Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Babies part 3

Gestational DIABETES

So I went to the appointments and got tested for gestational diabetes. If you have never had this before it is a blood test. They tell you to fast the night before. This means that you do not eat after 9pm( you can have black coffee and water) and most likely you get a very early appointment in the opening hours. You go in and do you pee and charts etc. Then you get to drink this awful tasting stuff called Glucola. It comes in three or more flavors. They had coke, sprite, fruit punch and orange "soda" flavors at my OBGYN. If you want to know what it tastes like - leave your soda to get flat and then make it the consistency of maple syrup. It is like the fountain drinks syrup bags from restaurants. It is not a pleasurable taste. You have to drink it in 5 minutes. At this point you are free to go back in to the lobby. You are not allowed anything to drink or eat while do this test or you fail and have to retake it. You are not allowed to walk around or leave the building , so ladies if you have kids leave them at the sitter's and if you can't bring lots of entertainment. Reading material from your home is best otherwise you'll end reading those old magazines with clipped out coupons on the last page of the article you are interested in finishing. Then you wait your hour and go have your blood taken. Even though a diabetic can check their sugar with one drop they take vials of it.  If your levels are 135 to 140ish they make you take the 3 hour test. They usually give you the results by mail or phone in a couple of days of your test.

3 hour hell

If you failed the first test then you take a 3 hour test. This means you fast the same as the one hour. You go in the same. The difference is when come in they take your fasting blood sample. Then you drink a larger bottle of Glucola. You then sit in the lobby for an hour , go get pricked. Sit again for another hour, do your blood again. Once more another hour and get pricked for your last time. After that you are free to go. They call you and tell you the results.

Most will fail the one hour test because they make money form it. If your levels are under 140 you do no need to go for the 3 hour. If your levels are over 140 then you will take the 3 hour. If you fail the 3 hour , which is unlikely for you too because only 4-7 % women have gestational diabetes, then you have to start a diet and etc. When they call you about your test on the first test ASK them what your levels are exactly, they do no give them to you unless you ask. They do not give them to you on the 3 hour unless you ask.

The FAIL Diet

So say you are like me and you fail the diabetes test. Which I expected to fail anyways because I already had one child with the same thing. You call and they call back and forth until they get you an appointment with a dietician. My dietician was really sweet, I hope you have one that way too.  So what they tell you is carbs are the devil, Just because it says sugar free it does not matter, it has to be low in carbs (nice money maker for people who don't know eh) exercise more ( if you are overweight and your doctor says you can), and try not to break the diet.  You get a nice little monitor and some strips and some lancets (needles). The dietician should show you how to operate your new little toy and give you pamphlets on everything. My diet is as follows

breakfast - 30
snack -15

You check your sugar levels first thing in the morning. Then two hours after each meal/snack. You record everything you eat for the first week. Then you record your times and levels on a different sheet for the OB.  After the first week you only record your times and levels until the end of pregnancy.  If you are diabetic, you feel thirsty all the time, you hunger for carbs, but you can't have them. Your wounds are slow to heal. Your weight goes up and down, you urinate all the time. This is with type 2 , some ladies have to take insulin shots if the diet doesn't work. Some ladies have to take a diabetes pill. If the diet controls your sugar then you wont have to take anything. My problem was I was eating too many fruits and vegetables out of proportions. Like a banana is 28 carbs by itself, I didn't think it was a big deal since I was eating fruit. Fruit and vegetables can raise your sugar as bad as ice cream and cookies. Breads and pastas are evil.

There are foods that are carb free and help you out. Then there are some low carb ones that are great too. Some of these are
sf jello-0
garden salads- usually about 3 per serving (without the goodies and dressing)
cottage cheese- 3 per serv

There are more. They should you a book and it has fast food in it as well. You can also Google the restaurants nutritional information, call them or ask for a guide when you go through the drive thru or inside the store. It's best to call ahead or do the internet way since most people don't ask and it takes them forever to find one. For me milk was raising my sugar beyond belief. I stopped drinking milk and switched to cheese and soy milk and yogurt for my calcium intake. It isn't the end of eating what you want - its just here and there and sucks at first. Once you get into it it's not that bad. Walking helps you lower your after meals significantly.

So I called the doctor about taking cinnamon chromium vitamins. I read online this was a way to lower your blood sugar, the ob said there is no studies proving it works, or studies showing it might be harmful , so best not to take it. He's been practicing longer than I have been alive so he's pretty experienced and well carried. I didn't take the vitamins, but I did try a little cinnamon in the diet and it has helped. I read you could take ACV- apple cider vinegar, I have not tired this but it works well when you are not pregnant for stomach related problems. I read green and decaf coffee work, this i tried, no fast results, so as time goes along it might prove otherwise.


