Sunday, July 3, 2016

Easy Clean-up Watermelon



Summer is upon us and so are the sweet & juicy giant watermelons.  Enjoy this Independence Day weekend with a no mess watermelon service for your guests!  Simply provide a large clean workspace for the cutter, lay down one large cutting board, then spread out several large clean and unscented garbage bags above the cutting board and entire workspace.  Now cut the the watermelon in pieces, chunks or wedges.  Once done, roll up the garbage bags and toss. No juicy drips on your workspace.  

Tip: Keep your hands from getting slippery by wearing nitrile gloves while cutting the melon.

Happy Fourth of July!!!

~Angela O'




Monday, May 23, 2016

Get Rid of Fruit Flies the Classy Way



I've been doing this now for a couple years and realized I never shared this saavy tip.  I'd been plagued with fruit flies during the spring months in Austin and didn't know how to rid them.  Never had I experienced them before moving to Austin.  I'd read many stories about how fruit flies live in sinks, etc but never really cared as my only concern get rid of them.  A friend of mine told me that all I needed was to put apple cider vinegar in a bowl and cover it with aluminum foil poking holes through the top.  Well, the idea sounded good but because I a was a bit of a perfectionist and didn't like the idea of having a random bowl with icky aluminum foil sitting on my counter all the time.  So I went home and put together a plan of attack.  A couple of days later I had set up permanent fruit fly traps in my home.  Voila!

These classy little fruit fly traps make quite cute gifts during the spring and summer months, just gift them in pairs.  I set them up and leave them for an extended period of time but don't forget to check and refresh them regularly.

Materials Needed:

  • Glass Mason Jars, 4 oz preferred
  • Mason Jar Lids and Rings
  • One nail, 1/4 inch width is good
  • Hammer
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions:

follow the pictures and enjoy the captions

Collect your supplies

Hold the nail steady above the jar sealed tightly with lid

Hammer the nail in to make a full hole and pull the nail out

Just like this!

Keep it up until you have a sufficient amount of holes

It should look like this

Pour in the apple cider vinegar to about half full; don't fill up!

Like this!

Look at those nasty buggers!

Rust will happen on the inside.  That's okay.

Purchase the 4 ounce mason jars and apple cider vinegar here!



~With Angela O'

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Grab & Go Half Pint Steel Cut Oatmeal Cups



One of my favorite Grab & Go breakfasts is half pint steel cut oatmeal cups.  I make one or two batches each time, loading the half pint mason jars and stacking them in the fridge so that my husband and I can grab one before work or exercise! They are super easy and rewarding both when you are hungry and when someone at work comments on how cute/clever the cups are.

My preferential taste for steel cut oatmeal is Bob's Red Mill which can be found at Costco in large bags for a fraction of the leading grocery store cost and is naturally gluten free.  I also store those large bags in giant mason jars!!



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup - Steel Cut Oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1/4 tsp - Salt
  • 2 cups - Water
  • Your Favorite Add-Ins!  Pecans, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Agave, Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit, etc.
  • 4 - Half Pint Mason Jars (8 ounces), with lid and ring
  • 1 - Medium Sauce Pot, with fitted lid
  • 1 - Stirring Spoon
  • 1/4 cup - Dry Measuring Cup, empty and clean


Directions:

