Monday, October 31, 2011

Guotie Pot Stickers - A Recipe

 I love potstickers.  I've made them a few times, but I always felt they weren't quite right - like something was missing.  This recipe looks so easy that I'm gonna give it another go!

The word for “pot stickers” in Chinese is guotie, literally “pot-stick,” a name they have earned from their
cooking method. Chinese cooks first steam guotie in giant flat-bottomed iron pans. When all the water is
absorbed by the dumplings, they are left in the pan to get crispy and “stick” to the pan. We recommend
using a nonstick skillet when making these so that the dumplings don’t actually stick to the pan forever.
These Guotie Pot Stickers make amazing appetizers served with the dipping sauce. We like to make more
dumplings than we can eat and freeze the extra for later.

Makes about 36 dumplings

Dipping Sauce
1 cup Chinese black rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

12 ounces ground beef or ground pork
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup minced green onions, green and white parts
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Pinch of salt
About 36 round Dumpling Wrappers
(purchased premade, or see page 258)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup water

To make the dipping sauce, whisk together the black rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, cilantro, soy sauce,
and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

To make the dumplings, combine the meat, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, green onions, sugar, sesame oil,
and salt in a bowl and stir in one direction with a chopstick until just mixed. Fill a small bowl with some
water.  Hold a dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand and place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the
center.  Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the edge to help make a good seal.  Lightly
fold the wrapper over on itself, but don’t touch the edges together. Starting at one end, use your fingers
to make a small pleat on the side of the wrapper closest to you, then press the pleat into the other side
and pinch together firmly.  Keep making pleats down the dumpling opening in this way until completely
sealed (see Dumpling Folding Tips on page 255).  Repeat this process with the remaining filling and
wrappers. Freeze any dumplings that you don’t intend to cook immediately (see Dumpling Freezing Tips
on page 256).

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 12 dumplings
pleat side up in the pan so that they are just touching each other. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Decrease
the heat to medium-low, pour 1/4 cup of the water into the pan, and cook, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes,
until all the water is absorbed by the dumplings and their bottoms are crusty brown. Repeat this process 2
more times with the remaining dumplings, oil, and water. Serve the dumplings with a side of the dipping

—From Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue Through China with Recipes by Nate and Mary
Kate Tate/Andrews McMeel Publishing.  Published with permission.

Painting Birthday

Guest post of the week by Roscoe Harris

I came home last week and was really excited to see that my husband had gotten me a surprise. My surprise was actually something that I have been asking for at least for three years. When I got home I noticed that all of the switch plate covers, outlet covers, and pictures were off the walls. The only things left on the walls was ADTequipment. There was blue tape and painter’s cloths on the floor. He was going to do some painting in the house! I have been dying to spruce up the colors in our place for a long time, but a lot of other things needed to be done around the house before we could paint. He had a book of paint chips and balloons. A few minutes later there was a ring at the doorbell. I answered the door and he had ordered my favorite pizza, Hawaiian. We spent my birthday evening drinking beer, eating cake and Hawaiian pizza, and picking out color chips. What a wonderful birthday spent at home!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide & Blog Hop Sponsor Opportunities

How Was Your Day (aka ME!!) is looking for sponsors for some upcoming events. 

Made With Love blog hop: All handmade items.  How great is that gonna be?  Pretty awesome, I think.  However, I'm looking for a sponsor.  Do you make something great like soap, bags, jewelry, clothes, or ???  Do you have a website or Etsy site where you sell your items?   Lets chat! 

Under the Tree blog hop: Children's items.  Toys, books, clothes, movies, etc.  

Home for the Holidays blog hop: Holiday Home Decor, Holiday Crafting and Gifts that you can make yourself.  This includes craft supplies!

Fashion Friday: Sweater Dresses

I love a good sweater.  I'm not super fond of wearing a jacket unless I'm going to be outside for a while (like apple picking) or it's really cold.  I find a sweater keeps me toasty-warm but not too hot. 

Pink Rose Dress V-Neck Cable 

How great is this sweater mini dress?  A great cut that is so flattering to most body types.  I especially like the cable knit pattern.   While I'm digging the Teal, this sweater is also available in purple, brown, and a burnt orange.  The best part?  It's from Pink Rose, is available at Macy's, and really reasonably priced.  How reasonable, you ask.  Does $38 sound good to you?  It does to me.  Oh -  it's on sale right now for $24.99.  

