Cinco De Mayo Fun, Food and Activities for Everyone

Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May) is a commemorative celebration of the  Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during Franco vs Mexico War  from 1861-1867. It is celebrated (most commonly) in the United States and Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is often misidentified as Mexico’s Independence Day which is September 16th.

History of Cinco de Mayo – A fantastic history and clarification about Cinco de Mayo and Mexico’s Independence Day  (September 16th).

Fried Taco Shells if you have a large family, this is definitely the most economical way to do taco shells. Many Corn Tortillas are Gluten Free (Gluten is an issue at my house and I prefer a fried corn tortilla over a gluten free ‘flour-like’ tortilla-ANYDAY!)
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Plastic Maracas from Easter Eggs and Spoons -Oriential Trading Company
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Cinco de Mayo Coloring Sheets Other activities and ideas as well.
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Fantastic Cinco de Mayo Food I really love the idea of individial Dip Cups!
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Mini Pinatas from empty toilet paper rolls
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Festive Lime with Candles Centerpiece
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Cinco de Mayo Jello
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Lavender Margarita
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2.5 oz of Jose Cuervo Traditional
1 oz of Parfait Amour Orange Liqueur (where the purple color comes from)
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
Garnish with a Lime

Cinco De Mayo Nail Art
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Homemade Ginger Elixir

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Let’s talk about barf. Vomit really isnt something that anyone really *WANTS* to think about until you are dealing with a “situation”.

The culprit of the vomiting isnt always known. In some instances, if nausea is a factor and if it can be calmed, vomiting may be able to be reduced or in some cases avoided.

Ginger has some amazing properties that aid in easing a nauseated stomach caused by anything from motion sickness to morning sickness.

Since I was a child, Ive suffered from an GI problem that was allowed to go untreated for way too long. In recent past the condition has become something that has got to be addressed before it is allowed to go any further.

One of the things that has worked the best for me in soothing upset stomach is  Ginger Root. I carry purse fulls of Ginger Chew Candies that I pick up at the health food store but sometimes I need something a bit more immediate. Thats where my Homemade Ginger Elixir comes in. And its easy to make.

What you need:

•1 Pound of Raw Ginger Root (peeled and sliced into small, thin pieces)

•Sauce Pan with lid

•4 Cups of Water

•4 Cups of Sugar

• Strainer (Mesh)

After peeling and cutting your raw Ginger Root into pieces, add your Ginger pieces to your sauce pan and add water. Bring the water and Ginger to a boil and then reduce the heat to a medium and cook until your liquid reduces by half (you want to be able to pour off about two cups of Ginger Infused broth/water).

Once your Ginger Broth/Water has cooled, strain your water to remove any large ginger particles or pieces. Return liquid to sauce pan (discard the strained particles) and bring to a boil and slowly begin to add your sugar while stirring. Reduce your heat to low and continue to stir until all of the sugar has completely disolved and it begins thicken into a syrup like thickness.

To use, you can take it by the spoon or you can add it to a small glass of warm water (this is how I consume it when I know vomiting is coming  because warm water “comes up” much easier than cold water). Stores it in the fridge for about 7-10 days. I usually keep a 4 oz jar in the fridge and freeze the remaining in 3.5oz portions in Breastmilk Freezer Bags and thaw in the fridge as needed.

In addition to being great for helping an upset tummy, it is also great in coffee, used as a chicken glaze or added to tea.

If you are not familiar with Ginger, particularly fresh ginger, it does have a kick to it. It is warming to the senses, but not in the same way Chili Peppers are. Its hard to explain. Most children say its ‘hot’ but its only ‘hot’ breifly.

You can save the cooked Ginger for a Pineapple Ginger Chicken Rub/Marinade Recipe.

Generally Crispy Pineapple Ginger Chicken www.GenerallyCrispy.com photo 1420052143_Chicken_Broccoli_and_Pineapple_Stirfry-picsay_zpsv8cwu3jc.jpg

Detangling Dolls Hair is Easy

Do your kids have Barbie or My Little Ponies that need some serious detangling? If so, here is a great way to easily detangle and revitalize synthetic doll hair (or synthetic wigs)

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Make your own detangling spray for dolls, cheap and easily. Maybe even with things you already have around your house. 

What you need:

•Spray Bottle
•Water
•Liquid Fabric Softener
•Assorted Combs and Brushes

Mix 50% Water to 50% Fabric Softener (1 cup to 1 cup) and mix around in the spray bottle. Undress doll and hold over sink and mist the dolls hair with the solution and begin working knots out from the ends, gradually working your way towards the head with a wider toothed comb while brushing until knots have brushed out. After all dolls, ponies, doll heads, etc had their hair detangled, I quickly rinsed each dolls hair (and I rinse the body as well because it gets a bit sticky from the fabric softener being all over your hands). Once all of the dolls hair have dried, they are good as new.

I did observe that not all doll hair could be corrected/detangled. I have included a photo (bottom of page) of a pony who has a tail that is unhelpable.

Take caution in where the mist of your detangling spray lands. If it lands on flooring, it may become very slippery and its pretty difficult to mop off tile so that the tile doesnt become slippery when it gets wet in the future.

