Top 5 Places to Eat in Bakersfield, CA

My husband and I have always been “foodies” and we were recently in Bakersfield, California visiting family. Needless to say we had a great time and ate at all kinds of wonderful places. Here were my favorite places to eat in Bakersfield.

    
5.) Pappy’s Coffee Shop– We are the type of family that loves breakfast no mater the time of day. Pappy’s is one of the best breakfast places in Bakersfield. The food is delicious, reasonably priced and the portions are huge!!!

4.) Smith’s Bakery– If you’re like me (or most of the people in the world) you love a good cookie. Smith’s Bakery has just that and much more. My husband swears that Smith’s Smiley Face cookies are the best but I personally love the Thumb Prints. (Also if you’ve never had champagne cake, I recommend grabbing a Champagne cupcake. It’s absolutely delicious.)

3.) Red Wagon Cafe– The red wagon is right outside of Bakersfield, in Shafter, CA. The building itself, is an old train car that has been converted into this adorable restaurant. The food is amazing and you’ve got to come with big appetite because the portions there are HUGE!!

2.) Wool Growers– Before going on this trip I had never tried Basque food before. Wool Growers made the experience a memorable one. You sit at a table with all of your friends/family and the waitress brings out all kinds of food to your table. There are several courses, the food is endless and so yummy. ( I enjoyed it all but the pickled tongue. Not really my thing) It’s kind of like having Christmas Dinner with all of your favorite people.

1.) Dewar’s Candy Shop – My husband, Shae, (and the rest of his family) have been telling me how awesome the ice cream at Dewar’s is for years. They’ve been sending us the taffy chews from there since we started dating, so I knew those were delicious. But y’all I had no idea how truly amazing their ice cream was. I highly recommend the Black and Tan with crushed almonds. In the words of my two year old it’s “Nummy in my tummy!!!” The rest of the Choate family staple consists of the Black and White. In the words of my husband, “SUPER Nummy in my tummy!!!”

*Bonus

Noriega’s– My husband and I have been together for almost 6 years. I can’t tell you how many times he’s talked about Noriega’s. It’s tradition for all the guys to get together at Noriega’s to eat breakfast and drink. Even though I didn’t participate in this tradition, we did have dinner there. It’s another Basque restaurant and serves the same kind of food as Wool Growers. However instead of only sitting with family and friends you also sit next to strangers. I think this is a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Those are the top places I recommend eating if you find yourself in Bakersfield, California.

DIY Sugar Scrub

Last month I was over at a friends house and we got to talking about essential oils. She had just attended a “make and take” Young Living party that I couldn’t go to. After talking for a bit about what I’d missed, she goes to the other room and comes back with a small jar of sugar scrub for me to have.

Later on I got home, placed the sugar scrub beside my kitchen sink and went to bed. By the next morning I had forgotten all about it. I got up and started my normal routine making breakfast, begging my toddler to eat, forgetting that I made myself a cup of coffee, etc. (You know, the Mom stuff) As I’m finishing loading the dish washer I notice it. I decide then was the time to give it a try. My hands were so soft after using the sugar scrub, I’ve been using it every day since then. Needles to say I’m almost out now. So today I’m going to show you how to make you’re very own sugar scrub.

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 Glass Container w/ a Lid

1 1/2 Cup of Sugar

1/2 of Coconut Oil

15-30 Drops of Essential Oils ( I used Young Living Fresh Citrus)

IMG_0720In a medium sized bowl combine the sugar, coconut oil, and essential oils. Stir until it’s completely mixed.

Then scoop into your glass container. There you have it ladies and gentlemen, an easy and quick sugar scrub that you can keep for yourself or give away. Enjoy!!

 

 

DIY Jewelry Candle

I recently purchased a jewelry candle for a friend as a Christmas present and it got me to thinking. “I could make one of those.” So today I’m going to show you to make your very own jewelry candle that’ll be a great gift for any occasion.

