Friday, November 25, 2011

Free Baby Gift Idea - TODAY ONLY

I have blogged about Plum District, a daily deal site like groupon, before and today there is a really great FREE deal you can snag ASAP. This deal is over at midnight or until they sell out so move fast!  (it seriously only takes about 5 minutes)

You can get the "Like Book" totally free. It's a pretty neat concept, every day you write something about your kid that you like... whether is someting sweet, not so sweet, or funny they did, its just a journal for you to write about them.  They are supposed to build kids self esteem by telling them how much you like them.

I ordered one today for a friend that is a new mom and think it would be a great edition to a baby gift.  They also have couples books that would be a cool engagement gift for a couple.

Anyway, here is how to get it TOTALLY free, including shipping.

1. Sign up for Plum District using this link and get $5 in referral dollars.  (if you signed up before when I posted it and did not buy anything you should have $10 in referral dollars still).
2. Enter "enjoy10" as a extra promo code (you can either enter this when you sign up or when youcheck out) for an extra $10 that is good today only
3. Either click the "Everywhere" tab on the tool bar, then click "everywhere" for the location.   Scroll to almost the bottom and you will find the "I Like" books for $12.  Click on it. 
or... do steps 1 & 2, come then come back here and click this link.

4. Click "make it mine".  Your total bill should be $0 once the $10 credit and $5 referral credit is added (plus you will have $3 for your next purchase here).

Once you buy it click on "my account" then my deals.  View the deal, copy the funny code at the top, and go to the website included in the deal info to order your book.  You can choose the color you want here. 

As I always say, free shopping is my favorite!  Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New LindseysWhimsys Website!

I am SO excited about this blog post.  I have been working on a new website for LindseysWhimsys rentals and paper products for a while now and am finally ready to share it with all of you!

Please visit the new website and let me know what you think (or if you see any errors!).  

In honor of Thanksgiving and to show my thanks for LindseysWhimsys overwhelming success thus far, I will be offering a 15% discount to all contracts over $100 that are booked by November 30, 2011.  In order to get the discount, please tell me something that you are thankful for when contacting me about rentals.

*** My thanks go to Holli C. and Lauren M. for their mad editing skills.  You guys are the best!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pesto time... finally!

First I must apologize for the long delay in pesto instructions.  I finally made the pesto myself this afternoon.  It takes about an hour to make plus any freeze time you need.  I apologize in advance that I will sound a bit like your grandmother giving you recipe instructions - nothing is exact, its all about the look and taste and texture.  I know there are precise recipes elsewhere with specific instructions but this is not that recipe.  

My "Italian family"... 6 years later (this picture was taken while they vacationed in Norway)

I was blessed to have the amazing opportunity to spend the summer as an au pair in Italy in 2004.  While there I lived with a great family and I got this recipe from my Italian mom, Mara.  I fell in love with her pesto while I was there so about a week before I left them I finally got her to teach me how to make pesto for myself.  Ever since then, I have made pesto just about every summer - for the summers that I did not make it I ALSO regret it about mid January.

I used to make my pesto and keep in in 1 bowl in the freezer and I would chip away enough for my meal.  This was inefficient at best.  Since then, I bought a silicon ice cube tray with small holders (they are about 1/3 the size of regular ice cubes).  I then freeze my pesto in the ice cube tray and store them all together in one freezer safe tubberware container.  When I am ready for pesto, I pop out one pesto cube, pour some olive oil on it to help it defrost then add my pasta... wala, you are left with fresh tasting pasta outside of the growing season.  

Ingredients - 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Basil Leaves - around 3 big handfuls
about 4 oz. Pine Nuts
a small handful of shelled pecans (or walnut)
Rock Salt (about 2 pinches... is pinches a word?)
about 3-4 cloves of garlic
Parmesan Cheese - the block kind, not the grated kind... enough to make the pesto have the right amount of whiteness.  (I know these ingredients are not precise but you are just going for the right color and texture)

First pick your basil leaves - take off the stems and any flowers that are on your plants
I take about 2-3 big handfuls.  When I put them loosely in a 12 cup bowl, the leaves filled about 3/4 the bowl

Rinse - sand loves to stick to basil leaves so give them a good rinse 

One the basil leaves are free of stems, sand and flowers put them aside.

Cut your garlic cloves and parmesan into a couple pieces to make them easier for your food processor to chop
Add them to your food processor
Add some olive oil - probably about 2 tsp, I just turn my jar over twice.  You just want to make the ingredients wet.

Start the food processor.  You want the ingredients to get to the consistency of... hmmm.... smaller than crushed ice from Sonic but bigger then boxed bread crumbs.  