Pinkie Pie Equestrian Girl : Before

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Pinkie Pie Equestrian Girl : After

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After hair has completely dried
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My Little Ponies : Before
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My Little Ponies : After

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Barbie Head : Before

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Barbie Head : After

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This is the hair of the pony who couldnt be fixed. Before and after photos dont bear much of a difference. I ended up forcefully separating this ponies hair into 3 sections and gave her a tight braid and banded her hair.

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And since fabric softener is a chemical compound, its probably a good idea to only use this on dolls and synthetic that have been checked for compatibility in an inconspicuous place. And dont drink it or leave it where your kid could drink it or wash the dog with it, despite it might make the dog smell mountainy fresh…still not a good idea.

Milk and Honey Breastmilk Soap (with variation)

The Gypsy Bayou Milk and Honey Breast Milk Soap www.TheGypsyBayou.com photo 20150208_222401-picsay_zps9372luqz.jpg

I love making soap. One of my personal favorites is Milk and Honey Breastmilk soap. My son had severe Eczema and having a good quality soap for him to use has always been priority.

While I believe in using the best quality oils that you can afford, I understand that ordering premium oils from online retailers isn’t an option for everyone, so I have included a recipe that calls for oils that can easily be found in any grocery store. The soap quality wont be the same as it would be if you were using premium oils, but it still by far a better quality product than any soap you will find at Walmart/Target Retailers.

List of Soap Making Supplies You Will Need to have before you start.

*Always use a scale to measure your ingredients. Soap making should only be done when you have available time where your children will not be inthe direct area where you are working.

Milk and Honey Breastmilk Soap
(Premium Oils-Do not alter the Type of Oils or the Quantity of each oil without using a Soap Calculator)

8oz Avocado Oil
12oz Coconut Oil
12oz Olive Oil
18oz Cocoa Butter
3oz Bees Wax

7.25oz Lye Crystals (Sodium Hydroxide)
17.5oz Frozen Breastmilk

3 Tablespoons Raw Honey *Optional (You can omit the Honey and use Essential Oils such as Lavender or Orange Essential Oils)

Bubble Wrap (Honey Comb) *Optional

Soap Mold *Mine is 15 inches Long, 3.75 inches Wide and 2.5 inches Tall/Height, made out of wood boards from Home Depot or Lowes. Photo Below (my molds do not have bottoms, so they are not moved with soap inside of them.

Always add your Lye Crystals to the Liquid, never the other way around. (I remember this by thinking of a clogged drain, you add your drain cleaner to the water clog.) Please Note: Lye Crystals is not the same as Drano or any other Drain Cleaners you will find in a hardware store. You will almost always have to order your Lye and have it shipped to you.

Melt your hard Oils (Coconut and Cocoa Butter) and your Bees Wax. A Double Boiler is recommended. Add your liquid oils to your hard oils and allow your oil to cool to 110°. I always do this part first when I am working with any Milks.

Fill your kitchen sink with cold water.

Add your frozen, pre-measured Breastmilk to your clean pot. Add your measured Sodium Hydroxide (Lye Crystals) to the frozen breastmilk and continue to stir. The mixture will get hot (like 190°) and will release a puff of steam that you wont want to inhale (it will make you cough) but will dissipate quickly. You can submerge the bottom off your pot in the cold water to help bring down the temperature of the mixture, you don’t want to scorch the breastmilk. Be sure water from the sink isn’t able to get into the pot. Continue to stir until all of the Lye  Granules have dissolved. You may see small bits of a substance that looks like grease that has been wiped out of a wet pan with a sponge, this is okay. It is the fat in the breastmilk reacting with the Sodium Hydroxide. Continue to watch your mixtures temperature while stirring. You will want your Milk/Lye mixture has come down to 105°. Your heated oils in your other pot should be around 105° also by this point.
Once your Oils and your Milk Mixture is within 5° of each other (and both are between 105-110°) you will pour your oil mixture into your Milk mixture and you will stir until it turns into a uniformed soup-like like consistentcy (this is called ‘Thin Trace’). Once you have reached this point, you will add your honey and mix it until all of the honey has been completely incorporated. You will then stir until your mixture turns into a texture similar to a soft set pudding (Medium Trace), and then you will pour your soap into your lined mold.
If you have chosen to make the honeycomb design, you will take your bubble wrap and press the bubble side into the top of your soap mold and be sure the bubbles have become complete submerged and that you can see the soap mix in between each little bubble. Any popped bubble wrap buttles will look damaged when the bubble wrap is removed (so keep your bubble wrap away from kids, I have made a few batches of honey soap that had a row of popped bubbles all the way down the length of the soap and it was cosmeticly distracting but didn’t harm the overall effect). Leave your soap to rest for 48 hours before removing it from the mold. Once you have unmolded your soap you can peel the bubble wrap off and cut your soap.

This recipe will make 73.5oz of solid soap. You will need something suitable to pour your soap into. My soap mold is a homemade wooden rectangle. I line my mold with freezer paper (smooth side inward). Your soap will need to be cut (I use a Mitre Box, which is also handmade since soap slices uneven, similar to a block of cheese. Once your soap has been cut, it will need to cure for approximately 6 weeks to harden and cure. This recipe makes approximately 15 standards sized bars of soap.

