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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Sew Crafty Cat} Onion Dip Recipe

Today, Kelly from Sew Crafty Cat is here to share her o  nion dip recipe with us.  Oh, my goodness... it looks amazing.  I'm gonna have to try this... or leave the recipe for hubby to find and hope he'll make it for me...  Take a look!


Onion Dip Recipe Whenever we have any sort of family gathering for a party or holiday, this onion dip is always requested. The recipe calls for cayenne pepper, which gives it a little kick. If you don't want it spicy, I have also made it without. Mostly because I forgot to buy a new jar at the store; but the dip is still delicious nonetheless. When slicing the onions, I have done both larger slices, as well as using the food chopper to get smaller pieces. It all comes does to how big you want your onion chunks to be when you go to dip. And watch out for the watery eyes! I got some really strong onions and I think even Loucy the Cat's eyes were watering! It does needs to be chilled before serving, and since I think it tastes even better the next day after everything soaks together, I do recommend making this the day before you plan to serve it. However, it only needs to be chilled for a few hours before serving, so it can be made day of, as well. Serve with pretzels, pita chips, or veggies for dipping. My personal favorite is to eat it with celery sticks. And because this is such a hit at parties, I usually double the recipe to make sure there is plenty to go around!

Onion Dip Recipe
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Sew Crafty Cat
  • 8 large yellow onions
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  1. Cut the onions so you have about 3 cups
  2. heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan on medium heat
  3. add the onions, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper and saute for 10 minutes
  4. reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 more minutes until the onions are brown and caramelized
  5. allow the onions to cool
  6. place the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in a bowl
  7. use an electric mixer and beat until smooth
  8. add the onions and mix well
  9. refrigerate for a few hours, serve cold
  chopped onionssautéed onions Onion Dip Recipe Onion Dip Recipe


Doesn't that look delish!?  Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly!  Head over to Sew Crafty Cat and have a look around at all the other awesome things Kelly has going on over there!

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How Safe Are You Online?: {Printable} Password Keeper & the Heartbleed Bug

Presumably, by now you've heard about the Heartbleed Bug that was discovered last week.  You know, the one where we found out that a whole lot of the internet wasn't as safe as we'd thought.  Mr. Napping came home the day it was discovered and described it to me in all the technical and geeky terms he could think of.  One of his friends at work had spent a lot of the day patching their servers and the two of them had commiserated the problem while getting their 'geek high' at the same time.  I got the residual effects of the high and a whole lot of computer jargon I didn't completely understand. While I understood the basics of what he was saying, the magnitude of the issue didn't really hit home at that point.  So, if you're still a little confused about just what the issue is, let me see if I can break it down for you.

Basically, there was a problem with OpenSSL.  This is the open source (anyone can use it) software that a lot of sites use to transfer encrypted information - like passwords.  There was a flaw in the software that would leak some of the data, now decrypted.  The data being returned could vary from passwords and credit card numbers to the actual key used to decrypt the data.  This would allow hackers to grab small pieces of information from transfers without detection.  After enough of these small grabs, they would eventually have the code needed to decipher all the information and could decode any and all transfers encrypted with OpenSSL.  And this has been possible for the past two years.  Plenty of time to do some major damage.  And it was undetectable.  Make sense?  See why the entire tech community was hysterical?  Think of all the encrypted information you send... passwords, credit card numbers, bank information, personal identification numbers... not really stuff you want just anyone to have access to, am I right?  So, now what?

Well, the good news is that the problem was discovered by a Google security team employee and a software firm, not hackers and bad guys with terrible intentions.  There's no evidence this was a known issue to anyone before the discovery last Monday; meaning even though the information could have been stolen, it probably wasn't.  The bad news is there's not a lot you can do if your info has been snagged already.  Keep a watch on your accounts (bank, email, social media, and the like) for any unauthorized use and report it immediately.

