My 3 Monsters
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces

Hi guys!  A few weeks ago I found a roll of the cutest gray trellis patterned contact paper while I was picking up some stuff for another project at Lowes.  I knew it was exactly the thing I needed to clean up my fridge and give it a little makeover.  I know, I know.  Lining shelves with contact paper -- be it in the fridge or the pantry -- is hardly a novel idea.  But have you ever tried to apply contact paper to glass?  It's quite possibly the most difficult thing in the world to do and have it look good. Today I want to share a little magic with y'all to make the job the job soooooo much easier!

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
Here's a little example of my best attempt at applying contact paper to my glass refrigerator shelf the "old fashioned" way.  Try as I might, I could not avoid getting bubbles, which inevitably creased when I tried to scrape them out.  At one point I tried to peel the contact paper up and smooth it out again, and tore it tout suite.  But add one simple step to the process and . . . 


My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
PERFECTION!  And in a fraction of the time.  I know you're on the edge of your seats to see how I did it, right?!  It's so simple . . . 

Just add water.

It seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it?  Water and sticky stuff usually do not make fast friends.  You just have to trust me on this one.  The contact paper will still stick -- like, really stick -- and the water makes to process of adhering it to the glass soooo much easier.

How to apply contact paper to glass the easy way:


1. Begin by cutting a piece of contact paper approximately the size of your glass shelf.  Err on the generous side because we will trim it down later.

2. Remove one shelf at a time from the fridge and clean it with warm water and dish soap.  {At least I needed to wash mine.  Your fridge may very well be cleaner than mine. Just sayin'.}  After you rinse off the soap, don't dry off the top of the shelf.

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
This is the look you're going for.  Then, peel off the backing of the contact paper and place it on top of the glass.  I promise, this is going to work!  

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
3.  Use a soft cloth to gently smooth the contact paper and push the excess water out the edges.  Just keep rubbing gently from the center to the edges until all the bubbles have been removed.  If you find a really stubborn bubble, you can poke it with a small pin and gently squeeze the water out.  {I used one of my son's insulin syringes to draw the water out, which worked liked magic.  I know not everyone has syringes at their disposal, but if you do, use 'em.}

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
4. After the contact paper is perfectly smooth, use an X-acto knife to trim off the excess paper around the edges for a perfect fit.  Voila!

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
Perfectly smooth, perfectly adhered, perfectly perfect in just a few minutes. 

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
I love the way it makes my boring old fridge look fresh and clean, but it can be used in so many other applications.  I first used this method years ago to put clear contact paper on the french doors in my master bedroom for a frosted glass effect.  Seriously, plain old clear contact paper on a window looks just like frosted glass, for a fraction of the cost and hassle.   It's still there and still looks as good as the day I first applied it.  

{To do a window, use a spray bottle full of plain water to spritz the glass before applying the contact paper.}

Have a great day, friends!

Amy


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Fave New Finds at Safeway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway, Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.
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HI guys! Sometimes the most relaxing thing in the world to me is just to wander around a store all by myself -- not to purchase anything in particular. Just to look at stuff and buy anything that might catch my eye. Does anyone else do that?! If I have a list of things I need to buy, I'm a woman on a mission and I get in and out super fast. But when what I need is to unwind a little bit, I just wander. It doesn't even matter what store it is. A hardware or grocery store can be every bit as satisfying as a fancy department store. The other day I had a particularly stressful day at work and I was WIPED OUT. I knew I was headed home to a delightful evening of homework and housecleaning (my favorites -- NOT!) and I really didn't want to be a big, huge grump when I got there. When I saw Safeway up ahead I knew what I needed to do.

Thank goodness I stopped to wander the aisles and discover what’s new because I found some amazing new products I am hooked on that I want to share with y'all. (B-T-dubs, you know you're a simple girl when buying new dishwasher tablets lifts you out of a funk. Meh -- I wouldn't have it any other way!) These are not groundbreaking new things I'm going to show you here, but they are a few really great solutions for my real-life stresses. (And probably some of yours, too!)

One of the things in life that bothers me to no end is a stinky house. I hate coming home to the smell of stale dog mingled with, like, a gym bag and last night's fajitas. And yet, while the family is gone all day, those are the things that stay at home lending their unpleasant aroma to everything we own. I need a product that can sweeten the smell up for me while I'm off "in the salt mines", so to speak.

 
These AirWick® Life Scents™ scented oil air fresheners are uh-mazing! The scent I like best is called Mom's Baking -- a delighful blend of pie crust, baked pear, and vanilla. I have always been drawn to baking-scented candles and fragrance products for my home and this one is practically perfect. I plug it in right next to the shoe basket near the front door so when I walk in, a delicious fruity pie smell wafts up to my nose instead of stinky running shoes. Such an improvement!

