I’ve recently acquired a taste for trying to save $. I should have, a long, long time ago. But, since I live with my sister, I’ve started to learn to conserve. We have twice as much food, electricity, water, etc. So, I found this amazing recipe for the Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade online. It’sexactlylike what they serve at Starbucks, except it’s not $4 for one measly 8 oz cup.
1 box TAZO Passion Tea (20 bags)
1 1.75L Bottle of Simply Lemonade (found near the OJ)
Sugar or Truvia
Total time to make: at least 24 hours
In a large, 1 gallon pot (or two 1/2 gallon pots), bring 1 gallon of water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, open the box of tea and all 20 of the tea packets. Place tea packets inside, on the bottom of a sturdy, 1 gal. plastic juice container that can withstand boiling water.
Once the water has reached a boil, pour all of the water into the 1 gal. juice container. You might want to place this in the sink, or on a non-slip/heat resistant surface. Let the tea steep for at least 10 minutes.
Take the 20 tea bags out, one by one, and place between two spoons, squeezing the excess water/tea out. Discard the tea bags. Wait an additional 5-10 minutes, and then place the container, with a lid in the refrigerator. Let cool overnight. (Patience is hard, I know! This is why I make such a large batch!)
Once the tea has cooled completely, you now have a nice batch of straight, cool, Tazo Passion Tea.
Grab a cocktail shaker, and place in 5-6 (or however many you want) large ice cubes. Then, fill the container 4/5 of the way up with Passion Tea. Take your Simply Lemonade out of the fridge, and shake it well. Then, fill the remainder of the cocktail shaker with lemonade, all the way to the top. Add 1 tsp of sugar, or Truvia. Secure the lid, and shake until the mixture is nice and foamy on top.
Pour into a large glass. ENJOY. YOU ARE WELCOME :)
I am continually amazed that I am able to bake without completely flopping. My cakes aren’t Cake Boss material or anything, but, dayum! I can make some good cupcake, sweet breads and now FUDGE!
I found this amazing, super easy recipe, and I want to share it with you (also, so I can pin it!)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup Evaporated Milk (I like Carnation)
1 2/3 cups Creamy Peanut Butter (I LOVE Jif)
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme (Jet-Puffed is great!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. LINE 13 x 9-inch pan (I use a glass Pyrex dish) with aluminum foil; spray with no-stick cooking spray. The aluminum foil just makes it easy to pull out of the pan.
2. COMBINE sugar, butter and milk in large saucepan, stirring constantly on medium heat, until mixture comes to a boil. I had it on “6” and then I had to reduce to 1 or 2 on my oven to educe heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
3. ADD peanut butter. Stir until well blended. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla. Beat until well blended. I don’t use a blender, I just use my muscles! It should be super creamy and fluffy. Spread in prepared pan. Cool. It will be incredibly hard to resist, but you must! If you cut it ahead of time, it won’t be set. It should be cooled for an hour or two. I like to make a shortcut, and put it on my front porch in the winter. :) Cut into candy-sized pieces and SERVE TO THOSE YOU LOVE!
So - I’ve got something to admit. I watched “The Girl’s Next Door” on E! for quite awhile when Kendra, Bridget and Holly walked the halls of the Playboy Mansion.
Embarrassing? Yes. Trashy - *gulp* yes. Interesting? Of course! We all want to know what life is like behind the gates of the “Mansion.”
Without a doubt - Kendra Wilkinson was and still is my favorite, and so when she had her own show “Kendra” on E!, I tuned it. A quirky, yet beautiful picture of a girl and her first baby and marriage, I really, really liked the show. When I saw excerpts of her show that were talking about her book - I became very interested. I broke my foot on Christmas - so I had plenty of free time to read it. So, here goes!
Sliding Into Home - A Memoir
I knew in the back of my mind when I picked up this book that there would be some unforgiving details that I really didn’t want to know - yet, I somehow wanted to hear the secrets that everyone is always dying to unveil.
