Ivy: Jan 2010- June 2011

My beautiful Ivy girl passed away today. She had a tumor and I think it had begun to block things so she couldn't go to the bathroom... she got very sick last night and by this afternoon she passed away. Her nickname was "Cream Puff", because when she was younger she was so squishy & round. Ivy won a photo contest once for Jen's Custom Crafts. She will definitely be missed, she had such a spunky attitude. ♥♥♥


Books I'm reading now

I finished both of these books over the weekend. Both are really good, I'm starting to reread them again.

1. Sisterhood Everlasting- Ann Brashares

 2. Room- Emma Donoghue

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a book or music when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend Amazon.com for their low prices. That or Ebay!)

Pennypack Park & Starbucks

It's a nice sunny Saturday and not too hot so F.B. & I headed to Pennypack Park this morning and took Curry & Aspen my two new boys to the park with us. We got lot's of pictures!

 We got Starbucks after the park. I don't get to have Starbucks so often anymore because there really isn't one very close to where I work anymore. *Sad Face* (Hint Starbucks put one in 30th Street Station! 19th street is too far!) We tried the new Coconut Mocha Frappucino and OMG... it is AMAZING! It tastes like chocolate coconut and it has toasted coconut on top. Mmmm!


Shutterfly Photobook!

I won a free hardcover Shutterfly Photobook from Shannon at Misguided Mommy last month! I just got around to organizing the photos I wanted and it arrived the other day. It's really nice! I decided to put together a small wedding album for my prize.

These are just some of the photos:

 Thanks Shannon!


Hot Day in the City!

It's my 3 day Memorial Day weekend! F.B. & I headed down to Center City Philadelphia today so we could visit the Mutter Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences! We got off at 30th Street Station and walked to the Mutter Museum first, we went early because it's such a hot weekend. It was around 84 degrees (It will be in the upper 90's on Memorial Day, yuck!) I had to put sunscreen on because it was so sunny and hot today.
30th Street Station

After the Mutter we walked down Market Street to 19th Street and headed straight down to the Academy of Natural Sciences. We got to see Logan Square and the big fountain they have there. There's also a great view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. I've never actually gotten to stop here, so it was nice to be a tourist in my own city and take pictures!

Afterwards we went to the Academy of Natural Sciences, which I've been too many many times on class trips and family trips. It's one of my favorite museums.

F.B. with a dinosaur skull!
We were planning on going to The Gallery and Reading Terminal Market but because it was so hot and I had a bad headache we decided to make that another day trip sometime soon. We took the train back home and headed to Friendly's for lunch. We shared a Reece's Pieces sundae for dessert.

Heading home on the train

I also won this psychedelic shark from the crane machine at Friendly's on the first try! Whoo hoo! My Dad has always been really good at winning stuffed animals from those machines and I've won quite a few times as well, though it's been awhile since I last played!


Wanda E. Brunstetter Books

I was Walmart one day and stumbled upon Wanda E. Brunstetter's books. I like that there's more than one story in every book. So it's like having 3-4 books in one. She writes about young Amish woman. If you like historical fiction books, you will probably like these books as well. Some are drama, some are romance, etc.

These are the ones I own:

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a book or music when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend Amazon.com for their low prices. That or Ebay!)


Let baking cakes be...

I made a lemon layer cake today, but sadly I peeked in the oven before it was done and as I was looking the air went out of each cake like a balloon. So my poor cakes had a flat middle on each layer... My Mom made up a saying, "Let baking cakes be..." and it's true, lol!

I never saw such a sad pitiful looking cake!!! As soon as we cut it, it collapsed in on itself! :-(

I had a hard time finding a recipe for a lemon cake, all of them had 3 layers or more. So I decided to take the cake recipe from The Pioneer Woman's coffee cake- literally, and replace the coffee in the cake and icing with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. It tasted amazing, it just didn't look too pretty!

Replace the coffee in the cake and icing recipe with:
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Hopefully your lemon cake will look better than mine!

