Monday, June 29, 2015

Cucumber Salad Recipe

Cucumber Salad Recipe

We have a small patio garden and are growing cucumbers and tomatoes. Why? Because that's what the garden center had when we went in search of plants and we didn't want to try our hand at watermelon or peppers.

Our crop has been pretty good, but now we had too many cucumbers to just cut them up for green salads. After an online search, I was inspired by a recipe for cucumber salad at The Garden Grazer. With a few tweaks, it's become our new favorite summer salad!


  • 1-2 large cucumbers
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • handful of grape tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP white vinegar
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TSP oregano
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • honey to taste (I use 3 swirls around the bowl)


  • Cut the cucumbers into thick slices, then halve or quarter each slice. (I like chunky quarters)
  • Thinly slice onion, then separate rings. Cut if pieces are too large.
  • Halve grape tomatoes
  • Add cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes to bowl, set aside.
  • In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and honey.
  • Add dressing to vegetables, gently mix together.
  • Refrigerate before serving. Best when given an hour to two to marinate.

I've made this salad with one large cucumber and then with 1 1/2 medium size cucumbers and they both turned out great!

While I like long pieces of onion, my family prefers smaller pieces so I started cutting the rings in half or quarters.

I eyeball the tomatoes and keep adding until it looks pleasing to the eye. Not very scientific, but it tastes good!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Adventures in Fostering: The kittens come home

Adventures in Fostering!

After thinking about fostering for awhile, I finally decided to take the plunge when one of the rescues I follow on Facebook sent out an urgent plea. They had over 60 kittens waiting and were in desperate need of foster homes.

I reached out to them last Saturday, spoke to one of their volunteers on Sunday, was vetted on Wednesday, and went to pick up the kittens Thursday morning. The head of the shelter took me back to one of the kitten buildings and let me pick out which litter I wanted. Talk about pressure!

So many kittens to choose from! I made a snap decision to take the oldest bunch since I've never raised a litter before (all of my previous cats were adults). I only need to foster them until they're old enough to be spayed/neutered and can be adopted.

Turns out that my chosen litter had a sad story. Some evil human had left them in a closed storage crate. We've been having a bad heatwave so if someone hadn't discovered them in time, they'd certainly be dead! Who would do such a thing?

kitties would-be coffin
Kittens would-be coffin. (source)

Luckily, the kittens were discovered in time! They were given full check-ups by the vet, including their first shots. Poor babies!

vet check
Look out! She's behind you! (source)

The shelter gave me several cases of canned food and I had already stocked up on kitty litter and Kitten Chow. Decided to use the Waffles' old cage from her heartworm treatment. She wanted to inspect it once it was set up!

Waffles inspecting her old cage
Official Waffles Inspection
While I've had rescue cats in the past, they've all been adults. I've never raised kittens, so assuming there will be a steep learning curve. And if I have any questions, there's always Google!

So without further ado, let me present my new foster kitties:

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Looking forward to our new adventure!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WalMart Beauty Boxes - Summer 2015

WalMart Beauty Box - Summer 2015

WalMart has gotten into the beauty box subscription business, offered quarterly. You fill out a short survey and receive a box of beauty items, some full size and some samples. For only $5 per box, I couldn't resist signing up! From what we've seen online, there are two boxes and we're guessing that they're divided by age. I decided to sign up for both boxes, using different email addresses and ages. You can sign up or get more details here if you're interested.

Version 1:

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Because this box has a blemish control scrub and One Direction perfume, we're assuming it's the "young" box.

