Nutella Chocolate Cheerios Treats

Work is having a party tomorrow. They will provide chicken and salad and we bring side dishes or desserts. And because they love their contests, we will vote on the best dishes. (insert eye roll)
I thought about making chocolate crinkles or even bourbon balls. Those are too much work for such a big crowd. There may be lots of dishes and not enough for everyone to get a taste.
Yesterday, I got a large jar of Nutella with the idea of baking with it. I looked in Paprika for some idea and came across a Rice Krispies Treats with Nutella and pecans. I did not have Rice Krispies nor pecans and didn’t want to face the crowds at the grocery store. I did have Chocolate Cheerios and modified a recipe for Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats. 

Ingredients
6 cups Chocolate Cheerios
10 oz mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Nutella

Directions
In a large bowl, melt butter in the microwave
Coat 13x9 pan with cooking spray, also spray on large spatula
Add marshmallows and coat with melted butter
Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir
Microwave for 45 seconds
Add Nutella to the bowl and stir to blend
Add Cheerios to the bowl, completely coat the Cheerios
Pour mixture into 13x9 pan.
Use the sprayed spatula to flatten mixture into pan. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

pruning the palms

queen palms, 2010

queen palms, 2010

I had my palms pruned yesterday.

There is a guy who drives around the neighborhood about once a month and knocks on my door and asks about my palms. I step out and look and tell him they don't need it yet. He knocked yesterday and I was going to tell him to come back but he said that I told him this month. Sigh. OK, how much? He looks at my queen palms and tells me he can do them for $30 each though he should be charging $40 each. They really don't need the trimming. He explains that the seed pods should not be popping out like that but I know better. I ask him about the washingtonian palm which does need pruning. "You tell me what you will pay." Right. That tree is already 20 feet tall and needs a tall ladder whereas the queen palms need only a 6 foot ladder. He goes on to tell me more bullshit about the palms and how he does the neighbors' trees. I am surprised because I did not hear any chainsaws before he knocked. I ask if he will do it all for $100 and he says yes though he looks like he is doing me a favor. (I paid $80 in 2012 and 2013.) The men get to work.

queen palm flowers, 2012

queen palm flowers, 2012

I come out a bit later to move my dad's car. It is in the driveway and under the palms. It is not really in the way but I am being cautious because he had asked me to move it in the past. I see the men are using handsaws which explains why I hadn't heard them. I ask if they want some water. He says yes, "or gatorade or pepsi". We don't have soda in the house and I am not generous with dad's gatorade. He doesn't keep more than one in the fridge. I make up three jugs of water with ice in some rubbermaid plastic water bottles I have had for years. I carry them out. He says he will put them in the cooler and asks if I want the bottles back. Yes, though there is no rush. I know I will see him again. I am not so sure about the bottles.

washingtonian palm, 2010

washingtonian palm, 2010

He knocks on the door asking if they have taken enough off. Once again, they have trimmed more than enough. Palms get their nutrients from the green in the palms. Green fronds should not be pruned. Our old neighbors would have their palms sheared. They were told it is better for hurricane protection. That is not true but I never told them otherwise. I have learned to leave the green fronds on the palm. But the washingtonian palm is too tall for me to climb and prune so I am at the mercy of these guys who knock on my door.

queen palms, 2009

queen palms, 2009

After they clean up the yard and get paid, I decide to check online about palm pruning. Yes, they did prune too much and it may hurt the tree. I am angry at myself for not insisting they do what I ask and not watching them. I will have to diligent if I ever let them trim again.

brand loyalty

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Being brand loyal can makes shopping easy. When I need something, I look at those favorite brands first. It saves me time comparing products and prices. Just give me the stuff I know will work.

My loyalty started with Neutrogena. I used their products for over 2 decades. I only stopped using their products when they didn't seem to be as effective and I learned that they weren't the safe and natural products I thought they were.

These days, I use Dr. Bronner's. I use their soaps and conditioners and the boys use their shave cream. If they made facial moisturizers, I would use them as well.