Add the nuts, basil, and rock salt. You will probably have to use a spatula or knife to get the basil to mix in... if you see it not chopping, just stop it, use a spatula or dull knife and push the basil down.

Chop it until it's a consistent texture.  You do not want to puree it, but it should be like a paste.  If its too crumbly add a little olive oil until it is a thick paste.  

The color should be about 50/50 green and white. If its too green as some parmesan.  If its too white add some basil.

This is too crumbly and too green.  Add some oil and parm.

Just right!

Taste it and make sure you like what you mixed.  If you need to add anything do it now.

You could either eat this freshly made over pasta with a little olive oil but I prefer to freeze it and eat it over winter.  

I think the very best way to freeze it is to use a silicon ice cube tray (do not use hard plastic, you want to be able to pop these guys out easily).  I only have 1 tray so I freeze in at least 2 phases, sometimes three.  Place the tray in the freezer until its hard, add the cubes to a freezer safe tubberware container (it can be pretty small).  

Pesto Cubes!

Then its the yummy time!  When you are ready to eat some just pop one cube out, add a little olive oil and it should be soft by the time your pasta is done boiling.  

I personally love to eat my pesto with cheese ravioli (I buy the cheap frozen bags at WalMart) or plain pasta with tomatoes.  Sometimes I add that imitation crab or lobster meat but not usually.  The husband is not very into meatless Mondays (or anydays for that matter) so I through grilled chicken breast into his when I make a super easy dinner for us.  

Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!

PS - Thank you so much Mara for the DELICIOUS recipe! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I always wait until the very last minute to make my pesto for the year... and according to the news, today is perhaps the absolute last possible minute.  It may frost tonight so if you have basil plants, pick the branches/leaves off and tomorrow (or later tonight) I will post a easy recipe for making this delightful sauce!

I learned to make pesto from Mara, the mom of the Italian family I lived with over the summer a couple years ago.  Every since then, it has been a must make for me every year.

I make a ton of pesto every year and freeze it in small silicon ice cube trays.  1 of the cubes is the perfect portion for a single serving of pesto.  


Monday, November 7, 2011

New Kitchen/Breakfast Area Piece

A constant struggle I have had since moving into my house a couple years ago is kitchen storage space.  There just are not enough cabinets and drawers!

This problem was alleviated quite a bit when the handy hubby added shelves to my laundry area, making it quasi pantry space... But I still needed (i.e. wanted) more (I know, who doesn't though!).

I was put in charge of finding a narrow furniture piece that was short and had somewhat of an airy feeling to it.  I was not successful (the husband does not really get that I can't just go to a garage sale and find a specific product).  We wanted to put it against the wall in the breakfast room but did not want it to cover up the window in the room.  We did this previously and it just didn't work.

Side Note : We have a pretty big table in this room that is NOT leaving my house - it was rescued from an abandoned building years ago by my Grandma and renovated.  When she redid her kitchen a couple years ago the table did not have a place to call home so she gifted it to me. (hence the need for a narrow piece).

When we did the furniture shuffle a couple weekends ago, this bookshelf was going to be moved into craft room... then we realized with some paint it could look neat and accomplish our goals of additional storage in the kitchen.  Its tall but its completely open so we thought it shouldn't cause a problem blocking the window.  

Originally we went to WalMart and go Krylon Primer + Paint in one... for the high price for $4.97 a can - outrageous in my opinion.  

We decided to stop by my trusty dollar store to see if there was paint there we could use.  We snagged some cans of super pale green (of course, I am pretty sure green is the only paint color I ever buy) - the actual shade it honeydew melon.  The final cost?  $1.15 a can!  WAY better than WalMart!

After a wipe down, we painted the entire thing green...

Then we brought it inside and realized it looked funny because of the high shelves.  We decided to remove the upper level shelves.  This is not a normal furniture piece, it has a ton of nuts and bolts and little pieces.  Removing the top levels was a little more difficult than expected... but we did it.

I really like it now, it provide the perfect amount of space for some of my excess kitchen items.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretty cool kids Christmas gift idea! Only $12!!!

Today Plum District (a daily deal website like groupon) has a pretty neat deal for folks with kiddos.  For $12 (including shipping), you can get 2 personalized Disney books with your kids name, town, birthday, etc. incorporated into the story!  They have a boys package (featuring Cars) and a girls package (featuring princesses).  

This is one of those books that your child keeps forever.   I remember my little sister getting a personalized book for her birthday (or maybe Christmas) and I was SO jealous!

The actual cost is $22 but sign up here and get a $10 referral credit.  Pretty sweet deal I think and would be a great Christmas gift!  I think this deal is for one day only so sign up fast!

By the way, the $10 credit is reduced to $5 on 11/7/11 so you will want to use it fast (if you decide not to get the books).