Astrid Alpaca Minidress

Simply put, I adore Fair Isle and Intarsia knitting.  Sometimes, though, it can look a little ski lodge-y.  Sometimes, that's just not the look you're going for.   The Astrid dress is able to take fair isle knitting and make it totall modern, sophisticated, and dare I say - a little edgy.  This dress is handknit from delightfully soft undyed Alpaca yarns.  Swoon!  From Peruvian Connection.

Sweater Dress with Tucks

I love the line of this dress.  I like the way it falls from the bust, but isn't an empire waist.  The gold accent around the neckline seems to be just the right amount to be flattering but not fall over into tacky territory.  And, I have to admit - I dig the pockets.  I know they're not for everyone, but I like 'em.  From Roaman's. 

Striped Sweater Dress

I love this one.  I have a ridiculous affinity for stripes.  It's undeniable, and perhaps a bit of an obsession.  This dress is still really cute even if you don't love stripes like I do.  The flare of the skirt is fantastic.  That is one complaint I have about sweater dresses sometimes - I don't necessarily want it to be clingy everywhere.  I also really like that it looks like two pieces.  From Amanda Charles.

Cross Back dress

This is more of a tunic, as you'd definitely need some bottoms.  I love the detailing in the back.  However - I think this would be really cute with some jeans and maybe a thin long sleeve top underneath.  You could wear it as-is when the weather warms up, too.  Great for casual date nights or being cute while running errands.  From Charlotte Russe. 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Hot Rollers - Giveaway YAY

Recently I had the opportunity to test out Conair’s new Xtreme Instant Heat Multisized Hot Rollers. I had some mixed feelings about this. Even though my hair’s natural texture is somewhat curly/wavy, I still use curling irons from time to time to control the wave. Hot rollers, though…those weren’t for me. I hadn’t used rollers since I was in Jr High.

When I got the Conair Xtreme hot rollers, though, I knew they were different. The first thing I noticed was the new style of clip. Rather than having the bobby pin style holders, these have big claw clips to hold the curlers in place. Hmmm…interesting! Another change was the rollers themselves. These were soft and velvety, and they seemed like they’d hold your hair better. With these two new design features, I realized that these weren’t my mama’s hot rollers!

Feeding The Dragon Cookbook - Review

Title: Feeding the Dragon
Author: Mary Kate Tate & Nate Tate
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Price: $24.99 US/$28.99 Canada

Feeding the Dragon is an amazing book. The tagline states “A culinary travelogue through China with Recipes.” I’ve never seen something designed to sell a product that was more fitting. Originating from the blog Feeding the Dragon, American siblings Nate and Mary Kate Tate (I love their names! Makes me smile every time I say them!!) travelled through China eating, photographing, and living among the locals.

Feeding the Dragon covers all regions of China, not just Szechuan province, as we’re used to. In fact, it seems that they covered the entire continent of Eastern Asia, including Tibet and Mongolia. Sections are based on the Tates’ travels to various regions (Beijing, Macao, Hong Kong, etc.) Sections are then broken down by neighborhoods in those regions. In each section, there are great stories about their travels and sometimes, travails, in the region. The easy to prepare recipes also have great stories regarding their origins, history, and the sibling’s ingredient swaps.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Alexa Stop, Hop, and Drop - Vol 6

Welcome to the Alexa Stop Hop and Drop blog hop. The rules are really simple.

Please join me along with this week's guest host Create With Joy.

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Foliage

Unfortunately, the leaves in our area aren't really changing color much. They're just turning yellow and dropping. Our views should look like this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Camp Necklace - Giveaway Yay

Camping has always been big in our family.  In fact, I wasn't even aware other families didn't camp regularly until I was in middle school! 

An Airstream-inspired trailer in cabin colors with a vivid green background.  Just like it was plucked straight from the forest.  The rounded trailer look is so trendy right now, and I kind of like this one better than all the silver/grey ones out there.

The pendant is 1 1/4 inches, satin cord is about 19 inches with a lobster claw clasp.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fantastic Cocktail Dresses to Consider

Formal season has started.  Our local university is having their homecoming this weekend.  In most places, homecoming has, well, come and gone.  But not to fret – there are still a ton of opportunities for a fancy-schmancy frilly dress. 

How about a cocktail party?  There’s a huge selection of cocktail dresses that are really quite chic.  This strapless number is a dress that you can go back to again and again.  A lovely line that’s fairly timeless with great detail across the bodice that almost looks like pin tucking.  Did I mention it’s only $69?  How awesome is that?