The same loyalty holds true for computers and electronics, I choose Apple For clothing I choose Lands' End and for luggage and backpacks I choose LL Bean.

 

housework

I hate housework. 

I don't know anyone who likes it but a few who do it knowing it has to be done and that they want  to make their home the best it can be. 

Growing up, we had to clean a room in the house each week. We earned 50¢ for our effort. For some reason, I remember getting stuck with the bathroom way too often. I hated having to clean that room. The floors had to be mopped and I did it on my knees. Our bathroom was small and all seven of us used it. Yep, it was gross. 

As we got older, the boys moved out and all the housework fell to my sister and me and then finally just me. Mom was not a taskmaster regarding housework. We only got paid when we did the work. She was lazy too. The only times we had to do chores was before holidays. Mom mopped the kitchen floor. Everything got cleaned before Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. During those times, mom was busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm so she didn't help with the rest of the housework. And the mess she made in the kitchen!

I don't remember any whole-family cleaning effort except a few times when mom wanted all the windows cleaned. The screens were removed and I had the job of scrubbing them clean with a brush and a hose full of very cold water. 

I do enjoy a clean house. I am not crazy. But I am lazy and hate to do with those little things that are so easily ignored. I have no problem doing the dishes and the laundry on a daily basis. Dusting, vacuuming and mopping are last on my to do list. 

Gail liked a clean house. He felt that a clean house was the equivalent of telling him "I love you." I didn't know this until after he died. After each boy was born, he put up with the mess and clutter for about three months. Then one day he would snap and yell. Gail did not mind doing the floors and I happily let him do them.

After Gail died, I had lots of free time once the boys were in school. I started really cleaning the house. I picked a room each day and did a big clean. This lasted for a few months. Until I joined the YMCA. And discovered scrapbooking. I went back to doing a crazy clean before I hosted a scrapbooking evening.

When I began my online business, I got very lazy with housework. I cringe when I see old photos and the boxes and boxes and crap all over the house. 

I did a major clean in 2008. My siblings were coming to celebrate my dad turning 80. I let things go again after that but not nearly as bad. 

There were times when I read things like How to Clean Your House in 20 Minutes a Day for 30 Days. But I needed a big clean first. And I kept putting it off. Then my sister planned to visit. My sister is good at housework. I think she likes cleaning. With her husband working from home, she couldn't sit around like Peg Bundy eating Bonbons and watching TV.  Not that Nancy is anything like Peg Bundy. But I think Charlie expected her to be home and cleaning. Anyway, she is picky about a clean house I knew I had to do something. 

Last fall, I started cleaning. I cleaned so much I broke my vacuum. The house is not spotless. I just can't work that hard. But it is passable and I feel good. I have started a routine and keep it that way. 

I looked for some cleaning routines to adopt. I found a few check lists and saved them. Then I remembered about seeing an iPhone app with cleaning routines. I checked a few out and downloaded Home Routines

Home Routines comes with some tasks already loaded and suggested room zones. I did some modifications and started using the app.  Then I realized this was just another to do app with repeating tasks. I already have an app like that did I really want another app to open and keep track? Nope. I entered those tasks into Reminders.

Home Routines is a good app if all you want it to get working on good home cleaning tasks and don't want to think about how to set it up in Reminders or Things

I have been doing some cleaning each week. Some weeks I do better than others and I complete all the tasks on my lists. Other times I don't. I don't let it bother me since each area gets repeated every 4 weeks. (Toilets get cleaned each week.) And I am still working through areas that tend to get ignored like the tops of tall furniture.

I will never be The Hostess with the Mostess. But I won't be embarrassed to let guests into my home.

housework

I hate housework. 

I don't know anyone who likes it but a few who do it knowing it has to be done and that they want  to make their home the best it can be. 

Growing up, we had to clean a room in the house each week. We earned 50¢ for our effort. For some reason, I remember getting stuck with the bathroom way too often. I hated having to clean that room. The floors had to be mopped and I did it on my knees. Our bathroom was small and all seven of us used it. Yep, it was gross. 