My Mold and My Mold Lined with Freezer Paper.
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Breastmilk and Honey Soap
(Using Store Bought Oils)

18oz Vegetable Shortening (not animal fat or Lard)
20oz Coconut Oil
12oz Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Honey

16.5 oz Breastmilk
7.6 oz Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)

Follow instructions for preparation above. If you want to choose a different oil other than Vegetable Shortening, you can substitute another oil, BUT it is important to always use a Lye Calculator (Link Above).

4th of July Nails for Independence Day

Independence Day has always been a favorite holiday of mine. Who am I kidding?! I love all of the Holidays, however the Patriotism that is shown for America and our nations servicemen and servicewoman is uplifting. I love that people come together and celebrate and honor our freedom and show support in the Land of the Free is awesome, even if it does come in the form of Nail Art, as long as the meaning is know, I love the idea. Hope you like these 4th of July inspired designs.

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20 Ideas to Take the Itch Out of the Bite

Let’s face it, no one likes to be chewed up by mosquitoes. If you’ve been turned into a after dinner snack by mosquitoes, here are some helpful ideas on taking the itch out of the bite.

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• Heat a Spoon as warm/hot as you can tolerate against your skin and then hold the spoon against the bug bite. The heat breaks down the histamines that cause the bite to itch. Be careful not to burn yourself. I wouldnt recommend doing this to a child since it is difficult to guage what level of heat a child can tolerate

•Dab some Clear Nail Polish on the bite. It does tend to sting for a moment. Not recommended for raw skin

•Make a paste using Baking Soda and Water

•Soak a cotton ball in Apple Cidar Vinegar and use a bandaid to hold it in place over the bite

•Make a paste using Apple Cidar Vinegar and Cornstarch and apply it to the bite, allow to dry and rinse off

•Apply Calamine Lotion to a cotton ball and use a bandaid to hold in place over the bite

•Apply Witch Hazel to the bite

•Epsom Salt Bath

•Apply an Ice Pack or Ice Cube to the bite

•Dab Toothpaste on the bite and allow to dry

•Rub a wet Asprin over the bite (Asprin usage is not recommended for children)

•Dab Lavender Essential Oil on the bite

•Dab tea tree oil on the bite

•Applying fresh, crushed Basil leaves to the bite can help soothe inflammation

•Apply Aloe Vera Gel or Aloe Vera from a freshly cut Aloe Plant

•The juice of a Lemon or Lime may help with itching since Citric Acid does have healing properties

•Apply the membrane of a cracked egg over the bite. As the membrane dries out, it can help draw out some of the toxins

•Make a paste using water and Meat Tenderizer and apply to the bite

•Applying a piece of Clear Tape over a cleaned mosquito bite and leaving it in place can help relieve itching

•Avoid Scratching. Scratching bites tends to cause more inflammation tenderness, making the problem worse

Or how about avoid the bites altogether? DIY Summer Skeeter Defeater recipe to keep the pesky mosquitoes away.

As with any treatment, you should always consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment. Results can vary from person to person. Itching usually wont stop completely until the bite has healed but there are lots of things you can do to help reduce the level of itching.

Something particularly helpful in soothing your bug/mosquito bites?

Easy Crab Puff Recipe

Who doesn’t love the awesome, deep fried goodness of Crab Puffs?

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The good thing about Crab Puffs is that they are easy to make and clean up is quick.

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What you need:

•1 Package of Egg Roll Wraps
  (I used Nasoya)
•1 (8oz) Package of Cream Cheese (softened)
•1 (8oz) Package of Crab Meat
•1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic (I used jarred)
•1 Dash of Pepper (I used White Pepper and it was a rather big dash)
•2 Teaspoons Minced Oinion (I used a Red/Purple Onion and I just removed one layer of onion instead of cutting the whole onion)
•Glass of Warm Water
•Basting Brush

Set your deep fryer to 375°.

Allow your Cream Chesse to soften enough that you can work with it. Add your Garlic, Pepper and Onion to the Cream Cheese and mix it well. Break up your Crab Meat into small shreds (I chopped mine because I wanted it very fine so my kids wouldn’t get any chunks and refuse to eat anymore). Mix your Crab Meat into your Cream Cheese Mixture and stir until well mixed.

Once you are ready to start filling your Wonton/Egg Roll wraps, take your basting brush and dip it in the glass of warm water and paint a thin layer of water all over your Wonton/Egg Roll Wrapper (the entire surface of one side).

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Scoop about 3 teaspoons of Cream Cheese/Crab filling into one of the corners of the Wonton Wrapper. Fold the opposite side up to cover the filling so that it forms a triangle. I turned/tucked the ends the opposite direction to keep it from falling apart, but you don’t have to.

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I submerged about 4 or 5 Crab Puffs (one at a time) into my hot oil and cooked for 2-3 minutes, turning over midway thru cooking (initially the sink to the bottom but they will come back to the surface pretty quickly)

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I served with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce and Orange Sauce (separately of course).

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