Are you a little more daring?  Wanna be featured in the Style section, but NOT with the black bar over your eyes?  Perhaps this one is up your alley.  Yes, it’s a bit of a short dress, but it really packs a punch.  The tulle skirt flares out from the red and black striped satin bodice.  The has a bit of a tutu feel.  I think this is total pinup vamp, which I love.  In fact, I wish I could pull the pinup look off!  And the skirt?  It’s accented by feathers!  Feathers!!  Stripes + feathers=total squee!

Perhaps a gown is more your style.  This one reminds me of Austin Scarlett’s great design from Project Runway season 1.  The one he designed for Nancy O’Dell and the Grammys.  This strapless gown has a sweetheart neckline and a long, sweeping skirt that has a slit that reveals a purple mini dress.  And the print?  It looks like a peacock!  The bust has woven detailing for some added interest.  This is really the best of both worlds – a short dress to show some leg, a long skirt for modesty and glamour.  I think this would be a good compromise dress with the teens, too.  

How about a great Maxi dress as a gown?  This one is all kinds of gorgeous!  The fabric is silk chiffon (sigh!) with a fun, almost watercolor tie-dye hybrid print.  It’s a cross-back straps so it fits nicely and you don’t have either the inelegant boob tug or the straps that continuously fall.  Highly sequined cummerbund style waistband and straps add some glitz and glam.  The way the bodice is creates quite the slimming effect as well.  It’s nearly backless, but does have some nice coverage, due to the straps.  This dress is famous, too!  It was featured on America’s Prom Queen on ABC Family. 

Whether you or your daughter need a formal dress for Prom, Homecoming, or Winter formal, has you covered.  They’ve been in business since the last millennium (1999), so you know they have some longevity. 

Do you want to win a free dress?  Well, do ya?  Then run over to’s facebook page and register for their monthly giveaway. 

I received no compensation for this post.  I received a sample garment for evaluation. 

New Music for FREE? Yes Please!

Spin Magazine has put out their new playlist for November.  10 tracks to download from iTunes, totally free.  Woohoo! 

As always, it may not exactly be your cup of tea.  Or, as happened for me in October, you may find a new favorite!  What do you have to lose?

If you act fast, you can still get the October playlist too. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fab Five - Halloween Costumes DIY

Where did October go? CRIPES!! No decorating yet. No jack o lantern so far. I haven't gotten candy yet - not that it would last until halloween here. Heck, I haven't even gotten wee one a costume! EEK!!

Here are a few fantastic DIY costumes that look pretty quick to do.

Meatballs and Spaghetti

How awesome is this?   Some yarn, a tablecloth, a paper plate.  Easy peasy and cheap!  And unique. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Brown pants, brown shirt, some felt or fleece and a little stuffing.  Super cute!

A Mushroom and a Gnome

 I'm a sucker for a gnome, sooo...I may be a little jaded.  This would be great for a big and a little or an only child and their parent.  I also think this would be good for two adults!  The best part - it's a sweatsuit, a visor, cotton balls or pom poms, a paper bag, foil, and a trash bag.  You might not even have to buy anything! 

Safari Guide

Another one that could easily be free and would work for all ages. 


A little hat, a bandana...voila!!  The cat or dog may hate you, but y''s a small price to pay for a few moments of joy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

See Mix Drink - A Cocktail Guide - Giveaway

A few days ago I told you about a fantastic guide to making cocktails called See Mix Drink.  Now you have a chance to win a copy of your own! 

This book really is a fantastic addition to your cookbook library.  Or your general bookshelf.  See Mix Drink would also make a great gift for that young professional bachelor or for a housewarming. 

Easy rafflecopter entry after the jump

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hand Dyed Embroidery Floss - Giveaway

Do you like to embroider?  Would you like to learn?  Then this giveaway is for you!!

10 different and completely unique embroidery flosses are included in this set. 

4 - hand-dyed wool flosses: Pumpkin, Camellia, Denim, and Moss
4- hand dyed 6 strand cotton floss: Aubergine, Snow Cone, Celery, and Periwinkle
1 - hand dyed bamboo floss in Daffodil
1 - Hand Dyed silk ribbon in Hot Pink

Fashion Friday: Mens Jeans

We lady bloggers don't seem to write a whole lot of posts for the fellas.  I guess it's because we're used to our audience just being us girls.  Well, the boys like to look good, too.  Or so I've been told by a couple guy friends.It's all about mens jeans


Boot Cut

These are a great jean for so many guys.  Wear them casually with a good tee.  Dress it up with a nice shirt or sweater.  The boot cut is pretty flattering, the color is a great classic, and the distressing gives these a fantastic worn-in look without the months or years of breaking in!  These are from 7 for All Mankind and run about $200. 