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

Soy Wax Flakes

Glass Jar with Lid

Essential Oils  (I used Young Living Citrus Fresh & Thieves)

1 Sheet of Aluminum Foil

Tiny Baggy

Jewelry

Broken Crayon

Glass Measuring Cup

Hot Glue Gun

Wick

IMG_0634First you’ll want to add  hot glue to the bottom of your wick and stick it to the bottom center of the glass jar. (You may need to grab a spoon or butter knife to press the metal plate to the bottom of the jar) Set it aside to dry for 30 minutes.

While waiting on the hot glue to dry grab your piece of jewelry and place it in the tiny baggy. Then wrap it in the sheet of aluminum foil.

IMG_0657Next take your glass measuring cup and add the soy wax flakes. Place in the microwave on high for 30 second intervals. After the 30 seconds stir and add more soy wax flakes as need.  (I strongly recommend soy wax flakes/beeswax over paraffin wax. Paraffin wax can cause carbon dioxide poisoning and all sorts of other medical issues. If you need more proof click here. Also I originally tried to make this candle out of cooking oil. I don’t know if it’s the humidity here in MS or not but it was an epic fail. So I don’t recommend using that either.)

Once the flakes are melted add the broken crayon to it and stir with a spoon. Next add your essential oils, stir. (I added 20 drops of Fresh Citrus and 10 drops of Thieves.)

Then you’ll fill the glass jar about 3/4 of the way full. Grab a pencil, a stick, whatever you can find and wrap the wick around it. Set the rest of your melted wax for later. Let your candle sit for 45 minutes.

IMG_0705After 45 minutes take your piece of jewelry that’s wrapped in aluminum foil and stick it in the mushy wax, on the side of the glass jar as far away from the wick as possible. Take your left over wax and reheat it in the microwave in 30 second intervals. When it’s melted pour it  slowly into the jar until it’s full. Place the lid on and give your candle a full 24 hours to harden.

IMG_0716There you have ladies and gentlemen you’re very own jewelry candle. It may not have a piece of jewelry in it that could be worth up to $10, 000 but it sure makes for an adorable gift. Enjoy!!

 

 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I’ve been cooking Stuffed Bell Peppers for years now. It was the first dish I ever made for my in-laws and we all know how nerve racking that can be. My Mother-in-law loved them so much, she asked for the recipe. She even calls to let me know every time she makes them. It’s definitely my go to recipe. I have to admit though, I’m not the best cook. I once burned Ramen Noodles, in the microwave. However this recipe is so simple, you can’t mess it up!

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Here’s What you’ll Need:

3-4 Large Bell Peppers

1 Cup of Cooked Brown Rice (Optional)

1 lb of Lean Ground Turkey

2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

1/2 Cup of Chopped Onion

1 Can of Diced Tomatoes ( I used Roasted Garlic)

8oz Can of Tomato Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Shredded Cheddar Cheese  (Optional)

 

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Wash the bell peppers and cut the top off.  Remove the seeds and membrane. Then cut them length wise and set them aside.

IMG_0335Next take the 8oz can of tomato sauce and cover the bottom of  baking pan.

In a pan place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Next join the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  The last thing to add to the pan is the ground turkey. Cook until the ground turkey is brown.

In a large bowl combine the turkey, diced tomatoes, and brown rice. Add salt and pepper. Then scoop the mixture into each of the bell peppers and place them in the baking dish.

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Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, sprinkle the cheese over the top of the bell peppers and bake for and additional 5 minutes. Enjoy!!!

 

 

How to Deep Clean a Carseat

The other day I had to run out to my car for something and I noticed my son’s disgusting carseat.  That’s when I knew it was time to deep clean it. Today I’m going to show you how to deep clean a carseat.

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

ALL Purpose Cleaner

Cleaning Toothbrush

Cleaning Rag

Vacuum Cleaner w/ an Arm

Washing Machine

Dryer

Laundry Detergent

First you’ll need to remove the cover and shake it out over the garbage can. Pretreat any stains. Throw it in the washer on the Delicate/Gentle cycle using the detergent of your choice.

