Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pinterest Adventures: Jello Fruit Snacks

This is a first of hopefully many Pinterest Adventure posts. I know a lot of people do them and the humor in it is that real life doesn't always translate to pinterest level products. However, I really think it's nice to see that someone else, a "normal" person, was able to somewhat successfully do something found on Pinterest.

(If you have any pins that you would like me to try out first to work out the kinks, just let me know!)
Picture and Recipe credit goes to Six Sisters Stuff blog:

This pin caught my eye because it said Homemade fruit snacks. I love fruit snacks, but being a graduate student, and a newlywed, fruit snacks are not in the budget. So of course I thought I'd be able to have fruit snacks if I made them at home. Sadly, the ingredient list at the time would have cost about the same amount as a box of fruit snacks, so I just let it sit.

Then, I decided I really really wanted to try it. I went to Kroger and found out that Kroger brand gelatin was on sale for only 39 cents a box. So I grabbed a couple on the last shopping trip, and waited for a weekend.

First off, it says to "sprinkle the gelatin" into the water. This didn't work. The gelatin clumped up all gross and kind of stayed that way on the first go around. The second time though, I whisked it in like I would with gravy mix. Whisk constantly while slowly pouring the powder in. It worked better, but not perfectly. Maybe it would work better with brand name gelatin?

Next, I poured it into a mini ice cube mold, the ones with the silicone bottom so you can pop the ice out easier? I had difficulties trying to decide how full to fill them though. This is the first go around when I filled them up pretty much all the way. I ended up not filling every one up. And ended up with some monstrously big fruit snacks. 

My second go around, I filled them to where the silicone part ended. I had enough to fill up this mold, and if I had a second mold probably about half of that one. Since I didn't have a second mold I used my husband's gun shaped ice cube mold. Got two guns out of it too. 

The tutorial instructed me to let the fruit snacks "sit" for "at least 20 minutes". Ok. Good, I could do that. I wandered off to Netflix a show. When I came back, they were still really soft and I couldn't get them to come out of the mold. 

Yeah, so turns out you should let them sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This was missing from the instructions. Second go around, golden on this.  However, this did not ease the getting them out of the mold process. Alas, I have no pointers on this part other than be patient, and maybe a little aggressive. They will eventually come out. 

Finally, they do not need to be kept in the fridge after the initial setting. But they do need to be eaten rather quickly ( a couple of days) if you elect to not keep them in the fridge. They will mold otherwise. At least they will if you live in the South like I do.

My last thought: These really aren't like store bought fruit snacks. They are weirdly squeaky (best word I could come up with) and don't taste nearly as good as store bought ones do. BUT if your children are young and you are on a budget, go for it. They probably won't be able to tell the difference.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Abandoned Books

There comes a time in everyone's life where they are reading a book and they don't know why. I used to be the type of person who wanted to finish every book I started, and I am pretty good at it. Sometimes it ends up that I really like a book.

Then, once upon a time, I happened upon a 'rule of thumb' about reading books. (I'd like to say it came from Stephen King, but I can't be sure.) It was advised that you read a book to at least page 50, and if you still don't like it and don't want to know what's going to happen, toss it.

I ran into a book like this over the weekend. I just can't keep going. I powered through and made it past page 80. But I just can't anymore. I wondered how to categorize this book on my book tracking page (see the tab up there that says "Books"?). And decided to add an "Abandoned" list at the bottom of the page. I don't anticipate this category being used very often, but it needs to be there. That way I have some record and won't make the mistake of picking up the same book again....

Much love, to all the books (even the bad ones).

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Deal With It

For most of my life I have worked with young children. From babysitting, to being nursery leader, to nannying, and currently as an aide at a preschool. I’m with children all the time. Every now and then a child teaches me a life lesson that really couldn’t be learned from an adult, because it is through the simplicity of having a three year old say something that an adult can’t say without sounding like they are trying to manipulate or criticize you.

A few weeks ago, I was helping some children get their rain boots on so they could go play on the muddy playground. They had already gone out earlier that day, and socks had gotten wet. One child in particular was struggling to get their boots on over their wet socks. The child fussed, and whined, and dropped the boot in frustration. I finally decided to let the child know their options.

“You can take off your wet socks and wear the boots without socks. Or you can just deal with it.”
(I know it sounds harsh… hang in there)

The child looked at me, heaved a heavy sigh for a three year old and said. “Ok. I’ll just deal with it.”
The child then put their rain boots on, and ran off to play on the playground. For the rest of the day, not a word of complaint or discomfort came from that child. They had made the decision to “Just deal with it” and stuck with it.

As I thought about this, a quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland came to mind: “ No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.” (

As I related this incident to my dad (a freakin’ awesome guy, btw), we talked for a bit about this life lesson. As adults, and teens, and even children,  there is a tendency to put blame elsewhere; To complain, to whine, and to expend energy on not dealing with a situation and getting through it, but rather in complaining about it. In my dad's experience, those that can 'Deal with it' are those that are more successful in life. People want to be around them more, and they get more accomplished in life because they are not expending negative vibes, or wasting energy in complaining about what's going on around them. 

How can we as adults ‘just deal with it’ and in the process improve our lives? I know that for several people they use the month of November to focus on gratitude. They post daily on social media sites something they are grateful for. Unfortunately, quite a few people I know preface their ‘thankful’ post with a rant, complaint, or whine and follow it with “But I’m grateful for…”. While I think focusing on gratitude  is a good practice, I personally feel that if we can reduce the whining, complaining, and blaming in our daily lives we will automatically be more grateful. Because we aren’t drawing attention to the ‘negative’, we are just dealing with it and moving on.

And if we aren’t focusing on the negative, we are able to better see the blessings in our lives. So, whether you choose to post on social media what you are grateful for each day or not, please take a moment to ‘deal with it’, instead of complaining!