I would say it is worth making. Maybe leaving out the Kisses would have made it a little harder, but it’s not too bad being a little squishy.

If I had to pick which recipe I liked better, I would pick these other bars instead.

Total cost: $0

Day 344 – Parmesan Garlic Zucchini

My mom had a zucchini in the fridge tonight when I was visiting for dinner, so I took that as an opportunity for the day’s  Pinterest project.

Here is the recipe I followed:

Clean Eating Roasted Summer Squash

(Makes approximately 6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 2 large yellow squash
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • Olive oil – In an oil sprayer
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Chop your squash into large, chunky slices about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness.
  3. Spray a cookie sheet with a light coat of olive oil.
  4. Line up your squash slices like little soldiers. Don’t worry about leaving any space between them. They’ll cook just fine scrunched together.
  5. Spray a very light coat of olive oil over the top of the squash.
  6. Sprinkle your spices, including the Parmesan over the squash.
  7. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until they have a very light golden hue to them, and you can easily push a fork through them.
  8. Allow to cool slightly and serve.

This zucchini recipe was tasty. I really liked how the  cheese and garlic was baked right on. The one thing I did not like was how squishy the zucchini was. It was really watery and drippy. Perhaps it cooked too long….maybe not long enough. I feel like we have already established that I am not really too familiar with zucchini cooking.

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Total cost: $0

Day 343 – Hot Spoon for Mosquito Bites

A few weeks ago, my parents won a set of wooden outdoor chairs with a table from the fire company raffle. They thought they would be wonderful for us to use as we gaze at our fire pit, and I could not agree more. Last night we had a lovely evening sitting outside enjoying our beautiful yard, watching the fire burn. The only down side to this delightful relaxation is that the next day, I always realize just how many mosquitoes there were outside. I have bug bites all over!

This idea had me heat up a spoon by running it under hot tap water, then pressing it onto my bug bite. Apparently it kills the protein that causes the itch.

So, I grabbed a spoon and ran it under the hot water and stuck it to my skin…AND THAT SUCKER HURT LIKE CRAZY!!!!

You.Are.Putting.A.Hot.Piece.Of.Metal.On.Your.Skin.

It is always about this point when I realize that sometimes these Pinterest things are just fake scams and I fell right into it. You would think by day 343 that I would have a sense for what is smart and what is stupid. Burning your hand with a hot spoon…stupid…

EXCEPT:

My bite does NOT itch at all anymore. Not when I touch it, not when I look at it, not when I try to remember how bad it itched before. In fact, the swelling of it has also gone down and I almost can’t tell it was ever there.

Maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t duped after all!

Total cost: $0 and a few skin cells (I have trillions more…no worries!)

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No picture for the post = this moment of cuteness.

Day 342 – S’more Bites

Have you ever been in a pinch and thought, Man, I really need a S’more, but I just don’t have a campfire (or microwave) available at the moment!?

Your problems are solved with this quick fun “recipe” idea. Sadly, the link does not go anywhere, so I had to make it up. I think I was pretty successful.

Materials Needed (to make 2 S’more Bites):

1 marshmallow, cut in half

1 whole graham cracker, cut in half

2 Hershey’s Kisses.

Here’s where it gets tough: You put the half marshmallow on the half graham cracker.
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Put the graham cracker/marshmallow team onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 3-5 minutes.
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Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. When it is toasted to your happiness, take it out and smush a Hershey’s Kiss into the middle.
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The End

You’re Welcome

You will probably wish that you had made more than just two of these. Especially if you have to share one with your husband/sister/roommate.

Total cost: $0

Day 341 – Connect the Dots Monsters

Today I had the pleasure of hanging out with the niece (7) and the nephew (almost 4) for a few hours. Naturally, the fort from yesterday was the highlight of the morning. Alyssa was so proud of it. Nick thought it was neat, but he was kind of over it a little earlier than his sister would have liked.

We needed some structure in our day after we finished watching Monsters Inc. In keeping with the theme of monsters, I thought it would be fun to try an idea I found on this website that had 30 crafts and activities for toddler boys.

I drew some dots on paper and then the kids connected them however they wanted. Then they added faces, arms and legs.

Alyssa zoomed through, creating 5 different monsters…
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In the same amount of time that it took Nick, who worked very carefully, to do 2.
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The pictures are in order from the first they did to the last one they did. You can tell from Alyssa’s that she was just doing the last ones because she was bored. This is definitely a better activity for little boys than bigger girls. She is more into things like baking and painting. Immediately after finishing this she said her trademark line, “Can we do a Pinterest project?”

Nick, however, was very proud of his monsters. He said “This one is going to have lots of eyes! It has a HUGE eye!”

Total cost: $0

Day 340 – Frozen Dog Treats and Fort

Today is another twofer. Mostly because I have this adorable niece who said “What Pinterest project are we going to do today?” right after we made dog treats for a half hour.

I tried to explain to her that we just did a Pinterest project, but she said “Yeah, I know, but I mean the kid kind of Pinterest project!” and then bugged me to look through my boards. Sometimes she is too cute to resist.

Let’s start with the dog treats:

When we first got our little pooch nearly 8 years ago (when she was just a teeny tiny 2 pounds 6 ounces), we vowed not to feed her people food. There have been a few times when she has managed to get some scraps (mostly from her Grandmaw and Grandpaw), but she is really not exposed to much other than her dog food. She doesn’t seem to mind.

So when I decided to make these treats out of all human food, I was a little unsure of how her stomach would react. However, in the interest of fun, I thought I would give them a try.