The next appointment I had was the big one. I got to see if I get a little princess or another little prince.  You go into your appointment as usual. I took my 3 year old so that he could see his new "sibling". Big mistake.  They made us wait forever and went past his nap time which caused a cranky ruckus. When we got into the room he kept trying to touch all the equipment and was really loud when told NO. The lady came in and go her price scanner looking ultrasound scanner. I am glad she didn't use the horse one. It's not a drop drawers visit so little guy and my husband were invited into the room. She scans and takes measurements and makes sure it has all the limbs and heart size etc it should. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE SEX OF YOUR BABY, TELL HER BEFORE SHE BEGINS. She will say it at some point and if it's a boy sometimes you can see it before, if you are like me they look like little alien pictures. I wanted to know so she told me I am having a little girl! My son who was with us during this touching moment started crying in a jealous manner because it actually "hit him" that we were not making this up and that is going to be competition. She asked him if he wanted a brother or sister and he screamed JESUS, which made her jaw drop. As we were all teared up and for all different reasons the nurse concludes and you get a few print outs of the event. The last time I went I got to get a DVD of my son, this time I got a few postcard size photos of my daughter, I asked if there was a reason , the hospital and degraded expensive equipment. So don't expect the same thing as last time you had a kid. I carried a rw- dvd in my pocket book for nothing.

Now I have regular appointment, I just go pee in a cup and get pamphlets and the doctor asks me questions and that's it. So far, nothing new has changed or came about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Babies part 2

Today was the second appointment. I had to get a pap smear, A scan, a breast exam and pee cup test. So this visit was bottoms and tops off. At least I remembered to shave my legs this time lol. At first i had to go in and pee in a cup and I am not talented at this art. I always get my hand wet and get very nervous and aggravated. So after you slide the sample in the little door, you go and wait for a few minutes. I was taken back and told to get naked. So then you get naked and you get a few peices of cloth that you "drape" over over you. Its basically a bib and large dinner napkin. So they checked my breasts and that seemed good. Then he stuck the cold duck bills in and took his samples. His nurse stuck a ball with cold jelly scanner to find a heartbeat. They like to press it hard and sometimes you will jump because it hurts a little and feels like crap. Then I had an awful thing happen. NO HEARTBEAT!!

"don't panic or worry" she says. OMG no heartbeat and you tell me not worry I am devestated. So she brings in a belly scanner and there it was a heartbeat phewwww... sighs of relief. The baby was just really active and never settled down. We barely got a clear picture. I finally got to see what every mother wants to see a beautiful head and feet and arms. It crossed its little legs for the picture. Unlike my son who thrusted himself in the camera every chance he got. So I heard a wives tale that this leg crossing is the girl being shy. I have no idea , but I guess that time will tell.

So i got cleaned up then they tell me they need some blood so I went to he lab part of the building and got 6 vials of blood taken. I did this very well but needed to sit down after i left the building because I got sick and a little light headed. They were rushing to get me out of there today because it started snowing here. It looked like it was going to be bad, but it didn't stick , fine with me I got all this done in one hour.

I got a list of meds that I can take while pregnant.
 I think they should give this list at first sign, but here it is so you can see in case you forgot or haven't gotten your letter yet:

They say not to take meds until you are 12 weeks preg- but in moderation these are okay:
Tylenol regular or extra strength, actifed or sudafed cold, robotussin, tums, rolaids, mylanta, milk of magnesia, citrucel, metamucil, preparation H, tucks

On the second page It tells you the others you can have: (some are listed twice)

Calcium supplement-Tums calcium for life- bone health

Headache/fever-Tylenol 2 tabs every 4 hours as needed

Colds, stuffy head use children doses-Actifed, Sudafed tablets, dimetapp, Tylenol Cold and sinus,
Mucinex, Ocean mist nose drops, Saline nasal spray

Cough use children's doses-Robotussin liquid, Benylin

Sleep Aide-Tylenol PM

Heartburn, gas, sour stomach-Tums, Riopan liquid or tablets, Zantac, Prilosec, Maalox, Mylanta tablets

Constipation-Citrucel (powder or caplet), Colace, Senakot, Surfak, Doxidon (stool softner)

Diarrhea-Immodium, Kaopectate, Citrucel (only 4 ounces of water, or call for an RX if needed)

Nausea/ Vomiting-Emetrol, Vitamin B6, Ginger Capsule or call for an RX if needed.

