Feb 28, 2013

Take-Out Style Chicken Lo Mein

Noodles, noodles, noodles.

I love noodles. Not necessarily pasta...but noodles.

Lo Mein. Chow Mein. Love.

Good Chinese take-out makes me happy.

Sometimes it is hard to find good noodles.

So when you can't find good take-out, well you just need to do a fake-out at home.

Can't find the good noodles well then we shall make them.

Thank heavens for Yaki Soba noodles. They are refrigerated prepackaged noodles found in the same area as the wonton wrappers.

They make homemade take-out noodles divine.

Thanks to the prepackaged noodles, a rotisserie chicken, and a handful of other easy to find ingredients, this meal comes together super fast.

A super fast AND super yummy meal.

Yes, please. I will have seconds.

On a side note, I had to do a little research to determine if what I was making was Chow Mein or Lo Mein.

I discovered that Lo Mein is tossed noodles, while Chow Mein is fried noodles.

Now I know. Now you know, if you didn't already of course.

Now I don't have to be disgruntled that I haven't found a good Chinese restaurant yet.

I can have a Chinese restaurant right in my own home. Woohoo!

Chicken Lo Mein
adapted from Favorite Family Recipes 

Printable Recipes

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
black pepper, to taste
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4-5 small packages of Yaki Soba noodles (there are 3 in each 17oz  regular sized package)
2/3  cup chopped celery (cut diagonally)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped cabbage
1-2 cups shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken

In a small boy combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Set aside.

Remove the noodles from the packages and throw away the flavor packets. Rinse the noodles and drain.

Heat oil in a large wok. Add the celery and the onion. Saute for a few minutes or until the onions start to become soft and translucent. Add cabbage and saute the mixture for another minute.

Toss the noodles, chicken, and soy sauce mixture with the vegetables over medium high heat for another 2-3 minutes or until the noodles are heated through.

Serve. Enjoy.        

Feb 27, 2013

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Better Smelling Towels

Welcome to yet another A Pinteresting Wednesday. I haven't tried one of my pins of my Tips, Tricks, Good to Know board for awhile. I figured it was time.

Funny enough, this was actually from Hubby's boards (there was no actual link since it was pinned from an iphone so I can't direct you, sorry), but this is something we have both been wanting to try for a long time.

So try it we did. Obviously bringing out my inner Yoda.

We have these towels.

We have had them for a pretty long time. Some of them were even wedding gifts.

Explain to me the reason why towels you wash for years with delightful smelling detergent just end up smelling dank, old, and frankly quite nasty after awhile.

I pretty much hate it. 

Nothing worse than being all clean and then drying off with a stanky towel.

So this week I decided I would try to make my towels smell better.

I gathered up a handful of our towels.

I ran the towels through two loads.

First I ran the load with no detergent, just 1 cup of white vinegar with the water temperature on hot.

Once the first load is done, then I ran a second load with detergent and 1/2 cup of baking soda, again on hot.

After two runs through the washing machine, you dry them like normal.


No more dank stank.

Fluffy and now with a refreshing clean smell.

So the lowdown to getting better smelling towels:

First Time: Run with no detergent. Use 1 cup of white vinegar and HOT water.
Second Time: Run with detergent. Use 1/2 cup baking soda and HOT water.

Now enjoy renewed towels.

Oh thank you Pinterest for making me a better housekeeper!

What has been a favorite tip or trick that you have pinned? Do share!

I would love for you to follow along on Pinterest and stay posted on the fun.

Feb 26, 2013

Beach Birthday Party

This year was Oldest's 9th birthday.

It was his first non-party year. That was what was decided after his last birthday. No more big parties after 8.

Yep, no more big parties. Just the birthday boy, a couple of friends, and a low-key activity.

So when Oldest decided that he wanted to go swimming for his low-key activity, it seemed okay to just have a teeny, tiny beach-themed...er...um...

...lunch...not at all a party...

There may or may not have been some minor decorations.

There may or may not have been balloons, and maybe a tad of a tablescape on my favorite stand-by red dresser.

But really, it wasn't a party...

I promise...

Okay it was kind of a party. Just a little, itty, bitty one.