As we got older, the boys moved out and all the housework fell to my sister and me and then finally just me. Our mom was not a taskmaster regarding housework. We only got paid when we did the work. She was lazy too. The only times we had to do chores was before holidays. Everything got cleaned before Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. During those times, mom was busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm so didn't help with the work. And the mess she made in the kitchen!

I don't remember the whole family cleaning except a few times when mom wanted all the windows cleaned. The screens were removed and I had the job of scrubbing them clean with a brush and a hose full of very cold water. 

I do enjoy a clean house. I am not crazy. But I am lazy and hate to do with those little things that are so easily ignored. I have no problem doing the dishes and the laundry on a daily basis. Dusting, vacuuming and mopping are last on my to do list. 

Gail liked a clean house. He felt that a clean house was the equivalent of telling him "I love you." I didn't know this until after he died. After each boy was born, he put up with the mess and clutter for about three months. Then one day he would snap and yell. Gail did not mind doing the floors and I happily let him do them.

After Gail died, I had lots of free time once the boys were in school. I started really cleaning the house. I picked a room each day and did a big clean. This lasted for a few months. Until I joined the YMCA. And discovered scrapbooking. I went back to doing a crazy clean before I hosted a scrapbooking evening. 

When I began my online business, I got very lazy with housework. I cringe when I see old photos and the boxes and boxes and crap all over the house. I did a major clean in 2008. My siblings were coming to celebrate my dad turning 80. I let things go again after that but not nearly as bad. 

There were times when I read posts like How to Clean Your House for 20 minutes a day for 30 Days. But I had to do a big clean first. And I kept putting it off. Then my sister planned to visit. My sister is good at housework. I think she likes cleaning. With her husband working from home, she couldn't sit around like Peg Bundy eating Bon bons and watching tv.  Not that Nancy is anything like Peg Bundy. But I think Charlie expected her to be home and cleaning. Anyway, she is picky about a clean house I knew I had to do something. 

So a month ago, I started cleaning. I cleaned so much I broke my vacuum. The house is not spotless. I just can't work that hard. But it is good and I feel good. Now is the time to start a good routine and keep it that way. 

I looked for some cleaning routines to adopt. I found a few check lists and saved them. Then I remembered about seeing an iPhone with cleaning routines. I checked a few out and downloaded HomeRoutines

HomeRoutines comes with some tasks already loaded and suggested room zones. I did some modifications and started using the app yesterday.  Then I realized this was just another to do app with repeating tasks. I already have an app like that did I really want another app to open and keep track? Nope. So last night and this morning, I entered those tasks into Reminders. 

HomeRoutines is a good app if all you want it to get working on good home cleaning tasks and don't want to think about how to set it up in Reminders or Things. 

The added tasks make my to do list look long. But they don't take much time to complete and I feel very good when I check them off. Without anyone to keep me accountable, Reminders helps.

Here are some more posts about house cleaning routines:

Better Homes & Gardens Setting Up Cleaning Routines

Organizing Made Fun 15 Minutes Day?

My 3 Monsters Housekeeping

24 7 Moms Clean Your House in 15 Minutes a Day!

Real Simple Daily Quick Cleaning Checklist

Angela Says A 30 Day Cleaning Challenge

24 october 2011

ditching-icon.jpg

Another week of not getting much done at least as far as cutting the clutter is concerned. I have no good excuses.

I did some scanning and filing but no shredding and no work on making paper packs.

My confession. I am watching too many TV shows. It started with Doctor Who and quickly expanded to Eureka, Torchwood, House, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Community and now Fringe. It is my addictive personality. Once I get hooked, I cannot stop easily. Moderation does not make it into my vocabulary often enough.

I am noticing some muscle weakness where the back pain was running. Is it damaged nerve or just muscle atrophy from lack of use?

