Monday, December 13, 2010


I am on the hunt once again for the world's most efficient humidifier. I am not asking much really. I want something that produces a mist to humidify the room at least 30%. I want something that doesn't leak. And I want something that doesn't sound like an airplane running in the room. Oh and can it function longer than one winter? How hard is it to get these things really? Growing up we had a humidifier that mom brought out every time we got a cold. It was bare bones back then, but while loud and leaving a small water puddle near the vapor outlet, it worked for like ever.

We have had four different brand humidifiers in the five years we've been married and only one that I was decently happy enough with that I bought another of the same and then they both promptly stopped working in different ways. All work okay until the 30 days are up for warranty.

When my sister came to visit, my nephew came down with the croup. I rushed over to Target and bought a humidifier. From the get go, the thing didn't work right, but my sister, who was concerned about my nephew only cared that it put out the vapor, not that you couldn't change how much vapor or even turn the unit off without unplugging it, despite what the instruction manual said it should. Since she never informed me that it didn't work right, or maybe it did and then two months later when I took it out again, the gauges stopped working, I couldn't return it. The machine is quite loud and hubby refuses to have it in our room, but it does emit a great vapor.

The next one I bought was the cutesy Frog looking one from Crane for Cookie's room. It was quiet, it emitted a small amount of vapor....but only worked well enough to humidify a small closet. I continued to use it though for a good two winter seasons, but after the second, the plastic cracked and broke, rendering the unit unusable.

Next, I purchased an ultrasonic one that didn't require a filter like the first one did, which frankly was gross and I changed often. While the first unit was just under $50, filters are close to $12 a piece....thus making the unit actually not that economical. The ultrasonic did not have filters, but was on the pricier side, closer to $100.00. I liked the ultrasonic unit, as it seemed to work, it had a humidity control monitor that seemed to work, and kept the room humidified. I liked it so much , I ran back to the store and bought another one so I could have one in each of the kid's rooms because inevitably they will both be sick at the same time. Then inexplicably one started dripping water from the base....and I mean the whole unit of water, all of the bookshelf I had it sitting on, down the back, soaking the entire carpet. Having had the book self anchored to the wall for kid safety, we had to remove said anchors, empty book self and spend an hour with the steam cleaner soaking up the water from the carpet. It took over two days to dry completely. with the floor heater pointed to it. The other one stopped measuring moisture properly and would turn off, so I had to leave it on all the time at optimum output. Now I am back to using filtered loud one until I can find another unit.

I have been online. I have read hundreds of reviews regarding numerous different humidifiers and everyone, it seems, has the same problems with every single product out there. I am even willing to shell out $300 for a product, if it works...but even those seem to have crappy reviews. Are humidifiers that difficult to make? Or is this some gigantic conspiracy by these companies to make a product that only lasts 90 days, forcing you, the consumer, to continue to buy more? I once had an American made car, whose parts individually broke as soon as the warranty ran out. The rear view mirror literally came off the window. Door handles broke, belts burst, and I don't want to forget the peeling paint problem...all occurring days after the warranty was over.

Maybe this time I'll get lucky and find something that works.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Sugar Cookies

My friend over at is hosting a cookie exchange again this year. Last year I accumulated many yummy and delicious cookie recipes. I was baking almost everyday before Christmas last year thanks to her.

I am reposting my Vanilla Cut Out Cookie Recipe for her exchange. I found these to be the best...and I mean best cut out, no need to refrigerate dough recipe. My Hungarian friend retrieved this recipe from an old Hungarian Cookbook, translated it for me, and then I had to convert everything from grams to cups and tablespoons and teaspoons. I did make a couple changes....but I bet you won't eat just one. I love my sugar cookies nice and soft, so I don't cook them until they are golden brown on the bottom, but if you cook them longer they turn out nice and crisp if that's what you prefer. I also like my cookies thick, but you can roll out the dough to whatever thickness you prefer. I make these for every holiday...but have yet to make them for Christmas this year...I went with chocolate this week. Therefore my picture is one from Spring. My own little Cookie loves to make these and Jelly just loves Cookies.....Enjoy

Vanilla Cut Out Cookies

2 3/4 Cups All purpose flour
2 1/2 Sticks of Butter (or 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
4 Egg Yolks (reserve whites to baste cookies)

Mix all ingredients together until forms a dough. Roll with flour and cut out with favorite cookie cutters. Baste with egg whites, sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles if desired. Bake 350F until golden brown.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Personal Shopper

Hubby's boss has summoned us to the company Holiday Party. And when I say summoned, I mean it. Since Hubby's company is in California, that means we have to fly out to go. The boss man is paying for the whole family to go. Great news considering that my grandfather had a fall and is now in a nursing home. I wanted to fly home to Mom last week, but had puking kids. Now I can go and have someone to pay for it.

Of course a Holiday Party means a holiday dress, thus sending me into a panic.It's been about five years since I've really needed to dress nicely. Five years since I've worn actual nice clothes. I am a mom, and I have become that Stay at Home Mom horror. Frankly I can not see spending good money on clothes that the kids just ruin with snot, puke, and other lovely things. One I get dressed in the morning, the nice clean clothes last approximately 5 minutes. Little fingers with some kind of goo always smudge them. Plus my size keeps changing.

To the mall I headed to find the perfect little black dress. You all know the one I'm talking about. Two hours alone at the mall for shopping while hubby takes care of the home front is pure bliss. Shopping and trying on clothes without grubby hands or whining kids is a plus.

While discarding the fifth unacceptable dress, hubby texts me to inform me that the party is buy something nice, but casual. Oh Thank GOD! I was seriously becoming depressed, having been unable to loose the baby weight after Jelly. That's a combination of lack of exercise (not without trying trust me...these kids don't cooperate with me trying to live a healthy lifestyle...not sure how others do it) and still nursing. Yes, I am in the minority who can not loose weight while nursing. I didn't loose a pound until I stopped nursing Cookie.

So I left the big department store and headed to my all time favorite store, Ann Taylor. I used to love their clothes, maybe I'm too old. Maybe my body just changed too much...but that store was a colossal fail. It could have been the florescent lighting they placed along both sides of the mirror, casting a horrific glow, making it impossible to see if clothes actually fit properly, or it could be that they had nothing in the exact size I needed. Either too big or too small.

Dejected just a tad, I walked into Eddie Bauer. They've been sending us their catalog and I had walked in there the previous week and bought hubby two new work shirts and me a brand spanking new adorable winter coat. I was impressed with the service I had received, and thought to try them again.

Like before, I received excellent service. But it got even better. As I am trying on clothes I hear a voice outside my door. "Hi, my name is Katie and I can help you with anything you just a minute....ummm, I kinda have to get dressed as I was trying on all our clearance stuff." I open the door and say, "sounds like fun, when you get a chance can I get another size in these pants." That's when the fun begins. She oohs and ahs about what I'm trying on, comes back with the requested size pants and a boat load of other clothes. She says, "here's some stuff I thought would look great and it's on just give it a try." I had been lamenting just the day before to a friend that maybe I needed to hire a personal shopper because I hadn't a clue as what to buy anymore. My body was f*ed, and I am now 30 not 20. I am outdated and haven't a clue as what to buy. The next hour and a half consisted of Katie as my own personal shopper and new best friend. Honest opinions about clothing and great options. Not only did I leave the store with a great outfit to wear to Hubby's Christmas party, I left with two outfits and a fuzzy gloved ice scraper. Can you say salesperson of the year?

I am so happy with my purchases and the personal attention I am going to write a positive letter to the company...I know something different from the terse ones I've been writing to everyone.