Next you’ll want to remove any styrofoam you can. Dampen your cloth with an All Purpose Cleaner , wipe the pieces down and set them aside to air dry. (In your brand of car seat you may not be able to remove it any foam. Check your owners manual to make sure. The Evenflo Carseat my son has states, directly on the foam which pieces I can’t remove.)

Then you are going to grab your vacuum and clean out as much debris as you can. With the end of your toothbrush or a  butter knife get into the tiny crevices to remove any junk that that the vacuum may not be able to reach.

Place the carseat on the floor laying front down. Then give it a couple of good shakes. Pick it up and shake it again. If you still hear the sound of crushed up goldfish or bunnies then repeat the previous step.

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When you’ve finished that vacuum over the carseat one more time. Then you are going to apply an all purpose cleaner to the cleaning toothbrush and clean the fasteners. Surprisingly the belt straps were that dirty, so I was able to take cleaning cloth with all purpose cleaner and wipe them off.

IMG_0617.JPGNext using the end of your toothbrush/butter knife and wrap the cleaning cloth around it. Then you’ll clean out all of the small little holes. When that’s finished give the entire carseat a good wipe down.

By now the carseat cover should be finished in the washer. So you can throw it in the dryer not on delicate dry heat for about 30-45 minutes.

IMG_0626 Once the cover is dry, reassemble the carseat. There now you have it a clean carseat!

HELPFUL TIPS:

  1. If your child throws up in his or her carseat and gets the non-removable straps covered, take vinegar pour it generously over the straps. Then dust them with baking soda and using a cleaning toothbrush scrub them. Lastly let it dry by the sun. It may smell like vinegar for a while but it will fade. Lets face it anything smells better than vomit.
  2. If you don’t want “wrinkles” in the carseat cover after it comes out of the dryer, you can always place a couple of tennis balls in a sock and throw it in with the cover.

DIY All Purpose Cleaner

So I’m always looking for ways to save a money. I thought why not make my own All Purpose Cleaner and save my little family a few dollars. I knew I wanted something that was powerful but also safe to use around my son. Today I’m going to share with you, my All Purpose Recipe.

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 Empty Spray Bottle

1 Lemon

1 Cup of Vinegar

1 1/2 Cup of Water

1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda

1 Funnel

1 Permanent Marker

IMG_0522Using the funnel pour the vinegar into the spray bottle and add the water.

IMG_0523Next add the tablespoon of Baking Soda. (Make sure the funnel is dry. Otherwise the baking soda to stick to the sides and the funnel may become clogged.)

IMG_0529Take the lemon and cut it in half. Then squeeze the juice from both halves into to the bottle. Swirl the bottle around a little and reattach the sprayer.

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Take your permanent maker and label the outside of the bottle. There you have it ladies and gentleman your very own All Purpose Cleaner that works wonderfully. Enjoy!!

Helpful Tip:

If you’re not a fan of the smell vinegar, you can always exclude it and add an extra cup of water with a few drops of natural soap.

Also if you want you can use an essential oil instead of the lemon.

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

I’m a bit of a peanut butter fanatic and my husband’s favorite cereal is Cheerios. This recipe brings the two together in a tasty treat. Today I’m going to show you how to make Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars.

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

6 Cups of Cheerios

1 1/3 Cup of Honey

1 Cup of Peanut Butter

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

First place the 6 cups of Cheerios in a large bowl and set it aside. Then in a sauce pan cook your honey and peanut butter on medium heat until they are melted. Then add the Pure Vanilla Extract.

IMG_0214.JPGNext pour the peanut butter and honey combination over the Cheerios stir.

IMG_0229.JPGGrab a 9×13 inch pan and pour the Cheerio mixture into it. (I lined mine with parchment paper for easy clean up. ) Then place it in the fridge for two hours.

IMG_0252.JPGAfter time is up, cut into squares and enjoy!