Rash- Benadryl or Benadryl cream, Hydrocortisone Cream

Yeast- Monistat

Paniful Urination- Start with large amount of water or cranberry juice. Avoid carbonated and sugar beverages. Call your doctor.

Call the Doc if you have a med that's not listed that says safe. Better safe than sorry.

Things not to do while Prego:
- x-rays
- meds until 12 weeks
- that your doctors all of them even dentist know your knocked up
- changing kitty litter- parasites live in the cat poop
-partially cooked meat - now medium rare etc (toxoplasmosis)
- Lifting heavy weights- nothing over 25 pounds
-contact sports - swimming and walking are best
- dental work unitl 12 weeks at least
-dying you hair

You get asked for an hiv scan this time. and a down syndrome test. I say no to any needles poking the baby. Blood tests are okay with me, but I am not going to stick a needle toward the babies head. It seems to me that a 20% chance of sticking the baby in the head or elsewhere with a needle to obtain fluid is better than the chance that it  is DS than making it DS with the needle. No thank you. After you deny it the Doc says well most parents do. I knew a couple that had this done when I was a kid. The child had no eyes. I asked why the baby had no eyeballs (being a kid and having no tact) then the mom said she had the needle test done and they hit his eyes. I remembered how hapy that baby was , but how sad people looked at him. I vowed no needles in my baby's face.  If the baby needs special care than God made it that way- I'll love my child no matter problems it has.

You get screened for diabetes soon. about 26- 28 weeks blugh. This test sucks if you fail the first part. The second part is drinking this syrupy soda and NOT puking. It makes you so sick its like maple syrup thick and tastes like a foul orange soda. You have to keep it down or do it again. I got blood tested every  hour for 3 hours with nothing to do in between time and no eating. Just water. 

You get Rh blood screening around this time too, if negative you get a shot called Rhogam - that's supposed to prevent antibody formation that might harm the baby.

at 35 weeks you get swabbed for Strep culture- this is taken vaginall and rectaclly.  This bacteria grows in your GI tract. You get special intructions and you have to wear a special IV when you deliver the babe.

They tell you that average weight gain is 25 to 30 pounds.

 You can have sex still. If you have probelms before with preterm labor or bleeding stop having sex. Call your doctor if you bleed.

They should give you childbirth classes at this time as well.

You need to call your insurance 4 weeks before  due date.  Some require earlier notices, best to call ahead and find out then be left behind. 30 weeks is best.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Babies! Part 1


Here I am pregnant again and have some fun things to do if you are pregnant and good sites to go to if you are lost the first time around.
Fun things

Morphthing this is a hilarious site , but you can morph you and a celeb to see what baby  might look like. Mine came out pretty close to my first son. So hopefully this is close to a reality for you , if you have a spouse or significant other or bf or "the sperm donor" (whatever you wanna call him) that looks like a celeb than this is great.

Naming the baby!

Having another child is great, but what to name him or her? The first was easy because I named him after his father which was his wish and we agreed the second child would be mine to name! It is really hard because I want the perfect name and I am an etymology freak. So I have researched names over and over and even have books, but the Internet provides most of the same answers as the books anymore and its about 15.99 cheaper.

My fave sites are these two  thinkbabynames.com and babynames. These both have great resources but turn your volume off on babynames they have annoying ads running screaming and shouting while you are trying to concentrate. I believe in the destiny of a name i mentioned in a previous blog so if you think so too these sites help out a WHOLE lot.

How is the baby's growth and what to expect?

Pregnology.com has a great website for showing you what your little disc or bean looks like before it starts getting all the normal baby features. You can even test you ovulation here if you need to or just play around it. Its nice to know exactly how far along you are. I must say I skipped 2 months period before I even got impregnated so my dates were way off even at the doctor's office. They thought I was 11 weeks and I was really 5.5 weeks. We found out through our first ultrasound or as I like to call it "the horse" I will try to find a picture of the first scan you get which is vaginal (it isn't that comfortable)
It is wiggled around by the scanner person and if this is your first time doing a pregnancy this should be the last time but it is a dropped drawer visit.  First time and second time to me this thing felt like a period cramp. You don't even get a dinner first! This is supposed to be at 11 weeks or near that and you get to hear the heart beat and takes pictures of you little bean wiggling around. It makes for for the cold jelly lube on the condomed equipment.