To prevent any further problems, though, there are things you can do.  First off, find out what sites you use were effected by the issue.  There is a gigantic list of websites HERE you can scan through and see if any of the ones you use were affected.  Don't want to go through all that (can't blame you there!), Mashable put together this list of popular websites and their vulnerability.  They also have other articles that can help you understand Heartbleed and what to do now.  The Mashable list will tell you the passwords you need to change now to make your accounts as secure as possible.  Still have questions about a particular site?  You can use LastPass' "Heartbleed Checker" to check individual https:// urls and their vulnerability.  And, if you use LastPass, you can click on the security check in your vault and it will tell you what sites were vulnerable and give you suggestions on what to do now.  I'm thinking I'd rather be safe than sorry (and I should have changed my passwords probably three times since I last did), so I'm just going to change all my passwords.

Bloggers, (well, everyone actually, but bloggers especially) should change all social media site passwords.  Picmonkey is a site commonly used by bloggers for photo editing.  It was vulnerable.  Change that password.  Etsy was vulnerable.  Yahoo, Imgur, Flickr, Madmimi, Dropbox, Copy, a large majority of online retailers, 1001 Free Fonts, weather.gov, ucsd.edu... all were vulnerable.  There isn't a safe "type" of website out there.  And, just because your banking site was safe doesn't mean your info couldn't have been pulled from somewhere else. If you entered credit card info on a site that was vulnerable, so was your information.  So, be careful and keep a close eye on your accounts.  All of them.

Other common sites bloggers use often could have been affected.  Several advertising and media sites (Social Fabric, Pollinate, the IZEA network, Clever, Mom it Forward, Collective Bias, and Klout to name a few) may have been affected.  Some of those sites have applied patches and some have not.  Changing your passwords is probably the safest thing to do.  If there are sites that share passwords (yeah, the big naughty no-no we all do), change the other site's password too.  Pollinate was one of the sites they aren't sure is safe yet.  They haven't updated their SSL certificate yet so they may still be running a vulnerable version of the software.  If your Pollinate account was hit and had the same password as your bank account, the hackers now have your bank account password as well, even though most banking sites weren't affected.  If you change your Pollinate account password, there is still a chance your information can be stolen until they update their SSL version and it's certificate and a confirmed patch is announced.

(Side note: most banking sites were not hit by the Heartbleed bug, however, you should check with your financial institution for confirmation.  Our Wells Fargo accounts weren't vulnerable, but my USAA accounts could have been.  Double check to make sure your bank wasn't one that was vulnerable.)

Looks like we've got a lot of passwords to change... and to make it easier to keep track of all these new passwords, here are a couple printables for you to use.  Right click, open in a new tab or window.  The right click the image again and "save as" the image to your computer.  You can then print from there.  Feel free to print as many copies as you want/need.  Please do not post these files on your own blog, other pages or share via email.  If you would like to share the printable, send your family and friends to this post, where they can download their own copies.  Thanks!  The white background allows the pages to be printed on any paper, including colored papers.

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

{Night Owl Corner} Handprint Lion Art

Are you looking for a fun art project to do with the kids?  Well, Linda from Night Owl Corner is here to share a super cute little keepsake you can do with the kiddos.  It's short and sweet and totally adorable.  Take it away, Linda!


Handprint Lion Art_IMG_3483

Greetings! I'm Linda from Night Owl Corner and I'm excited to be here today to share an adorable handprint craft. OK, I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for handprint / footprint crafts. They are so cute and easy, especially for the little ones who can't do art projects on their own yet. Plus they make wonderful keepsakes so you can remember how sweet and tiny those little fingers and toes once were! I recently made a handprint lion with my daughter, and it turned out so cute. Here's what you'll need to make one of your own:
  • White, yellow and brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Yellow Washable Paint
  • Foam Brush
  • Black Marker
Start by using the foam brush to paint your child's hand with the yellow paint. Stamp their hand with the fingers pointing down on the paper. Allow to dry. Cut thin strips of brown and yellow construction paper for the mane, and glue around the thumb after the handprint is dry. Use a black marker to draw on the eyes, nose and mouth.
  Handprint Lion Art 
Craft adapted from Meet the Dubiens. It was great being here today! Come visit me at Night Owl Corner for lots more fun handprint / footprint art crafts! You can also keep in touch through the social media links below!



That is just super cute and I love how easy it is do to.  I might have to see if I can adapt the idea for Father's Day T-Shirts this year.... hmmmm.  I also think yarn for the mane would make for some fun sensory exploration too!  Love this!  Thanks so much for sharing, Linda!  Check out all the other great ideas at Night Owl Corner and find Linda through the social media links above.

