Monday, October 31, 2011

Samhain: The Original Halloween

What is Samhain?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Samhain (pronounced sow-in) is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularized as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer. The date of Samhain was associated with the Catholic All Saints' Day (and later All Souls' Day) from at least the 8th century, and both the secular Gaelic and the Catholic liturgical festival have influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween.
The medieval Goidelic festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half". It was celebrated over the course of several days and had some elements of a Festival of the Dead. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.
Samhain is celebrated as a religious festival by some neopagans.

Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals, often referred to as 'Sabbats', observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater Sabbats'. It is generally observed on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility.

Samhain Incense Recipe

2 parts Cinnamon
1 part ground cloves
1 part Dragon’s Blood resin
1 part Hyssop
1 part Patchouli
2 parts Rosemary
1 part Sage
A dash of sea salt

If you don't have Hyssop use Mint or Thyme. Parts are whatever amount you want, oz, ml etc. Leave this mixture in almond oil and you will have the oil. If you don't have time to make the oil the long way here is another recipe. 

Samhain Oil Recipe

4 drops Pine Oil 
2 drops Frankincense oil 
2 drops Patchouli oil 
2 drops Lavendar oil 
Blend with 1 oz oilve oil or almond oil in a bottle. 

Burn it in your scented oil burner. 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

International Delight Cinnabon Creamer Review

I have never been a fan of Cinnabon. There isn't anything wrong with it. I simply am not a big sweets or pastries fan. I know, I am a very odd woman. Nevertheless, I am a fan of the smell. That cinnamon, that sugar and frosting. I can taste the smell. I love to walk into Cinnabon just to walk out with the smell pouring off of my hair and clothing. So when International Delight aired a commercial with two new flavors, Almond Joy and Cinnabon, I had to try it. The Almond Joy creamer is not one that I will review as the thought of coconut makes me wretch. 

The cost of the creamer was pretty typical of all of the International Delight creamers. Of course the size was smaller than those of the Coffeemate variety. But I enjoyed their Caramel Macchiato and White Mocha creamer a little too much. Surely this one is a pleaser. 

Unfortunately, it was not. It took a considerable amount of creamer to even taste the flavor of the creamer. Keep in mind that I am using Kirkland 100% Columbian coffee. It has the smell of Cinnabon but not the taste. So I poured more. It took twice as much creamer to taste the Cinnabon flavor. Depending on the size of your cup of coffee there are only about 4 servings of creamer in the bottle because of the weak flavor. 

I say, skip it. Buy a Cinnabon and eat it whilst drinking your coffee instead. Otherwise, you should have a weaker coffee like Folgers to pour it into. You won't need as much to taste the flavor.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nap Time Playlist

Here are a list of songs I play for my baby and kindergartener at nap time. They are guaranteed to fall asleep before the end of it. Maybe your kids will like it too.

1. Holding Back The Years - Simply Red

2. Music Box - Mariah Carey

3. Crazy For You - Madonna

4. No Woman No Cry - Bob Marley

5. Roni - Bobby Brown

6. I Will Love You Always - Bon Jovi

7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2

8. Ooh La La - Teen Marie

9. Fortunate - Maxwell

10. Oooh Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson

11. You Give Good Love - Whitney Houston

12. Sittin' Up In My Room - Brandy

13. 4 Page Letter - Aaliyah

14. To Make You Feel My Love - Adele

15. Ain't No Grave - Johnny Cash

16. In a Sentimental Mood - John Coltrane

17. The Greatest Man I Never Knew - Reba McEntire

18. Human Nature - Michael Jackson

19. Do you Love Me Still - Chaka Khan

20. Seven Seas - Babyface

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10 Reasons To Bitch Slap Your Mother-In-Law

If you're one of those peachy keen wives with a wonderful Disney relationship with your mother in law then this blog posting is not for you. This blog post is for all of my followers who have ever said to me, "I would have bitch slapped my mother in law but..." We all know you wanna do it. We all know you that you can't. But should you ever decide to cross that line, here are some justifiable reasons to do so. 

1. She has photos or memorabilia of your husband's ex posted near photos of your children in a prominent place in her home. There are no photos of you anywhere even though you have gifted her some. Bitch slap her, but use medium strength. It is her home afterall. 

2. She comes to your home for the holidays and throws out your main course to replace it with yours. Bitch slap her at full strength. She's messing with your food and your money at this point. 

3. She shows up late for your wedding improperly dressed and munching on snack. Bitch slap the shit out of her. Then turn around and say "I do."

4. She cuts your son's hair knowing full well it goes against your religion or culture. True the hair grows back but it's the principle. A full strength bitch slap is required to send the proper message.

5. She picks up your kids from school, thus abusing the emergency authorization list and causing you to file an unnecessary Amber Alert. Bitch slap her with everything you've got. 

6. She uses a key she made without your permission to enter your home (also without your permission), then criticizes your housekeeping. Or she criticizes you and your husband for being in the throws of passion when she goes "exploring" in your bedroom. Get dressed first then bitch slap her medium strength. Remember to take back your key. 

