7 Grammar Mistakes that Cost you Readers

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 in Blogging | 7 comments

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I wouldn’t really classify myself as a Grammar Nazi, because I don’t troll social media correcting spelling and grammar in people’s statuses and comments.  (It pains me to ignore them sometimes, but it’s just social media.) However, people who write for a living should know better. Many, many times I have started reading a new blog that I found via Pinterest, only to click away before finishing the first paragraph because it was full of spelling errors or using words incorrectly. How you right is just as important as what you write. See what I did there? ;) I’m certain I have errors here and there on my own blog, and no one is perfect, but learning and applying a few basic rules will improve your writing and present a more professional voice to your readers (and sponsors). Check out these seven grammar mistakes that may be costing you readers right now!

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Layered Sherbet Cake

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 in Desserts, Holiday | 5 comments

layered sherbet cake

Is it “sherbet,” “sherbert” (which is how I pronounce it) or “sorbet”? These are the deep thoughts going through my head as I take a bite of leftover Layered Sherbet Cake from Easter dinner. Really. I’m eating it right now. See? I paused a second there to take a bite. I couldn’t help it. I was editing the photos for this post and I had to pull the cake out of the freezer to have some more! I saw this cake last year on Better Homes and Gardens, pinned it, and then completely forgot about it until I was searching for something for dessert for Easter. The colors were perfect and it was something I could make the day before, which is a requirement for practically every holiday dish I make. 

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Preparing for Potty Training

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 in Kids | 20 comments

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scott Brand, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Scottvalue http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

potty training

*Sigh.* It’s that time again. Time for the most dreaded task of parenting. It’s worse than going to the doctor for shots. Worse than dealing with a fussy baby in the middle of the night. Worse than listening to The Wiggles on an endless loop. What is it? Potty Training.

I HATE potty training. Obviously. From the time my babies are crawling, I’m already dreading the day when we have to begin the endless cycle of laundry, trips to the bathroom and the never-ending questions like, “Are you still dry?” “Do you need to go potty?” Face it-diapers are gross and expensive, but they are CONVENIENT. Been running errands for three hours with a baby in diapers? No problem. Been running errands for 17 minutes with a potty-training toddler? You’d better know where every bathroom is within a 40 mile radius, because you’re going to hit them all. Oh, and I hope you have eleven extra sets of clothing stashed in your purse.

Potty training and childbirth are two things that will generate copious amounts of unsolicited advice. And if you DO solicit that advice, it’s going to be an avalanche of conflicting ideas about when, where, how often, boy vs. girl, training diapers vs. underwear, bribery, rewards…and on and on and on and on.

potty training

Here’s one thing I HAVE learned. Every child is different, and you won’t know what will work until you try it. So don’t go running out to spend a fortune on the latest and greatest potty training tools. I don’t know what will motivate Charlie yet. We are just beginning. So I went to to Kmart to buy supplies and put together a basket on the back of the toilet with some things to have handy.

potty training

I have several books in the basket for passing the time as we sit and wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. I put a jar of M&M’s for him as a reward for going potty.  I also put a fun sheet of Cars stickers if he would rather fill up a sticker chart. You can find so many cute options online for potty charts! There may end up being something else that motivates him more, but for now, that’s what we will start with. I also have a tub of Scott Naturals Wipes and a refill pack in there. Trying to use plain old toilet paper on a bottom that is used to soft wipes is NOT a good way to introduce your kids to pooping in the toilet. :) The wipes are fresh, soft, and from sustainable resources, so they are good for the environment AND your tushy. ;)

potty training

Check out Kmart’s Shop Your Way Rewards for great coupon offers on Scott Tissue products this week!

What about you? What’s your advice for potty training? (I’m actually asking here-so far we have not done too well with Charlie.) Do you think boys are harder than girls or vice versa? Is there a parenting chore you dislike MORE than potty training?

 

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Beeswax Gum

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 in DIY, Homeschool | 2 comments

beeswax gum

 

Last week in our Homeschool Co-op we studied the state of Maine. During that study, we found out that John B. Curtis made and sold the first commercial chewing gum in 1848 called State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. This sent me off on a search to see if we could make our own gum in class.  There are many options to do so, but you have to order gum base online. However, I remembered in our other studies of colonial America that I read about the early settlers adding beeswax the sap or resin that the local Native Americans were chewing as gum. The addition of beeswax made it more chewy and a bit sweeter. I found instructions on eHow and we set out to make our own beeswax gum.

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Let’s Get Real #35

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 in Blogging, Link Party | 4 comments

Welcome to our Let’s Get Real Blog Hop!

Woot! Woot! Let’s get this Friday started. Let’s Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That’s right! It’s all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That’s you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**This week you can enter to win next week’s special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week.**

 

Let's Get Real Friday Party
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Frosted Sugar Cookies

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 in Desserts | 8 comments

frosted sugar cookies

 

Every week when I go grocery shopping, my self-control is tested. Many times. But the biggest temptation to walk past is the bakery display of those soft frosted sugar cookies. You know the ones I mean? I just love the chewy cookie with all that decadent frosting on top. Of course, they are $4 for a dozen. My wallet usually wins the argument and I move along. But thanks to A Dash of Sanity (an amazing food blog you must check out AFTER reading this post) ;) I have found a wonderful homemade version of those tempting frosted sugar cookies!

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • Sugar Cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Frosting
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

    Sugar Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter. Beat in egg yolks, almond and vanilla extract.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Stir. The dough will be more firm than typical cookie dough.
  4. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Don't flatten! Bake 10 to 11 minutes, until tops are cracked and just turning color.
  5. Frosting
  6. In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and butter until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk, almond and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.
http://www.365ishpins.com/frosted-sugar-cookies/

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to use half almond extract and half vanilla. I like almond extract, but it’s very strong and I didn’t want it to be the primary flavor. I had to play around with the size of the dough balls. I made the first batch too small, so I had little silver dollar sized cookies. :) Then I made a few large ones, like I would usually do for chocolate chip cookies. But if you do that, the edges run while the middle stays up and they cook unevenly. Halfway through rolling the second batch, I got the perfect size down and they turned out just right, with pretty crackled tops and soft, chewy insides. I had fun frosting these and dipping them in pretty sugar crystals. I’ll be making these again, that’s for sure!

frosted sugar cookies

 

For more great cookie recipes, check out my Pinterest board featuring my personal dessert obsession.

Follow 365(ish) Days of Pinterest’s board Food-Cookies on Pinterest.

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Easy Easter Crafts for Kids

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 in Crafts, Holiday, Kids | 25 comments

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #CollectiveBias #EasterValue

Grandma Engwall

I don’t usually mail anyone an Easter card or do Easter crafts, but this year we are making an exception for a very special lady. This is Elinora Engwall: Chris to her friends, Grandma Engwall to many and Mimi to the little ones. Over a year ago, she walked into the hospital for surgery on her spine to repair badly twisted vertebrae, and due to a host of complications, she’s now mostly confined to a wheelchair. She can walk with some assistance, and is determined to get back on her feet for good, but for now she’s sporting a pair of wheels. See that lovely smile? It’s always there. My grandma is the toughest lady I know. She met my Grandpa while traveling around to Swedish Baptist churches with something called God’s Invasion Army. Just months after they were married she was left alone with a new baby, far away from family and friends and her home country, while he shipped out to Alaska after being drafted during the Korean War.

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