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

{Ducks 'n a Row} O is for Olympics Preschool Activity

Here's a fun activity to do with the kiddos.  The Olympics may be over, but they will come around again (isn't it great?!) and how fun would it be to do your own Olympics as part of this too?!  What more could you want - a sit-down activity and an idea that you can run with to help the kids run off some of that endless energy?  So, here's Sinea from Ducks 'n a Row with the sit-down activity.  Sorry, you're on your own if you put together a little Olympics for your kids to compete in... Take it away, Sinea!


Guest post by Sinea Pies 

Many thanks to Krista for inviting me to guest post on her blog. Whenever I have an opportunity to guest on someone else's site, I want it to be special. This opportunity came at the perfect time! I'm sharing the most recent craft that I did with my preschool class. I loved it. The children loved it. Their parents loved it and I think you will love it, too.

My eleven preschoolers are such a sweet group. As you know, no two 4 year olds are alike. Each time we do a new project, I anticipate what I will see. 
  • Aliyah is a perfectionist. She takes her time to get every detail right. Due to her deliberacy, we often have to wait for her to finish up. 
  • Caleb goes for accuracy. He wants his project to look just like mine or like the real thing, such as when we did our lion craft. He didn't want the mane to be orange and yellow. A lion's mane is brownish-tan and that is exactly how his looked. (Beautifully done, I might add.) 
  • Evan takes everything on with gusto. He had glue all over the page before he noticed that it should only go on the ringed outline of the "O". No worries. Glue dries and he had fun. 
It was letter "O" week. Though logic said "Owl" was the way to go, Katie, my assistant, said "No, we HAVE to do the Olympics!" And I am so glad we did.

Our craft was something I found pictured on Pinterest. Isn't Pinterest great? It is like visiting the World Library of Ideas.  We glued Fruit Loops™ onto a page to form a letter "O" as well as completing the Olympic rings. 
This is the template I used.

How'd it go? After 14 weeks with my students, I have come to know them pretty well. If I gave them ALL the cereal at once, those rings would never have been made. Katie agreed.  Rings first, big "O" later.

So, I came in prepared with snack-size zip bags, one of each color. I called upon my "Teachers Helpers"  to go around and leave one piece with each of their fellow students.  

Everyone carefully glued them into the Olympic rings. Not all of the rings were the right color but, no biggie, this is preschool! When I heard the familiar "Teacher, I need more Fruit Loops" it was time to give them the rest of their cereal. It worked very, very well. 

Letter O, O is for Olympics
Busy little hands making their "O's"

preschool craft, preschool Olympics craft, Fruit Loops craft
The finished product!  Pretty, huh?

Fruit Loops™ cereal
"O" template printed on card stock
Elmer’s® glue
little cup for the glue
cotton swabs

Squirt some glue into a small cup. 
Using a cotton swab, dab the rings of the Olympic symbol with glue and attach a piece of cereal in each.
Now, rub glue onto the big "O" and attach cereal all around. 
Some children will go "multi color" and others may want to separate it into groups of color.

Sinea Pies is the inspiration behind Ducks 'n a Row. Admittedly not nearly as organized as she'd like to be, Sinea encourages her readers to join her as they head toward the goal of "The Beauty of an Organized Life" together. 

Ducks 'n a Row also visits the world of cooking/baking, time management, home/office decor, health, fashion, education, faith, Fido (dogs) and, most recently, preschool. Having years of experience as a high school guidance counselor and school administrator, she is now having fun teaching preschool and sharing with her readers! 
Follow Sinea (pronounced SEENA) on social media: Facebook / Google+ / Pinterest  / Twitter / Sverve and please stop by for Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop on Ducks 'n a Row, as well.

Thanks so much for sharing, Sinea!  I would have a hard time with this project... Fruit Loops are my favorite cereal and I could eat a whole box of them by myself.  But for the sake of learning, maybe, just maybe, I might be able to part with a few handfuls while Big J and Little J glue them to their papers... who are we kidding?  They'd eat them.  But I can't blame them... I'd be sittin on the couch shoveling the sugar-frosted cereal into my mouth too.  Visit Sinea for more excellent ideas over at Ducks 'n a Row!

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

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