Make in the afternoon or evening, prior to the morning you want it.  Place 2 cups water in medium sauce pan and reach boil.  As soon as the water boils remove from heat and add the 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal and 1/4 tsp salt.  Quickly stir the mixture and immediately place lid on sauce pot.  Leave off of hot burner so it doesn't boil over.  Do not remove the lid again as this recipe requires the heat and steam to cook the oats!  Leave for 3 hours.  After 3 hours open the lid and stir the oatmeal.  You'll find it's complete.  Some people leave in the pot overnight and call it "overnight oatmeal" but I don't have time for that!  The whole point of having grab and go oatmeal is so that I don't have to fiddle with it in the morning before work.  Now for the fun part!  Take your empty 1/4 cup dry measuring cup and put two scoops of the oatmeal mixture in one half pint mason jar.  At this time you can choose to mix add-ins with the oatmeal inside the jar or you may wait to add them in before you eat the oatmeal.  Because I like my pecans crunchy I always add in my goodies just before consuming.  However, my husband likes brown sugar in his oatmeal so it is safe to add that in early.  Once you are done filling the jars, wipe the edges of the jar clean and seal with the lid and ring.  Place in your fridge until ready to consume.  One batch of this recipe will make 4 half cup servings of oatmeal.  I like to double my recipe so that 8 half cup servings (8 half pint mason jars) are an easy grab for the two of us.  When you are ready to eat your oatmeal take off the lid and ring and set aside, placing only the glass jar filled with oatmeal in the microwave.  Caution the sides of jar will be very hot! Microwave for thirty seconds to one minute maximum.  I find that the top of the jar where the lid screws on at tends to be cooler than the glass sides but to be safe just remove from microwave with towel.  Stir you oatmeal with a spoon.  Mix your add-ins!  Yummy!!

With Angela O'



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Autopiloting in a Tesla


February 26, 2016

Wow, today started out very interesting.  This morning at 9:35am I headed out to run a work errand that would take me into Austin's quaint Hyde Park to Antonelli's Cheese Shop.  My regular commute to most of Austin includes Farm to Market 2222 (a.k.a. FM 2222 a.k.a. RM 2222), one of the dangerous highways in Texas.  Regularly individuals are choose to drive with lack of control, using no particular care to pass pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles or other vehicles that share the roadway.  Unexpectedly, I had to slam on my brakes at the top of the steep hill of FM2222 due to a severe collision involving a dump truck that was not visible from where I was located.  Next thing I know a motorcycle flies into the opposite lane and a man is lying on the ground about 3 cars behind me.  After seeing others go to help the man and making a quick assessment of me being blocked in from all sides of the road I choose to make a U-turn (a safe, legitimate one as no cars are coming in the opposite direction) and then witness emergency services arriving and performing CPR on the man's chest.  Ugh.

Man! Sometimes you just need to start the weekend early so at 3 p.m. I hopped back onto FM2222 to head to Tesla Motors to follow through with an invitation from last November.  Again I pass another collision that was bad and again the traffic was backed up for a long time.  Thankfully, I was able to navigate around 2222 using back roads that most Austinites don't know about and those who do covet.  It wasn't until I drove the Tesla in autopilot mode on the busy highway I really understood the need for those smart technology vehicles to ease the craziness and road rage on our streets.  It seriously hit home today.

Being in a car with an autopilot mode is certainly a dream but one that you cannot truly imagine or understand until you are behind the wheel without touching it in the middle of rush hour traffic on Mo-Pac.  It was truly surreal.  I did not have to control the car. The Tesla sped up to 65 miles an hour and slowed down and continued smoothly in stop and go traffic with cars on all sides of me.  It even switched lanes on it's own with just that tap of the turn signal.  Amazing.  I mean ridiculously amazing.  Of course, we have all read the articles and consumer reports on auto pilot methods and self driving cars but to think that you know what the hell the industry is talking about until you have done it is a complete bologna.  Once you have auto-piloted a car or experienced a self driving car behind the wheel yourself, you have connected with the vehicle on an entirely different level.  So today I cruised the streets of Austin in Tesla's AutoPilot.  It was amazing! Insane! Loveable!

I am a very particular person when it comes to vehicle seat design and it's functionality.  I must sit straight up and cannot have some funky object touching the lumbar region.  My steering wheel must be perfect, not too skinny where I'm gripping so tight that my knuckles hurt and not to fat that I don't feel in control.  Somehow, this car was perfect to me the moment I sat in it.  And it's adjusts to everyone.  