NYC Liquid Lipshine in Rivington Rose
Jergens Natural Glow foil samples
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion
St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub
Dove Go Fresh Body Wash in Mandarin & Tiare Flower
Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo (expired)
You & I One Direction perfume sample
Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream

Version 2:

 photo 68ff6552-e48c-49a7-9711-01128f4d286a.jpg
This box has an anti-aging lotion, so we're assuming it's the "old lady" box.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Gladiolus
Caress Adore Forever scented body wash
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion
John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Salt Spray
Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo (expired)
Olay Total Effects 7 Anti-Aging eye treatment

The boxes aren't as nice as the first box I received, but they're better than the previous ones and well worth the $5 cost. Not happy that I received two expired shampoos, but then again, I never knew that shampoo could expire. Think this will be the only subscription box I'm going to keep, as monthly boxes result in too many samples and PopSugar is too expensive. Of course, I could change my mind tomorrow and sign up for a dozen more!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Birchbox June 2015 - State of Mind

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription where you receive a mix of beauty products (samples and full size). At only $10 per month, it's one of my favorite beauty boxes and a great deal! 

Birchbox June 2015 - Adventure is a State of Mind
My box was Adventure is a State of Mind.
It was hard to get the graduated color of the cover, which fades from purple to pink.
Love Birchboxe's beautiful boxes this year!

The info card
The info card

My June goodies!
My June goodies!

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
This customer fave face scrub mimics the effects of microdermabrasion for glowing, smooth skin.

COOLA SPF Sport sunscreen in Mango
COOLA SPF Sport sunscreen in Mango
Sweat-proof, water resistant sunscreen made with organic botanicals (and a fun, fruity scent).

Pura Vida Lace Headband
Pura Vida Lace Headband
Bonus item:  We've added in this Pura Vida headband to add polish to any style.

Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer
Deeply hydrates skin while reducing the appearance of blemishes and pores and evening out skin tone.

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad
Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad
Versatile range of satiny-smooth shadows in wear-with-anything hues.

Birchbox had a special where you could sign up for your first box for only one dollar, so I decided to get a second box for June. Not impressed with the selection, so will cancel this and go back to only one box per month. I have enough sunscreen and eyeshadow to last a lifetime and don't wear headbands. Very disappointed with the samples, but love the box they came in!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Space Camp - BarkBox June 2015

BarkBox is, literally, for the dogs. Their goal is to make dogs happy. BarkBoxes contain all-natural treats and other the coolest pup products in each box - things you can't find at the typical big-box pet store. Each monthly box contains a combination of 4-6 treats, toys, and hygiene products that have been hand selected and approved by Scout, head product tester for BarkBox. (website)

Our June BarkBox, full of out of this world goodies!
June's theme is Space Camp!

The info card
The info card

Bixbi Peanut Butter Pocket Trainers
Bixbi Peanut Butter Pocket Trainers

Bixbi's peanut butter Pocket Trainers are grain free and only 4 calories per treat! They're so tasty your pup is sure to ruv.

BarkMade Flying Saucer
BarkMade Flying Saucer

Front row seats for the next supernova! Your pup can't get any closer to the intergalatic activities then in their pawsonal BarkMade Flying Saucer.

Your Dog's Diner Pizza Pawty Crust
Your Dog's Diner Pizza Pawty Crust

Every pup deserves a pizza pawty cheat day! Wheat, corn, and soy free, nothing but tasty goodness to enjoy.

P.L.A.Y. Star
P.L.A.Y. Star

Oh, to wish upon a star! P.L.A.Y. has gone ahead and lassoed a falling star just for BarkBox pups.

 BarkMade Space Rover Bandanna BarkMade Space Rover Bandanna
 BarkMade Space Rover Bandanna

If you're going to moonwalk, you gotta look good! Your pup will be the most stylish one in the constellation with this BarkMade Bandanna.

Waffles loves her new BarkBox!
Waffles loves her new BarkBox!

Waffles and her new star toy!Waffles & her newest toy
Her favorite item so far is the star. It squeaks, and she loves squeaky toys!

Not a bad box overall. Waffles doesn't wear bandannas so this will go into our giveaway box, but she has two new squeaky toys to play with and those are her favorite kind of toys! The treats are both good sized treats, and who doesn't love peanut butter?

Anyone else get a BarkBox? Would love to compare notes and see what you received! We get the medium sized box.