First thing after you pee on the stick you have to get yourself to a doctor. You want to find an OBGYN not just gynecologist. because If you Doctor is an obstetrician as well than he or she will know your file and all your do and dont's before you even go into labor. They also have the information for you that you need to know. Like what not to eat and don't smoke etc.  I suggest doing your research before you even walk in, I mean who wants a crappy doc right? Well this is how I found out pretty accurate results. I googled the building (ex. crab street obgyn) then it should list who works there under the address etc. Then I went to this website where real people give real surveys of the docs you have. http://www.healthgrades.com/. You can type in their name and see what real people give them on a star basis survey. This is pretty accurate according to my obgyns in the past.

Expect to fill 100 papers. Everything from how many sexual partners you have had to chicken pox was asked on my paperwork. Most places have an online database and they give you a site and a password. Some still do the old fill it out and check yes or no. Mine was both since I had one babe before the digital conversion and one after. So I had to fill out my medical history twice!
If you don't want your mom or spouse etc knowing your history don't take them on the first visit. This is where you fill out your autobiography in file form.

After this they check your weight height and blood pressure. Then you get the wheel. Figure out when your last period was before you go. It is usually the first question they ask you. If you don't know try you best to get close. If you are going for a baby it's to just make a mark on the calendar to help you remember.  They base your ovulation on this but the prenology site above can tell you as well. The wheel is just a paper calculator of your dates when to do an appointment etc. I asked my doctor to print me off a copy of it and he did! (More scrap book material)

Each time you expect weight and BP to be taken. And don't wear embarrassing underwear because they surprise you with the drop drawer visits. I felt kind of bad one time having a thong laying in the chair but the doc didn't seem to care lol. My husband went to all my first baby's appointments and teases me about everything there. I suggest if you can to have them or someone you trust around in the room with you , not only for safety but also to break tension.  Just

You spend most of your time waiting for the doctor and reading magazines. Another reason to go with someone. If you have kids best not to tag them along because they are going to get restless in the lobby if you can babysit them off for a few hours. At about 18 to 20 weeks you get another scan ultrasound done.  Then usually one more before the baby comes. These are usually the one that look like price scanners not a horse. This tells you the sex of the baby! be sure to tell them ahead of time if you don't want to know. They check its heart and show you legs and hands etc. My doctor told us to bring a writable rvdvd to the shoot for a video and we got some photos. I don't know if everywhere does this.  I got my DVD thingies at Walgreen's, I was in a pinch and forgot them pre-appointment.  My son had no problem showing his anatomy with his hands behind his back in a hammock laying position. I hear that if they close their legs and shy away it is likely a girl , but this could be a wives's tale.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Third Brake Light - 92 Caprice

Ok so I got pulled over the other day for not having a third high mount brake light. So this is a tutorial on how to fix it.

First you need to go to the store and purchase a light. I went to Advance Auto and they will look it up for you if you cannot remember but the number is a 2057.  So the guy wouldn't help me install it even after I asked him, so rather than pay a mechanic and arm and a leg to install a light I figured I would do it myself.  The light cost me about 3 dollars. Can you imagine paying a mechanic a bill too along with 3 bucks, me neither....

I searched online and could not find any more information on it so I took a video which I am going to try to post on youtube or something , never posted a video before but this will help people so it is for a good cause.

  • Park your car pop open the trunk. You don't need any tools.
  • Find the socket under the top of the trunk (looks like base of a bulb holder in a house light, black)
  • Turn the socket to the LEFT and pull down.
  • Push the bulb IN, turn to the LEFT and pull out (similar to child proof lid concept)
  • Reverse the steps with a new bulb.
It really is this simple. I got these instructions form my car manual which happened to find afterwards.

So there it is and you test the brake so you will need a person to see to if it worked or maybe do a mirror trick.  That's it, no ticket.

Random Link: 1992-chevy-caprice horn relay diagram (under dash)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jigsaw Puzzles

I love jigsaw puzzles and thought I would do a blog about them since they have taken most of my time up now.

What is a jigsaw puzzle?

A jigsaw puzzle is a tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of numerous small, often oddly shaped, interlocking and tessellating pieces. Each piece usually has a small part of a picture on it; when complete, a jigsaw puzzle produces a complete picture. In some cases more advanced types have appeared on the market, such as spherical jigsaws and puzzles showing optical illusions.

Jigsaw puzzles were originally created by painting a picture on a flat, rectangular piece of wood, and then cutting that picture into small pieces with a jigsaw, hence the name. John Spilsbury, a London mapmaker and engraver, is credited with commercialising jigsaw puzzles around 1760. Jigsaw puzzles have since come to be made primarily on cardboard.