Tesla Model S 70D is considered the Car of the Century by some and I can certainly understand some of the points.  At 32 years old, I've been strongly considering an SUV for my next vehicle for a multitude of reasons that do include travel, children, and pets.  The Model S sedan rectifies the need for an SUV by safely securing seven passengers when adding rear facing seats to the sedans package.  Insane!!!

To end the ride, my Tesla for the day backed into the parking spot on its own.  Lord Have Mercy.

So the day ended fabulously, but to my satisfaction the gallery set me up to take the car home next week to enjoy it on my own terms.  XOXO, get yourself a Tesla!

~Angela O'


Video Credit Tesla Motors via YouTube


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Horse Driving and Loving It





I really enjoyed this 70 degree day at a Texas ranch being surrounded by several Great Danes, horses, chickens, a teacup chihuahua, and a cat named Jack.  What a wonderful crew to be with for my first time horse driving!!

~ With Angela O'



Saturday, February 20, 2016

Creator of Big Sexy Hair Michael O'Rourke



With the creator of Big Sexy Hair and Rock Your Hair, Michael O'Rourke.  Such a sweet and informative person! Hope to see him in Austin.  ~Angela O'

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Travel Tic Tac Toe

Original DIY Tic Tac Toe travel game board from the 1990's


I loved this DIY Tic Tac Toe traveling game so much as a child that I still have the original game that I made.  It's super easy to make for your child and even with your child that you may feel brave enough to have a large group of kiddos over to instruct.  Adult Child Group Fun!  a.k.a. birthday parties, project parties, rainy days, etc.  The best part... The game board and playing pieces are made out of felt so that when playing in the car, the pieces are not lost. So clever.

I think I was about 6 to 8 years old, so I believe it was my awesome Sunday School teacher Denise Kistner who instructed our class to make this project.  I don't want to leave out Connie Hester either...just in case it may have been her as she was another one of my awesome Sunday School teachers.  Kudos!

Make it yourself using the instructions below.


The felt pieces don't fall off when tipped over

Write the kid's name and a message of your choice


Materials Needed:

  • Felt, 4 different colors
  • Pinking Shears
  • Foam Core Board
  • Glue
  • A Permanent Marker
  • Gallon Size Zipper Bag


Instructions:

  • Measure the foam core board to 8 inches by 8 inches and cut.
  • Write a message on the back on the side you have determined to be the back of the board.
  • Measure felt color #1 and cut with the pinking shears. Approximately 8 inches by 8 inches (make sure it's large enough to cover the board!).  Once cut, glue this to the foam board.  Gluing it now will allow it to have some time to set prior to adding the next layer.
  • Measure strips from felt color #2 and cut using the pinking shears. Approximately 1/2 inch by 8 inches.  Not too thick, not too thin.  If the fabric is cut with the pinking shear points lined up then the width may go a little over a half inch, that is okay.  Make 4 of these.
  • Measure rectangles from felt color #3 and cut using the pinking shears.  Aproximately 1 inch by 1 3/4 inch.  Again this is approximate, the main point to remember is to make sure the pieces are large enough for hands to pick up easily but small enough for them to fit inside the tic tac toe boxes. Make 5 of these and perhaps one back up if you'd like.
  • Measure circles from felt color #4 and cut using the pinking shears. Approximately 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch.  Again this is approximate, the main point to remember is to make sure the pieces are large enough for hands to pick up easily but small enough for them to fit inside the tic tac toe boxes.  Make 5 of these and perhaps one back up if you'd like.
  • Glue the measured strips that you cut from felt color #2 to the felt covered foam board, using the lattice style method.
  • Do NOT put your foam rectangles/circles on the foam board until you know the board has completely dried.  You wouldn't want to accidentally glue pieces to the board making them permanently unplayable, would you?
  • When complete, store in a zipper bag and keep it in the family car.

With Angela O'



Make at least 5 pieces each shape

BAG IT AND STICK IT! in the car