 
One of my least favorite chores is doing the dishes. I lucked out when I married a man who insisted that the person who cooked dinner should not have to clean it up as well. (By the way, he lucked out when our kids became teenagers and could start having their own dish nights.) I don't know why it seems like such a tedious chore. We have a dishwasher, after all! The thing that really kills me is when the dishes are still dirty after a cycle in the dishwasher and have to be hand-washed. It is a special brand of punishment that should be reserved for only the worst criminals. In my humble opinion, of course.

 
While this photo is staged (a very little bit), I actually took that Krispy Rice-y bowl right out of my sink this afternoon. Yes, that is my child's idea of rinsing his bowl. And we wonder why the dishes sometimes come out of the dishwasher still dirty . . . These Finish® Max in 1™ dishwasher tablets really kick some Krispy Rice booty, though. And rock-hard cheese microwaved onto a plate booty. And crusty hot cocoa sludge in the bottom of a mug booty. Whatever my family throws at 'em, they clean, which I adore.

 
I guess I must have a sensitive nose -- and/or a bad-scent phobia -- because I've got another pretty smelling item to share with y'all. I work with kids all day long at an elementary school. The one thing I learned on the job tout suite was that kids have no sense of personal space. It seems like they cannot be more than six inches away from my person when they have something to say to me. Because of the close proximity, I am very aware of how people smell -- especially after recess -- and, hence, very paranoid about how I smell. I love this Caress® Forever Love body wash. It smells incredible right off the bat, but then it continues to release fragrance on your skin for up to TWELVE HOURS!!


 

Microscopic beads of fragrance stay on your skin, releasing fresh scent whenever they are touched. Ladies and gentlemen, we live in an amazing day and age where technology even improves our bodywash for the common good! What a time to be alive. . . . But seriously, though. How cool is that?! I smell nice all day long. This stuff is incredible.

If you want to try my (relatively inexpensive) method of therapy, just head to your nearest Safeway store and look for the NEW tags to find the latest products at great values. Have you tried any of these products? Or do you have a favorite new product you have discovered? Leave a comment and spill it for the rest of us!

Have a great day, friends!

Amy


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Embark!
Passport Stamp Printables

Hi guys!  For the past decade or so I have been involved with our church's youth program for teenage girls and have had the opportunity to attend what we call Girl's Camp every summer.  It is one of my favorite times of the year because it gives me the opportunity to be super creative.  In 2012 our camp was based on a travel theme so I created passports and sticker "stamps" for all my girls. 


Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark
Well, this year the church-wide theme for the youth program is "Embark in the Service of God", and I have received a TON of requests for blank versions of my labels that can be customized for different events.  I am more than happy to share them again so they are more accessible for those who would like to use them!


Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark

Above is the completely blank version that could be used for just about any event you can dream up, and below is a more Girl's Camp specific version, with a stamp for each of the certification requirements. 
Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark

Both sheets can be saved to your computer and opened in a photo-editing program {like Photoshop or PicMonkey} to add your own text.  The sheets are sized to be printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.  I used full sheet adhesive labels, then cut them out to make stickers they could save in some passport notebooks we created.  The image I used for the cover is below:


Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark
I hope that helps some of you who are planning youth activities this year!  Feel free to email me with any questions you may have -- I'll do my best to answer them.


Have a great day!

Amy


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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Who Are You When You're Hungry?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias


hangry
/han'-gree/

adjective
         A state of anger and irritability resulting from being hungry.
         synonyms: hungry, angry, famished, cranky, starving

Every so often someone comes up with a new word that so perfectly describes a real life situation that it makes you wonder what took so long.  Hangry is one of those words.  As I raised three children I witnessed "hangry" on an almost daily basis -- starting from pretty much day one.  Ive seen my infant have an absolute melt-down when I couldn't get milk into her mouth fast enough. I've made the impulse snack purchase in a grocery store for a toddler who COULD NOT COPE with the checkout line for ONE. MORE. SECOND. Recently I have witnessed two teenage siblings turn from laughing and being silly in the back seat of the car to punching and pouting -- on a dime, folks -- when the fast-food drive-thru didn't produce chicken nuggets at the speed of light.

The struggle is real, my friends.  Even for us grown-ups.