During recent years a range of jigsaw puzzle accessories including boards, cases, frames and roll-up mats has become available that are designed to assist jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts. Some jigsaw enthusiasts suggest that it is unethical (against the rules) to look at the picture on the box while working on the puzzle, but most people find it to be perfectly normal to look at the box.

What is a jigsaw?

A jigsaw is a tool used for cutting arbitrary curves, such as stenciled designs or other custom shapes, into a piece of wood, metal, or other material. It can be used in a more artistic fashion than other saws, which typically cut in straight lines only. In this way, it is similar to the rasp and the chisel. Although a jigsaw can be used to cut arbitrary patterns, making a straight cut freehand is difficult even with a guide.

Traditional jigsaws are hand saws, consisting of a handle attached to a small, thin blade. The first jigsaw puzzles were made using this kind of unpowered saw. More modern jigsaws are power tools, made up of an electric motor and a reciprocating saw blade. A Jigsaw may also be referred to, by some manufacturers, as a "bayonet saw".

The first powered jigsaw was created in 1946 when Albert Kaufmann, an engineer of Scintilla AG company in St. Niklaus, Switzerland, replaced the needle on his wife's sewing machine with a saw blade

Construction of Jigsaw puzzles today

Most modern jigsaw puzzles are made out of cardboard, since they are easier and cheaper to mass produce than the original wooden models. An enlarged photograph or printed reproduction of a painting or other two-dimensional artwork is glued onto the cardboard before cutting. This board is then fed into a press. The press forces a set of hardened steel blades of the desired shape through the board until it is fully cut. This procedure is similar to making shaped cookies with a cookie cutter. The forces involved, however, are tremendously greater and a typical 1000-piece puzzle will require a press which can generate upwards of 700 tons of force to push the knives of the puzzle die through the board. A puzzle die comprises a flat board, often made from plywood, which has slots cut or burned in the same shape as the knives that will be used. These knives are set into the slots and covered in a compressible material, typically foam rubber, the function of which is the ejection of the cut puzzle pieces.
New technology has enabled laser-cutting of wooden jigsaw puzzles, which is a growing segment of the high-end jigsaw puzzle market

So really they are Laser puzzles. I have purchased a few that are soy ink and recycled paper.

Puzzle facts:

Jigsaw puzzles typically come in 300-piece, 500-piece, 750-piece, and 1,000-piece sizes, however the largest commercial puzzle has 32,256 pieces and spans 544 cm by 192 cm

The most common layout for a thousand-piece puzzle is 38 pieces by 27 pieces, for a total count of 1,026 pieces

There are also three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles. Many of these are made of wood or styrofoam and require the puzzle to be solved in a certain order; some pieces will not fit in if others are already in place. Also common are puzzle boxes: simple three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles with a small drawer or box in the center for storage.

Another type of jigsaw puzzle, which is considered a 3-D puzzle, is a puzzle globe. However like a 2-D puzzle, a globe puzzle is often made of cardboard and the assembled pieces form a single layer. But mainly like a 3-D puzzle, the final form is a three-dimensional shape. Most globe puzzles have designs representing spherical shapes such as the Earth, the Moon, and historical globes of the Earth.

The uniform-shaped fully interlocking puzzles are the most difficult, because the differences in shapes between pieces can be very subtle.

More recently, technology such as computer controlled laser and water-jet cutting machines have been used to give a much wider range of interlocking designs in wood and other materials. These methods, however, have the undesirable effect of removing a small amount of material giving a loose fit with the adjoining pieces.


The most commonly-used approach to building a puzzle is to start by separating the edges from the inside pieces. Once the edges are connected it is easier to move inward. For those new to puzzles, it is recommended to choose one consisting of multiple areas with contrasting designs and colors. This enables the narrowing down of potential portions of the puzzle where a particular piece will fit.

Another approach is to sort the pieces by color, and work on one color at a time. When working large areas with the same color (such as the sky in many landscape puzzles), shape is important. All the pieces of a particular color can be laid in a grid and tried against other pieces in the grid.
Many large jigsaw puzzles have redundancy in their cut pattern. Many have 180° rotational symmetry around their centre point. Puzzles of 1000 pieces also usually involve a smaller cut pattern that is repeated 4 or 6 times over the whole jigsaw, and that smaller cut pattern usually also has 180° rotational symmetry, so a particular shape may appear 8 or 12 times in the puzzle (although with truncation for edge pieces). It is possible to identify the presence of these symmetries or repetitions relatively early in the process of completing the edge frame. When redundancy is identified, it is possible to use already solved parts of the puzzle to identify the exact shapes of pieces required to complete other sections, greatly simplifying the search.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, doing jigsaw puzzles is one of many activities that can help keep the brain active and may contribute to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Jigsaw Puzzle stories:

A story of love and dedication.