The first few chapters delve into her early childhood and then on to her rebellion from 12 years old to 17. When Kendra says she has a drug/alcohol/sex problem - she means it. Frankly, I was surprised that her book didn’t detail any hospital visits or near death moments. Had she continued down the addictive path - she most certainly would have died. Gruesome and descriptive, she literally doesn’t leave out any detail. While I appreciate her candid honesty - I did not appreciate the language. I’m a big no-cursing kind of gal - so that really bothered me.
After the years of drug/alcohol abuse - Kendra made her way (very rapidly albeit) to the Playboy Mansion - and from then on - what she describes is lewd, filthy and honestly - not what I expected. Because of what I had seen on GND, I had hoped that the friendly and happy girls just pranced around and did girly things for fun - I was wro-ooo-ong.
Well, what did you expect? people might say. Well —- not this. I am a firm believer in looking for the best in people - this leaves room for an insane amount a naivety. I think I really wanted the PB Mansion to be a happy place and not a sex-deranged place. … I don’t know why. But it ended up being what I feared it would.
There is one redeeming facet in this book - Kendra does change. She isn’t a fan of what goes on in the Mansion - and makes it clear that she is there to be herself and not to do what others tell her.
In conclusion - a disappointment. Not in the writing - but in the story. I wanted Holly and Bridget to be friendly to Kendra. I wanted the PB Mansion to be sparkly clean. IT wasn’t. And now - I fear, I’m scarred forever!
While I will never, ever, ever read the book again (and I will not watch the GND again), I’m still going to stay tuned to “Kendra” because she is real. She is a mom and wife - and I’m rooting for her.
Her cursing will still make me cringe - but her life is focused on being a mom. And it’s a totally different show that GND - a redeeming happy ending for Kendra!
What I will take away from this: While the values in GND and in “Sliding into Home” are a total 180 from mine - I can pray that Kendra and Hank come to love the Lord and raise Hank Jr. in an atmosphere that honors Him. I pray for them. Who knows what will happen? God can do ANYTHING.
Each Friday evening after work, I get pretty antsy in anticipation for my weekly copy of Entertainment Weekly. I’m a media junkie - and like most media junkies - I thrive on the new. New best sellers in fiction, new movie reviews, soundtracks and the ever increasing count of Billboard Top hits. I like the new and I like knowing the new before anyone else.
Hence - my journey to read Stiegg Larson’s hit novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. EW made such a fuss over it’s ‘greatness’ that I had high expectations — too high.
Why the book is named after a secondary character, I’m not quite sure. Lisbeth Salander, the secondary character, is a girl who is moody, restless, brilliant, and incredibly annoying. Her character poignantly reminds me of girls I knew in high school who no one wanted to be around, either because of their negative and incessantly pessimistic attitudes, or because they chose to dress how they wanted to dress and they did whatever they felt like - and they scared the you-know-what out of anyone they saw.
Mikael Blomkvich is the main character. He spends his time sleeping with his married co-worker, writing literature and trying to make something of his Newspaper that is steadily failing to draw an audience. The entire first few chapters droll on about high finance, the stock market and Mikael’s mistake by writing an article about some corporate big-wig. He get’s a suit slapped on him - and ends up being served a short prison term. I had to force myself to continue to read it.
Finally, FINALLY! midway through the book - the pace picks up. Mikael is sought out by a wealthy business executive to write a memoir about his family - and in this pursuit - he is to solve a murder case.
No doubt, Larsson is exceptionally brilliant and he is an expert in the study on Nazi-ism in the 40’s, however, parts of the book are over my head - and unnecessary most times.
Larson sexualizes the novel with vivid rape and incest scenes in addition to the numerous consensual romps with Mikael and Lisbeth and Lisbeth with someone else and then someone else with someone else. It’s unnecessary, boring, disgusting and ruins the concept of what could have been a great, great novel.
The ending is so-so. I wasn’t thrilled - but I wasn’t entirely let down. I kept reading through the pages to try to find this climax of a novel that I had heard about - but instead - I had to force myself through boring history and financial lessons, skip over the numerous inappropriate sexual innuendos and fraternization - and hope that there were some redeeming qualities - which, there weren’t.