I, for one, fight a daily battle with "hanger".  I work as a health assistant {a fancy way of saying school nurse} at an elementary school.  Right about midday, the kiddos get their lunch break . . .  naturally.  Unfortunately for me, those are the craziest, busiest two hours of the day.  Unfortunately for the kids, I'm not much of a breakfast eater so that happens to be when I am at my hangriest, unless I plan ahead.



None of us are at our best when we're hungry.  I love, love, love the "You're not you when you're hungry" SNICKERS® commercials.  That's some genius marketing, right there, because it is sooo REAL. I find that if I can take a quick SNICKERS® break before the students bombard me, I am a much different, more patient, compassionate person than on the days I face the "recess rush" on an empty stomach!  Obviously, I've learned to start eating a good, filling breakfast, and most days that works like a charm to hold me over until my later lunchtime, but some days are just SNICKERS® days. 


I drive right past a CVS every morning on my way to work.  Every once in a while I leave home a few minutes early so I can stop and stock up on SNICKERS®.  {They have the best selection of candy bars and they're right by the front registers so I can get in and out in a snap!} 


I don't always need a SNICKERS® break at work, but it's nice to have one on hand for when I do.  Like on the days I get called to the playground with the wheelchair three times for what {thankfully} turn out to be minor injuries, or the days I have kiddos spew various bodily fluids all over my office. The delightful combination of peanuts, caramel and chocolate speaks peace to my very soul in a way few other things can.  And yes, I am perfectly capable of eating a SNICKERS® after seeing spewn bodily fluids.  It's a gift.


Surely you have your own "hangry" story.  Enter the SNICKERS® "Who are you when you're hungry?" contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.

See more great SNICKERS® recipes and fun stories on the SNICKERS® social hub.  I'm just going to put my feet up and eat a SNICKERS® while you check it out.

Please tell me I'm not alone in my struggle with "hanger".  Leave a comment and share who you are when you're hungry.

Have a great day, friends!

Amy


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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Torte Milanese featuring Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.
Hi guys!  Last week I stepped far, far out of my blogging comfort zone and attended a BEAUTIFUL brunch hosted by Laura from Pink Cake Plate and Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry.  It was super fun to meet some other local bloggers {people I follow online, but have not met in real life!}, but the highlight of this amazing event was the puff pastry smorgasbord created by Laura.

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch at my3monsters.com
She made a bunch of dishes for us to try – some savory and some sweet – with Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry.  I think I ate my weight in puff pastry that day because I simply had to try one of everything … for you guys, of course.  Nobly, I took one for the team and downed all this deliciousness. Everything I do, I do for you, my friends!  

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch at my3monsters.com
These Black Current Cheese Pastries were TO DIE FOR.  I’m a sucker for a good, flaky cheese pastry. And those mini Cookies and Cream tarts – Oh. My. Goodness!

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch at my3monsters.com
The talk of the event were these unbelievable woven puff pastry salad bowls Laura created.  Would you believe she said they were not difficult to make?  Me neither, but I saw her step-by-step photos and it really seemed do-able.  The secret is the Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry sheets.  That stuff is incredibly easy to work with – almost fool-proof. {Remember the cheater Pain au Chocolat I made a while back?  Super simple!}  We all got to take a package home to create a “masterpiece” of our own.

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch Recipe - Torte Milanese at my3monsters.com
So, here’s the back story of my recipe.  Years ago, I attended a class at church and learned how to make puff pastry from scratch.  I mean, it was YEARS ago – my now-13-year-old was still a toddler.   It was right before Thanksgiving and I decided to use my new puff-pastry expertise  to make a straight-up, old school Julia Child recipe – Torte Milanese – for Thanksgiving brunch to impress my in-laws.  I followed all the steps – rolling out the dough, measuring the dimensions and thickness, slathering with butter, folding in thirds, chilling and rolling out again . . . and again . . . and again, to create something like 64 layers of pastry and butter.  This would be a much funnier story if I could tell you it was a disaster, but it wasn’t.  It was delightful and delicious.  And I NEVER MADE IT AGAIN. For, like, 12 years, because who has time for alla’ that on a regular basis?! {Sorry, Ms.Julia.}

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch Recipe - Torte Milanese at my3monsters.com
But with Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry sheets, Torte Milanese is actually deceptively simple to make. And dang impressive, to boot.  It’s just layers of scrambled egg, sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers, Gruyere cheese, and ham all wrapped in a flaky puff pastry shell.  But when it’s baked up all golden and beautiful … 

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch Recipe - Torte Milanese at my3monsters.com
… it’s the perfect centerpiece for a brunch spread.  And yummy!  Let’s not forget to talk about how yummy it is.  Julia Child knows her French cuisine, guys. I really like the spinach, red pepper and ham combo of a classic Torte Milanese, but you could totally mix it up, too.  I’m thinking of chorizo, fire roasted chiles, and pepper jack cheese for an Arizona kick, paying homage to our home state.  Or maybe bacon, tomatoes, and sharp cheddar cheese.  Broccoli, cheddar, and chicken for a more dinner version.  It’s hard to see how you could go wrong here!