Ted Howard's Love Letter Jigsaw Puzzle Takes 15 Years To Solve!

Finally, more than 15 years later, a husband has reconstructed the love letters he sent to his wife. Mollie Howard shredded the letters that Ted Howard wrote into more than 2,000 pieces after she caught someone else reading them.

In 1993, Mr. Howard began rebuilding the letters. (A real puzzle if ever there was one!) He spent five hours per month for 15 years working this puzzle.

Mr. Howard said, "I still miss Mollie terribly but having the memories helps me through. The letters brought back so many good times."

He is writing a book with the stories contained in the letters so that they will not be forgotten and it will be called, A Week At Stanton. He wrote the letters as he travelled throughout Europe as a farmhand in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Holland in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

"It was love at first sight. No two ways about it. I was at a village feast (fair) and this girl jumped off the carousel and came careering into me. It turned out to be Mollie. That was July 19th, 1948."

They married in 1955 when Mollie was 18 and Ted was 23 and went on to have three children and six grandchildren. Those grandchildren will be lucky to have this romantic story in print -- maybe one of those letters should be made into an actual jigsaw puzzle.
OK so that's not an actual jigsaw story, but romantic enough to post!
Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan Solves The World's Largest Puzzle
Life, The Greatest Puzzle was created especially by Royce B. McClure of New Zealand. Mr. McClure has had over a hundred puzzles published. To create this one, he used his years of experience in designing puzzles. He strived to make sure that the challenge of this puzzle was equivalent to the pleasure it gave.

If you thought that solving jigsaw puzzles was child's play, think again! At 24,000 pieces, this puzzle was no easy task! However, it was not a match for Filipino Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan. She earned the title of The First Asian who finished the largest jigsaw puzzle in the world.
Ms. Tan started doing puzzles when she was 11 and is 26 now. She had done 200 to 300 puzzles (up to 3,000 pieces) prior to tackling this mammoth puzzle. She would love the opportunity, if time allows, to do a bigger puzzle in the future.

Her completion time for Life, The World's Largest Puzzle was 233 hours and 5 minutes.
Easy Ways To Increase Your Intelligence

Jigsaw Puzzles boost intelligence

Genes account for 80 percent of your IQ and education follows. Take continuing education courses. Learn one new thing every day! Hobbies such as reading, crossword puzzles logic puzzles and (you guessed it) JIGSAW PUZZLES are all excellent. So whenever you are working that jigsaw puzzle, you are increasing your intelligence!
Jigsaw Puzzle Solving Style Reveals Your Personality

Jigsaw style - are you hoarder, border obsessive or opportunist?

Have you ever experienced 'jigsaw rage?' Researchers at the University of Bath studied this issue and discovered that people have different approaches to puzzling and that, when there are two different approaches, there can be trouble.

What sort of trouble you say? Well how about when your brother hides the last piece in order to be the winner? How about when your spouse does not allow you to touch 'her' part of the puzzle. How about when you withhold the extra pieces and refuse to allow your partner to touch them?

 University of Bath researchers used jigsaw puzzlers to study how people collaborate. They had individuals work on a 120-piece jigsaw puzzle, either alone or in a group.

They discovered categories of puzzlers including hoarders, border obsessives and opportunists.

Hoarders will shield parts of the finished puzzles or hide the picture on the lid from others.
Border obsessives must complete the border before they move on to the rest of the puzzle. They often dominate groups -- controlling decisions and behaviors.

Opportunists sort piles by criteria. They use different ways to solve the puzzle - from the top to the bottom, from a major part of the picture, etc. Opportunists did better when completing a puzzle alone.

 Puzzlers altered their approach when they were asked to work in a group, especially if the person they worked with was of a different personality style.

The strategy you use to solve your puzzle likely is indicative of your personality and level of skill although in a lesser way than the extremes shown during puzzle solving.
I would be an opportunist and my partner in puzzles (my hubby) is a border obsessive.

 President George Bush's Favorite Jigsaw Puzzles

Artwork by British painter Howard Robinson

President George Bush is apparently a fan of jigsaw puzzles. His puzzle of choice? Puzzles depicting the artwork of British painter Howard Robinson.