They are completely kid friendly to make. I told Alyssa what to do, and she did every step on her own. She loved it!
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Here is the recipe:

32 oz. plain yogurt

1 mashed ripe banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons honey

Mix all of the ingredients with a blender or mixer and freeze in ice cube trays. Small paper cups and disposable egg cartons also make good molds. When frozen, microwave for a few seconds, unmold, and place the treats in a plastic bag and store in the freezer. (Note: if using Styrofoam egg cartons or cups, rest the containers briefly in a partially filled pan of warm water to loosen contents. Unless the Styrofoam is labeled as microwave safe, it could melt.) If you want to be fancy, bone and paw shaped molds are available.

 

Jolie was curious about it at first, but then she scarfed it down.

 

Project #2: A Fort

Alyssa saw this on my Pinterest page and wanted to make it. I happened to have 2 tension rods available (sort of…one was holding purses in my closet), but one of them was a little too short to fit the width of my hallway. I put a tray table next to the wall to give it just a little bit of extra space so it would fit. Then we draped a sheet over both rods and I cut a door out. Then I sewed some Velcro dots on to keep the door shut. I assured her that our fort would not be nearly as cute as the one on the picture, and she was fine with that.
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Then she decided she wanted to draw things on it to make it look like the one in the picture.

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Could this fort get any cuter?

 

Total cost $3.23

 

Day 339 – Honey Lime Shrimp

Sometimes the husband feels a little slighted with this Pinterest thing…he seems to feel like there have been a LOT of crafts that he doesn’t really care about and not enough dinners. I would have to say that I agree with him. It’s just that sometimes dinners require ingredients that I do not have on hand, and I forget to plan ahead.

Today, however, I planned ahead and gathered the things to make honey lime shrimp. It was very easy and very tasty.

Here is the recipe:

Honey Lime Shrimp
serves 2

1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T honey
juice of one small lime, or half a large lime (2-3 T)
zest of one small lime, or half a large lime
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (which I omitted)

1.) In a large ziploc bag, combine all the marinade ingredients. When everything is well-combined, add the shrimp, squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag, and close it up. Place it in the fridge.

2.) Let the shrimp marinate for 30-60 minutes, flipping the bag around once or twice during that time, so that all the shrimp stay evenly covered in the marinade.
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3.) When you’re ready to cook, take the shrimp out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; there is no need to add any oil or butter to the pan, as the marinade has enough oil in it to keep the shrimp from sticking to the pan. (If you would prefer to use the grill for these, you can thread them onto skewers and toss them on the grill at this point.)

4.) Add your shrimp to the pan in a single layer, making sure they are not too crowded; you can always cook them in more than one batch. Let them cook on one side for about a minute, until they curl up and start to turn pink. Flip them over, and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until the shrimp are opaque. Remove from the pan, and serve immediately!
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I was very happy with how they turned out. There was not a strong lime taste. I also did not taste the garlic a lot either. I tasted the honey though. Perhaps I could have added more lime juice. My citrus zester was not really working very well, so I struggled to get enough zest. Maybe that would have helped too. Either way, I would definitely make this again.

Total cost: $11.33

 

Day 338 – How to Draw a Penguin

We are winding down folks…only a few days left to go and I could not be happier! I was really not interested in a major project today. Did you see yesterday’s? It was amazing! I knew I could not compete with that today, so I drew this penguin.

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The pin gives you step by step directions. I skipped the coloring part because I was in a hurry. I tried to give it to my dad to hang in his office, but he said something about not having an office. He offered to hang it in his car, which he considers his office, but then he left it on my table. He is pretty ungrateful if you ask me!

Total cost: $0

Day 337 – Tree Branch Wall Art

This project took quite a bit longer than I had planned, but I am so happy with how it turned out.

I was at Michael’s this weekend and found a super bargain on canvases. I scanned my Pinterest ideas and found this gem. The canvases I bought were 3 for the price of 1. One was 11.99 and I also had 25% off of that. I got them all for $8.99, and I was in Delaware so no tax!

When I got home, I decided to paint them a base coat of brown. The cheap brown was a little lighter than I wanted, but I figured it would make a good base coat. Then I had some black (from the chalkboard paint) and some “espresso” brown from the flower wall hanging. I mixed those together (slightly) to give it this streaky brownish black look. At first I used a sponge dipped in that brownish black and smeared it around on the brown canvas. Then I brushed it in. This gave me the most desired effect, but once it was done, I realized I needed another coat. My second coat of the brownish black was quite a bit darker than the first brownish black, and it looks a little different, but I like it. I am a little worried that it looks like I accidentally streaked it, or like it is not finished or something, but it is really on purpose.

Then I went online to find a printable branch decal that I could trace onto the canvas. After a long search, I came up with nothing that was free. So instead, I decided to draw it freehand. This took quite a bit of time, and I had to use 6 sheets of paper. Then I cut out each piece and traced it onto the canvas like a stencil. As you can imagine, this took a long time.

Then came the painting. I had what I thought was a small paintbrush to get into those small spaces, but it turns out it was just too big for what I needed. The painting had to wait until today when I could go out and get a new one. (Sadly, no bargain here…$6.97 for a pack of 5…and that is with a teacher discount!)

It was well worth the money though because that brush was just what I needed. I spent some time today finishing the painting. It is so therapeutic. It took a while, but not actually as long as I thought.

I plan on replacing the 8-year-old IKEA beach picture that is above my couch with this.

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Total Cost: $0 (I had a gift card) or, if you want to be specific, $6.97 for the paintbrushes.