Torte Milanese 
{serves 10}

12 large eggs
¼ C. milk
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp, minced shallots
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 9oz. bags fresh spinach
1 jar roasted red peppers
1 pound grated Gruyere cheese
8 oz. thinly sliced good-quality ham
2 packages Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry sheets (4 sheets)
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.  Assemble a 9-inch spring form pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl with milk, ½ tsp. kosher salt, and black pepper until well blended.  Melt butter with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a heavy large non-stick saute pan over medium heat.  Add the egg mixture and cook until no longer runny, but still very moist and creamy.  {The egg will continue to cook and firm up inside the torte so you don’t want it too dry to begin with.}  As the egg cooks, use a spatula to scrape the cooked egg from the bottom and sides of the pan and fold into the rest of the egg mixture. Spoon onto a large plate and allow to cool completely. 

Wipe out your pan and heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over high heat.  Stir in shallots, garlic, and remaining kosher salt.  Add spinach one handful at a time, stirring to coat spinach with the oil.  Continue until all spinach had been added and is wilted – about 3 minutes.  Place cooked spinach in a colander and set over a bowl to drain.  Once spinach is cool, squeeze it to extract as much liquid as possible so pastry will not get soggy as torte cooks.

Remove roasted red peppers from jar and use paper towels remove as much liquid as possible from them.  Slice into strips.  If you leave them whole they make the torte a little harder to cut and eat.

Roll out 2 sheets of puff pastry to form 2 13x11 inch rectangles.  Overlap long edges slightly and press to seal together.  Transfer pastry to spring form pan.  Press into bottom of pan and smooth up the sides.  Allow excess to hang over the sides of the pan.  {Hint: Sprinkle bottom of pastry shell with parmesan cheese or a few bread crumbs to keep it from getting too soggy.}  Spoon eggs into pastry shell, forming an even layer that reaches all the way to sides of pan.  Sprinkle ¼ of grated cheese over eggs.  Arrange sautéed spinach in a layer on top of cheese.  Sprinkle ¼ of the cheese over the spinach.  Form an even  layer of roasted red pepper strips. Sprinkle with ¼ of cheese.  Cover with the ham and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Trim overhanging dough to about ½ inch and fold over on top of filling layers.

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch Recipe - Torte Milanese at my3monsters.com
I was inspired by Laura’s beautiful salad bowls and wanted to try making a basket weave top for my torte. Use a pizza cutter to cut remaining sheets of puff pastry length-wise into ½-inch wide strips.  Lay approx. 8 strips side by side vertically on a lightly floured surface, leaving a small space in between each strip.  Weave remaining strips horizontally over and under the vertical strips to form a basket weave.  Roll lightly over the top of woven strips with rolling pin to make it easier to transfer dough.  Transfer dough to top of torte and trim to fit top of pan.  Press edges gently to seal with dough from sides.  Brush underneath with a little bit of water to help it seal.  To make the edges look a little more finished I used my finger to wet around the perimeter with water and pressed a few of the remaining ½ inch dough strips on top.

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch Recipe - Torte Milanese at my3monsters.com
At this point you’re ready to bake it.  You could brush the top with an egg wash by mixing an egg with about 1 Tbsp. milk and brushing all over top of pastry.  I chose not to do this and it browned up really nicely on its own.  I guess it’s a personal preference.  The egg wash will give it a little bit of a shine.  Bake at 375 degrees for 90 minutes, until deep golden brown.  If the top starts to look too brown, cover with a sheet of foil for remaining cooking time.  Remove from oven. Run a knife around the edge remove spring form pan.  Cool 30 minutes before slicing.  This will prevent the cheese from oozing and help the torte keep its shape when cut.

Pepperidge Farms Puff Pasty Brunch Recipe - Torte Milanese at my3monsters.com
Don’t be intimidated by the length of this recipe.  It really is super easy to make and my family was totally impressed.  Remember it’s been 12 years since I last made this – even my husband only had a sketchy recollection of it!  If you’re preparing your Easter brunch menu, or just want to put a really impressive dinner on the table for your family, give Torte Milanese a try.  {Or head to puffpastry.com to find some other amazing dishes!}

Happy Spring, friends!
Amy

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.

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