He enjoys Mr. Robinson's puzzles so much that First Lady Laura Bush had Mr. Robinson paint the President's dogs, Miss Beazley and Barney, for his 60th birthday.

Mr. Robinson explained, "never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the President of the United States of America would be sitting in Camp David doing one of my puzzles."


The Presidential Pets 550 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle By White Mountain

The puzzle that was commissioned by Laura Bush for George Bush's 60th birthday featuring their dogs.

Celebrate German Jigsaw Puzzle Day on September 28th . Town of Ravensburg (think Ravensburger puzzles) claims the world's largest puzzle!

This year, the townsfolk in Ravensburg joined together to put together the world's largest jigsaw puzzle with more than one million pieces! 15,000 people participated assembling 1,141,800 pieces in five hours. They would up covering a 6,500 squre foot or 600 square meter piece of town square. 4,000 smaller puzzles were assembled and then joined to create this very large puzzle
The claim has been submitted to the Guiness Book of World Records but has not been approved yet. (October 2, 2008.)

So what to do with puzzles when you are finished?

You can throw it back in the box, or glue it with puzzle glue. Then frame it and hang it on the wall for everyone to see.

I glued a few puzzles and decided to try a different glue. I do NOT recommend it , it is worth getting the 2- 4 dollar bottle of glue. The others made my puzzle faded in color and gummy like, not to mention the others went everywhere. I used regular puzzle glue to revive this bad choice , but I almost wasted a couple hours of work on nonsense bargaining. What can I say I like to buy cheap.

Some come with an applicator , I was doing one with my husband and used a pan scraper on mine. It did wonderful (Don't use one that's dirty of course).

Some factories do not suggest gluing the metallic puzzle at all.

People suggest using the drop sheets of plastic to glue your puzzle. I bought a 50 cent poster board for mine. I figured if it glued to it it would make it sturdy, but it came right off. The newspapers stuck to them though.

I have seen some wood frames for about 15 dollars form major puzzle sites, but I have seen poster sides as well. I think these are much more cheaper and easier, depending on where you buy them.


Random Link:



Sunday, June 19, 2011

GF Cake pops

I am sure you have seen this new fad going around , a cake on a stick.
I have seen them at Starbucks and thought Oh I want one , but I need a gf alternative. So i looked up some recipes and made my own. I am not sure where these came from , I have seen many different people say they were the first, Whatever or whoever they came from , I am glad. It's is a new cute food fad and something to do.

This is how I made organic gf cake pops.

Box of GF cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker )
Water, butter, 3 eggs

Pamela's vanilla frosting mix- any gf frosting mix will do as long as it is light and fluffy
vegetable shortening, water

A food processor is nice, but you can do it by hand

stand mixer or hand/bowl mixer

cookie sheet

wax paper

lollipop sticks (found at craft stores or walmart , Wilton's etc or even online-- some have substituted Popsicle)

nice rubber spatula


decorations , like sprinkles or jimmies, hundreds and thousands, whatever you want to put on it.

chocolate or vanilla melt mix , you can use color or regular

double boiler (microwave in a pinch)

a cardboard box small or Styrofoam block


What to do:

Bake the cake according to the directions on the box or make your own scratch cake. I tried to make mine a little on the dry side , you don't want a really moist cake. After cake is done let it cool off and set it aside. Make your frosting and set it aside. Take the cooled cake and blend the cake in the food processor until the pieces are a little bigger than sand. Blend the cake crumbs and the frosting very slowly until the cake is a play dough consistency. Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to make balls or cake shape and set on the wax paper that is one the cookie sheet. Put in the freezer for a few hours to stiffen them up. When they are ready take them out and melt a little bit of the chocolate in the microwave or stove- a very small amount. Stick the stick in the chocolate and stick it securely in the cake ball. Do each one in the chocolate then the stick , if you put the all sticks in the chocolate it will cool off too fast. You do this so this stick will be secure when you turn them upside down and cake balls don't roll off. Place these back into the freezer. When they are cooled off and secure then melt the rest of the chocolate and dip the cake balls into the chocolate, drip over the bowl until the chocolate is not running. When it cools off a bit place sprinkles or decor on the ball and set it like a lollipop in the Styrofoam or if using a cardboard box a few holes need to be made in it to hold the cake pops. Let these cool and dry. After dried you can add lollipop wrappers or ribbons to the sticks , whatever you want too add at the end. Additionally, you can mold the cake balls into shapes like skulls for Halloween or mini cupcakes for a cute idea.  These take a while to make over all because you go back and forth , but they are great for parties.