I mean, one of my kids was heard to say, "This is all you are going to decorate? Just this little spot?"

So see I did reign it in. 

I just couldn't help myself. I wanted to do just a smidge. Something to make his day special.

Once he decided he wanted to go swimming, I settled on a beachy theme to welcome them once they returned from swimming.

Bright colors. Beach balls. Colorful beach towels. Cold drinks.


I made a simple...I mean siiiimple banner of crepe paper.

There were some beach posters I made using simple geometric shapes from PicMonkey

I was lucky to find some Summer toys even in the bitter coldness of February.

There was also a ceiling of balloons. It added such a great effect.

Then there were the cakes.

My favorite was the small, simple blue wave cake.

Before the cake, we had to have our Beach Picnic Lunch.

Oldest LOVES hotdogs, so that had to make the lunch list.

They ate on laid out beach towels and we all pretended it was warm and tropical outside instead of snow-covered.

We had chips and fruit. I love, love, love the yellow print bags that I found for the chips.

It would seem that lunch was enjoyed by Oldest.

And his friends.

I think it was a success. Good times were had by all at this non-party birthday.

Hope you enjoy, are inspired, and feel a bit
of Summer during this never-ending winter.

Thanks for reading!

Feb 25, 2013

Flirt Earring WINNER

After a little weekend off from blogging, I am ready to announce the winner of the Flirt Earring Giveaway...

Drum roll...

The winner is:

#188 Pam B who Liked Just Another Day in Paradise
on Facebook.

Congrats Pam. I know you will LOVE these earrings. I am emailing you and I will get your information to Flirt Earrings as well.

Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway. I hope you visited Flirt Earrings and fell in love with her merchandise as much as I did.

I hope to be back today with a post showcasing Oldest's birthday non-party, but I need to clean around these parts first! Stay tuned.

Feb 22, 2013

Fun with the Kids Friday: Kool-Aid Glue Painting

Last Day!

I had some bored kids recently pacing back and forth, ranting and raving, and altogether being rather unpleasant.

I think we have grown weary of winter...and by think I mean know.

We were actually seeing some of the grass and then it snowed. Oh grass, it was nice to see you for awhile.

So our recent answer to being stir crazy was some painting fun.

What made it so fun you ask?

Uh first...Kool-Aid.


Combine one Kool-Aid packet and a bottle of glue and you have sticky, colorful, wonderful smelling paint.

Then after some stirring and lid replacing, it turns into the one of the most fun painting mediums ever.

Plus it also is an excellent answer to the stir-crazies.

Just roll up the sleeves, put on T-shirt Painters Smock, and start squeezing the Kool-Aid glue all over a giant piece of poster board.

Sometimes it takes so much concentration, one's tongue involuntarily must stick out.

This was a great activity for a stuck-in-the-house afternoon.

I will say that while all the boys enjoyed it, my almost four year old enjoyed it the most. He started first and ended last. Then he went back later...gasp ... smock-less and ended up covered in Kool-Aid glue paint.

I couldn't be mad, he was having fun, being creative, and had this look on his face.

Kool-Aid Painting passed the test. Good fun had by all.

Feb 21, 2013

Chocolate Sheet Cake


 Traditionally me and chocolate cake are just distant acquaintances. I tolerate it in group settings. I eat it if offered, but only in polite acquiesce. Thankfully chocolate cake does not tempt me.


 Chocolate cake used to not tempt me.

Then I met this Chocolate Sheet Cake.

Hello Temptation, thy name is Cake.

I would eat this cake for breakfast.

"Dad is great! Makes us chocolate cake." Any Bill Cosby fans out there?


Best. Chocolate. Cake. Ever.

The cake. Moist.

The frosting. AWESOME.


Well I think I have said it already, best cake ever.

Cake that is rich enough it has it's own trophy wife--milk.

Do yourself a favor and make this cake.

You might also want to invite over your neighbors, your friends, your mailman, basically anyone who can finish off the sheet cake, minus the three two pieces you will eat, oh and the piece you will want for breakfast the next morning.

You're welcome.