Of course, watching House only feeds the paranoia. I do not like going to doctors so I am trying to think what House would tell me if I showed up in his clinic. "You are overweight and sedentary, get some exercise." So I walked today. Only a mile. My legs felt like jello later in the day. If I can just get addicted to exercise...

I did go on a photo shoot yesterday. I will post about it later. It needs its own post.

09 october 2011

ditching-icon.jpg

Since the garage sale is over for now, I am back to ditching the clutter. I have 5 boxes of books ready to donate as well as a large frame print. The print is in my car since I needed to get it out of the way for the sale.

Goals this week:

1 hour of scanning

1 hour of filing

1 hour of shredding

1 hour of making paper packs to sell

1 hour working in my office, general clean up/ditch/organize

Once I have have caught up with the scanning, I will start with Erin's book, Unclutter Your Life in Once Week.

Garage sale wrap up. It has been 2 years since my last sale, I thought more would show up. But then, like me, people have probably stopped scrap booking. Many people have to work and do not have time for their own hobbies. And as out kids get older, they aren't as fun to scrap book. How many soccer photos do you really need in a book? Only 5 shoppers. I was a little disappointed in how much I made but it was still good considering how few people were there.

I did like how it was contained to just people I knew and how I was basically done by 9 am. I did not get to cleaning the family room and people did move in there once they were done. Oops. I will do better next time.

In the part, Andy would ride his bike while I stayed in the garage. Since I wasn't in the garage, he missed this. So after I was done with my sale, I sat outside so he could ride his bike. If he does it once and enjoys it, it becomes a tradition.

I only sold a few books. It was probably not worth the effort to box them but now they are ready to go to the library as donations.

02 october 2011

ditching-icon.jpg

Unclutter update.

I did well towards the process of getting rid of the clutter. I did an hour of scanning, an hour of filing, and an hour of shredding. I did not get any other tasks done from my goals.

The garage sale is Saturday so I am putting the scanning/filing/shredding on hold. I need to concentrate on preparing for the garage sale. I hope all the palm itching means the sale is going to be successful. That said, I volunteered to work at the school book fair two days, have an autism support group for parents meeting, and two other appointments this week. Oh well, what gets done, gets done.

25 september 2011

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20110924bowlingR.jpg

I think my back pain is from my bed. It needs to be flipped/rotated. A bit of a conundrum as I can move the heavy mattress with the pain, but the pain will continue until I move the mattress.

ditching-icon.jpg

I met my goals and did an hour each of scanning, filing, and shredding. I feel like I am filing making a small dent in those piles. I did about 3 hours of work in the scrap area. If I stick with the October 8 date, I have two weeks to get a lot more done.

Goals this week:

• Three hours of organizing in the scrap room/office.

• One hour of scanning documents

• One hour of shredding documents

• One hour of filing documents

17 september 2011

ditching-icon.jpg

Progress continued but a bit slower as I started having back pain. I felt a bit better after going to the chiropractor but the pain started coming back at the end of the week.

I worked in the office about 3 hours. I got more supplies yesterday so I can continue next week.

I scanned and filed about an hour. I did this in 15 minute sessions.

I uncovered the shredder and started shredding. I did not do an hour of shredding, it doesn't take that long to shred an hour's worth of scanning. I did shredding some very old files without scanning.

Goals this week:

• Organize one shelving unit of embellishments. (I completed two half shelves.)

One hour of scanning documents

• One hour of shredding documents (Completed about 45 minutes of shredding.)

One hour of filing documents

The boys have school photos on Wednesday and I am going to try to volunteer.

There might be a CBI for Andy on Thursday. Andy finally got info about a school dance after school on Thursday.

My goals for next week:

• Two hours of organizing in the "store."

• One hour of scanning documents

• One hour of shredding documents

• One hour of filing documents

As of today, there are 99 days until Christmas. I spent some time working on my gift list. If you want to play along, here are three sites:

100 Days to Christmas

Organized Home Christmas Countdown

Real Simple Ultimate Christmas Countdown