7. She looks at her new grandbaby and says, "Are you sure it's my son's?" Muster up whatever strength you have and bitch slap her until she thinks the baby is your husband's twin. 

8. When she meets your family she doesn't want anyone shaking her hand and loses the power of speech. Give her a light bitch slap. You don't want to embarrass your own mama.

9. She buys your husband and kids tickets to Disneyland but "forgets" to buy you one. Then she suggests your family take a family vacation without you. Give her a medium strength bitch slap, just enough to remind her that you're here. 

10. She has taken it upon herself to rename you because your name is too ethnic for her to learn to pronounce or spell. Bitch slap her twice, once for you, and once for your mama. 

I'd like to give a special thanks to my followers that submitted their mother in law horror stories to me. All of the situations listed are real. If they apply to you, you are justified in bitch slapping your mother in law.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Slow Cooker Recipe: Barbeque Beef Sandwiches

Here is a quick and easy recipe that your family will love. It's something that a one year old or an adult can eat. It's better than the old classic Sloppy Joes. 

You will need:

Large hamburger buns
1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce (nothing spicy if your baby is eating)
1 large bell pepper
1 small yellow onion
1lb of stew meat or tri-tip
crock pot liner
crock pot

1. Chop the bell pepper and onion up into 1/2 inch pieces or smaller.

2. Place the liner bag into the crock pot and turn it on high for 4 hour cook time or low for 6 hours. Low and slow is always best with barbeque.

3. Add the meat and vegetables to the pot along with half of the bottle of bbq sauce. There should be enough sauce to cover and coat the meat. This is where the flavor is from. If you are feeding children, leave out the salt and pepper. It's not as healthy for them. 

4. When the meat is done it should be tender and should appear shredded already. If not, use a pasta spoon or spatula to remove the meat to a cutting board, leaving the liquid in the pot. Chop the meat up as finely as necessary and add to a large boss. Coat with the remaining sauce as desired. Spoon onto the buns and serve. 

5. Serve roasted corn, green beans, or baked beans as a side. No more Manwich for you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blockbuster vs Netflix Round 2

I was watching a television commercial from Blockbuster that boasted being better than Netflix. It stated that there were unlimited rentals through the mail. It stated that Blu-Ray and video games do not cost extra. It also stated that there were unlimited in-store exchanges. 

It was this in-store exchange that caught my ear. I don't like to wait for my mailers with Netflix. Truthfully, it only takes 1-2 days for me to receive it. But on the weekends, I don't like to wait as a movie may not arrive until Tuesday. I typically find myself in the video store anyway. Since I was trying out the Blockbuster free trial, I thought I would utilize the unlimited in-store exchange feature. 

Problem #1

I was allowed to bring in my mailers and walk out with two new selections. However, one of my selections was a video game. My son is only 5 years old. Needless to say, most of the video games out there are not for him. After 10 minutes of "Nope, not that one" and "Nope, too violent" we finally found a game he wanted. We approached the counter and immediately had a problem. They couldn't find me in the system, even though I had just returned my mailers. After fixing that error, they told me I couldn't rent the Cars 2 video game my son was clutching so tightly. The in-store exchange was valid for any movie, however, I could only rent the video games that were 99 cents. There were 4 games that were 99 cents in the entire store. Three of them were rated M for mature. I was better off waiting for that same video game to come through the mail. 

Problem #2

The ads for the in-store exchange state unlimited in-store rentals. However, this wasn't as clear as it should have been. After watching the movies we rented from the first exchange, we went back in to exchange them again. It is unlimited exchanges right? Wrong. You can only exchange a mailer for a movie or a 99 cent game. You can't exchange an in-store movie for another in-store movie or game. So how is this unlimited? Well, you can bring in your mailers an unlimited amount of times per month to exchange them for in-store movies. Perhaps they should be more clear about this in the commercials. It is still an advantage on those days when you don't feel like waiting for a mailer. But that brings me to my third problem. 

Problem #3

Normally, Netflix can have a new mailer at my home within 48 hours. If I return a mailer on Monday morning, Netflix will receive it by Monday evening. My new mailer will be shipped Tuesday morning and I will receive it Tuesday evening. If I miss the morning mail, it will be received Wednesday. With Saturday mailing, I receive a new Movie by Monday. But now that the post office is shutting down Saturday service, I suspect that will change. I returned a mailer to Blockbuster on Thursday, September 29th. My next shipment was sent on Wednesday, October 5th. A full week later is when my next movie was mailed and it was the 15th selection in my queue. I won't receive it until tonight. 

Problem #4

My local Blockbuster has a rather anorexic selection. We all know just how bad the new releases are because we aren't bothering to go to the theaters to watch them. If you aren't into the new releases then you are looking into the older movies. Of which the selection is rather tired. This really takes the excitement out of the in-store exchange. If you happen to have a Blockbuster video store that has a great selection then you won't have this problem.

Winner this round, Netflix.