Chocolate Sheet Cake
The Pioneer Woman

Printable Recipe

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
6 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and baking soda. Mix and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium sized sauce pan. Add in cocoa. Whisk to combine. When the butter is fully melted add in the cup of boiling water. Let the mixture bubble for just a tad and then remove from heat.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Stir together and allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Then add in the egg mixture. Mix until smooth.

Pour batter onto a jelly roll pan and bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder until smooth. Next add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir. Add in the pecans and stir until well combined.

Pour the icing over the cake as soon as it is removed from the oven. Pour evenly, spread as little as possible.

Let it set up for 20-30 minutes.

Eat up.

Feb 20, 2013

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Avengers Tee

Don't forget to go and enter the Flirt Earring GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to another A Pinteresting Wednesday  where I share a project or tip I have recently done and crossed off one of my Pinterest boards.

This Avengers Tee idea from Cheri and I am Momma has been sitting on my Projects to Do board for almost a year. I can't believe it sat there for so long.

This is why I started A Pinteresting Wednesday people! There are so many great ideas that are sitting there waiting to be tried and accomplished.

I am so happy that this is the pin that got crossed off this week.

So is he.

Middle LOVES the Avengers. He was even partied it up for his birthday Avenger style.

In her tutorial she provides the image. I just had to save it to my computer. She used her Silhouette to cut out a stencil on freezer paper. I used my Silhouette to cut the image out of flocked t-shirt vinvyl (which I get from Expressions Vinyl).

I had to manipulate and change the images slightly to get them to cut out cleanly. Now I have the saved image and can make Avengers shirts for my other Little Men, who of course requested them upon sight of Middle's.

It is pretty rockin'.

Perfect for my own fierce little superhero.

Thanks Cheri for the image and the idea!

One pin down and only 2,857 left...hahaha until I pin something else in two minutes.

Feb 19, 2013

It's My Birthday GIVEAWAY: Flirt Earrings CLOSED


Today I am 20, plus an extra 13 years give or take.

I have a few more laugh lines and worry wrinkles. I have a smattering of gray hairs that I am too lazy to color. I have a bum knee.

I have earned it all and I have enjoyed my 33 year long journey so far.

So there is no hiding, no pretending, and absolutely no wiping my birthday from the calendar. I am wearing 33 proud.

Let's celebrate with a giveaway for something lovely, girly, glamorous, and accessory-tastic...some of my favorite adjectives. Yes accessory-tastic is totally an adjective. I am pretty sure it is in the dictionary. Look it up. Do dictionaries still exist??

Sorry got sidetracked.

Back to the It's My Birthday Giveaway.

One of my college roommates is, well in a word, AH-MAZING. She has two of the cutest shops ever. Her shop Rachael's Homemade Soap Shop sells gloriously lovely homemade soaps. I might want to buy all of them. She also sells, homemade crocheted washrags, colorful clothespins and more. I have used her soap before and the quality of her work is amazing.

So can you imagine how excited I was when she opened another shop exclusively for beautiful earrings in all shapes and colors. Her new shop is Flirt.

Then I got a few pairs in the mail. They were even more beautiful in person.

These Gold Melody earrings make my day. I am on a serious gold accessory kick.

I have been on the search for a great pair of yellow earrings for at least a year. I just couldn't seem to find a pair that I liked that were the right shade of yellow.

Search over thanks to Flirt's The Kitty in Yellow.

I have had the earrings a week and have already rocked them each several times. I love them. In fact, I already have my eye on a couple of other pairs. I pretty much want the whole "Rusty" line...but the coral ones are shouting at me the loudest.

Needless to say I love them.

Now is your chance to help me celebrate my birthday and enter to win TWO pairs of Flirt earrings, your choice of style and color.

For a chance at winning yourself two pairs of earrings follow the entry prompts below. Make sure to complete the mandatory entries and then choose one or all of the rest of the entries to increase your chances.

The giveaway starts today...ehem, my birthday...and goes through Friday, February 22nd 11:59 pm MST.

If you are so excited and can't wait to see if you won, good news...Rachael is offering Just Another Day in Paradise Readers a 10% discount on her earrings during the giveaway. Just use PARADISE when checking out.

Have fun and GOOD LUCK.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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