F.B. also got me a really nice heavy duty metal meat tenderizer from Walmart. It's awesome! (It's great for taking out stress/life frustrations when cooking too, lol!) I'm making beef with onion and mushrooms fried up in a pan tonight and served with mashed potatoes and peas. (Last time we tried it with steak strips).

I tenderized the beef, cut it in small pieces and then I'm letting it soak in a marinade I make myself. I don't have exact measurements. I think less than 1/4 cup for everything, I just add as I go along. My steak marinade has:
  • Little bit of water 
  • Olive oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Teaspoon fresh garlic 
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

Then after tenderizing your steak, let it marinate several hours or overnight before cooking.


Moving on...

I had been a part of the Rat Chatter forums for almost 4 years. I joined back in October 2007 when I got my first two pet rats Sugar & Spice. Eventually, I became a moderator and got to work with a lot of amazing people, like Brittney from Star's Rat Rescue.

Sadly and unexpectedly the Rat Chatter Forums closed on May 5th, 2011. We have still not heard from our good friends that ran and owned the forums and we hope they are alright.

I mentioned to Brittney it would be a good idea to start a forum for her rat rescue, somewhere to connect with adopters and our friends from the RC forums who we had gotten to know over the past 4 years. It took a few days, but the Star's Rat Rescue forum is now up and running. So rattie lovers and SRR Adopters are welcome to join us over at the new forum!


Settling in!

It's been exactly 1 week since my SRR rescue ratties arrived from South Dakota.

Aspen & Curry were introduced to my boys last Monday evening. There was some "wrestling" but no really bad fighting. My boy Fennel is still a bit pouty that he has to share his cage with 2 more ratties, he's such a spoiled boy. My nakkie rat Barley is always pretty laid back so he wasn't too bothered by new brothers. The boys were all living together within 2 days with no issues.
Curry & Aspen
It took about 4 days to introduce my 2 new girls Olive & Fern to the group I have them living with in the bottom half of the Ferret Nation cage. I had to do a few nights of supervised play times with all of them. My girl Iris is territorial and so is Olive so there was some fighting for a few days. As of last night, Olive & Fern are now living with Ivy, Iris, Jasmine & Daisy.

Olive & Fern
For intro's there are a few tricks I do. First off I introduce the new & old ratties in a neutral place, a bathtub, table, chair. I will rub vanilla extract on all of the ratties. I will take bedding and swap it around so the ratties get used to each other's new scents. When I do supervised play time in the cage, I will take out all igloo's, boxes, etc where a rat can be cornered. If I need to, I will also give the most territorial rats a quick bath because it will distract them. Sometime's intro's will be very quick and other times it can take up to a week before you get your new rats living with your current ratties.

Curry in a cardboard tube.

(I've updated My Pet Rat page).

Our Easter was a bit uneventful. My whole family has a really nasty bug going around so F.B. & I had to cook our own little Easter Dinner. We had Tofurky & gravy, corn, green bean casserole, cheesey garlic mashed potatoes & cranberry sauce.


THE best ballet flats EVER!

I've been looking for a pair of plain comfortable ballet flats for 2 years now. I've gotten a few pairs that were very stiff and gave me blisters. I saw these ones featured on The Pioneer Woman's blog and decided to take a chance on them. 

They are called The City Flat, by Gap. I first ordered a pair of plain black ones. I do a lot of walking now that I'm commuting on the train to work every day. I didn't get one blister the whole day I wore these. They are very light and flexible, perfect for warmer weather. They are also 100% leather.

The only thing you will need is a pair of very slim gel inserts by Dr. Scholl's, etc. (I have Dr. Scholl's for her); because you will feel the pavement on your heels every step you take. With the gel inserts it gave me better impact support. I loved the shoe so much, I ordered it in pewter too. (Still waiting for it to arrive!) Gap sells the shoe in a bunch of different colors.



I also ordered this plum metallic purse that was on clearance at Gap. Excited for it to arrive!

(Nope, not getting paid to recommend these products! I just wanted to share them, because I love them!)


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