This person used reese to make a a cupcake bottom.

Cupcake cake pops

Shamrocks and clover are my all time favorite plant and flower

You don't have to stop at cake pops , you can do this with brownies, cheesecake or cookiedough , or even pies on sticks.

wedding bee - reese bottom pops
hello kitty pops
Cutest Food .com - the best place to look at cute foods
cake pop image
youtube how to make cake pops
Youtube video - no oven/stove cake pops
Cheesecake pops
pie on a stick
sasugar808 erin-go-bragh
Random bookmark: Time to say goodbye - lyrics

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


How to make your own egg rolls

What is an egg roll?

An egg roll is made by wrapping a combination of chopped vegetables (often mostly cabbage), meat, and sometimes noodles, in a sheet of dough, dipping the dough in egg or an egg wash, then deep frying it. It can be closed or open ended.
When compared with its cousin, the spring roll, the egg roll is generally larger, has a thicker, puffier skin, is crunchier, and has more filling. However, the terms "spring roll" and "egg roll" are often used somewhat interchangeably. The egg roll dough is wheat-based while the spring roll is sometimes rice-based.
Some varieties are made with sesame seeds or other flavorings/toppings, such as chocolate, cream, or strawberry. The term may also be used to refer to another modern Asian breakfast cuisine that mixes the western omelet with thin egg roll wrappers.

How to make one,

The pastry:

4 cups all-purpose flour; sifted
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1 cup ice water

Place salt and four in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the eggs and the water. Stir the well until all the flour is mixed into a dough. Plop out on a table and knead with your hands. Use extra flour so the dough does not stick to the surface. Allow dough to rest for half an hour.
Divide the dough into quarters. Dust your pastry board with cornstarch and roll out until each dough is a 11 by 14 triangle.  Wrap and freeze remaining dough if you want to save it.
This recipe is a variation by Angela Naymor, link will be below.

For a Gluten Free alternative use Rice paper wrappers. Can be purchased at most Asian health foods , or health food stores. Ingredients of the food rice paper include white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, and water.

This is a good time to get your deep fryer going, you can bake egg rolls. Preheat oven to 425.

Now that you have made your wraps you are ready for some ingredients.

Note: You can buy egg roll wraps in most grocery stores , usually in the produce section , next to tofu and that kind of stuff. Wonton wraps are usually smaller and you do not get enough ingredients in them.

Egg Roll Filling:

Cabbage and meat are pretty much the staples , other than that you can add what you like.
I use chicken in mine.

You can follow other recipes for vegetables to use . I use a bag of Cole slaw, the salad kind. It has your cabbage and carrots already thinly sliced and ready to go.

I thinly slice the chicken and cook it until it is ready and white.  I fry this slaw bag with my meat after the meat is done and this is when I add my spices. I like a very Asian flavored roll so I use the following spices and herbs. About a teaspoon garlic, teaspoon ginger powder or minced, Couple shots of soy sauce (some soy sauce contains wheat check your labels),  a shot of Rice wine vinegar, small drizzle of molasses, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. You do not need a lot of spices, I am just a fan of using them. If you cut spices back I suggest keeping the soy and ginger and garlic, this is the typical flavor of egg rolls.

Once the cabbge is a little wilted looking that is when I pull it from the heat and set it aside. You want to have your pastries made into squares. I place about 1/3 cup of my cabbage chicken mix on it and wrap it up. Some people seal with flour paste , but I use a drop of water or egg to seal the outside.

I know most people do not know how to wrap an eggroll so here is a great video for doing it.

Expert village Egg roll wrapping

It looks hard at first, but once you get it it's like riding a bike, unless you never learned.

Some people brush egg on the outside of the roll, I don't see a difference in flavor it seals it better and makes it that golden crispy color. Mostly a preference.

If you are going to bake , then you need to bake them about 10 to 15 minutes on a cookie sheet. Deep fry until little bubbles come up on the outside or its a nice golden brown. For rice paper it is a little different , it will have a brownish grey look about them. Do not overcrowd them in the deep fryer it gets done less quick and you have extra greass sloshing around , yuck. Also if you are baking you might want to spray a little Gf cooking spray on your cookie sheet, they tend to stick.

The great thing about making you own egg rolls is you can be creative with them. Use shrimp or use terriyaki, whatever you want to put in your egg rolls. I have used only banana and brown sugar before, topped with vanilla icecream.