Personally, I love cords.  I like the velvety softness of them.  These are great to mix it up a little, so it's not all denim, all the time.  This pair is a slim fit, which, admittedly, isn't for everyone.  Levi's 511s have a vintage wash treatment, too.  About $58.

Straight Leg

I think a Straight leg in a dark wash is a universally flattering style.  Good for chicks, good for dudes, good for everyone.  These are a classic zip fly jeans.  This particular pair is from Levis and made in the USA.  $178. 


While not really jeans, they are an important part of a man's pant arsenal.  These are from Banana Republic and normally run close to $80.  They're currently on sale for $25! 

Okay, I admit it,  This was partially just for some eye candy, too. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

See Mix Drink - A Cocktail Guide

 A couple months ago, I was asked to tend bar at an event.  Not that I'm a celebrity or anything like that, I was just asked to tend bar.  I told them I gladly would, but I had no idea how to mix any kind of drink. 

Recently See Mix Drink came into my life.  Where was this book when I needed it?!?  See Mix Drink is a simple, well-illustrated guide to creating just about any cocktail you could want.   There's also a section devoted to what you need to have a swingin' bar, whether at home or setting up a business.  Don't know the difference between a rocks glass and a highball?  How about a muddler from a stirring spoon?  This guide has you covered!

Perhaps you need to make a liquor store run before a party?   See Mix Drink even has a guide to various spirits that includes how it's produced, popular brands, alcohol content and variations of the booze.

And in case you think you can't make mixed drinks at home, you can!!  There are very detailed, very visual illustrations that show exactly what you need.  Each ingredient is shown in a different color and items like lemons or mint are shown as pictures.  So, if you want to make a mojito, there's an illustration of a lime wedge & mint leaves, along with the rum, simple syrup, and club soda.  There's also a calorie count, for those trying to watch their waistline. 

This is a book that everyone should have on their shelf!  I think a lot of bars should have a copy, too. 

I received a copy for review.  I received no other compensation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alexa Stop, Hop, and Drop - Vol 5

Welcome to the Alexa Stop Hop and Drop blog hop. The rules are really simple.

Please join me along with this week's guest host The Nutritionist Reviews

  1. Download the Alexa toolbar. This is very important. You can download it here. It's safe - virus & spyware free.
  2. Add your site to the linky.
  3. Visit people and make new friends. It's best if you go a couple pages deep. Click on some other posts. And if it's a blog that interests you, why not give them a GFC follow or like them on Facebook?
  4. Leave a comment! That way, they'll know you were there.
  5. Watch your ranking drop.

I will choose someone from the list to be next week's guest host, too!  Tell a friend.  The more that participate, the better it is for everyone.

Wordless Wednesday: CAKE!

I've been in the mood for cake. A luscious, thick slice of cake.  With good filling and great frosting. 

LAST CALL for the Fall Fashionista Giveaway

The Fall Fashionista giveaway extravaganza ends today!  Be sure  to enter!  Over $15,000 in prizes from 110 different blogs, all fashion related.  Ooh la la. 

Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to Dulce Mio here

See my sponsor preview post here.

Other fantastic giveaways going on at HWYD

Give A Hoot Earrings

I Ride My Bike Necklace

Scrapbook Paper Packs

Burt's Bees Moisturizing Cream 

Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prefense Hand Sanitizer - Review and Giveaway

Prefense is a different kind of hand sanitizer. Rather than being a gel-like alcohol based product, it is silica based.

Prefense is a foaming hand sanitizer, but it has no real feel to it.  There's almost no scent - not lightly scented, but no scent.  I even tasted it.  It tasted a little bit like sand, but other than that, didn't really have a taste either.  On the bottle, it says Smooths. Softens. Protects.  It does leave your hands feeling nice, but does it work?   It's hard to tell.  I couldn't find any independent research regarding Prefense.  All studies stating that Prefense was an effective product (or their similar counterparts)  were manufacturer driven.

Halloween Bunting Project + Free Printable

You've seen those buntings, haven't you? They go by various names - like swags or banners.  Pennants, too.'s how to make one. I've even created the printable. Yee haw!! You only need a few types of craft supplies and most can be found at Factory Direct Craft.


  • Halloween Banner Printable - Found here and here. It's 2 pages.
  • 2 sheets White glossy or matte coated cardstock - 8 1/2 x 11 inches
  • 3 sheets Coordinating cardstock, either 8 1/2 x 11 or 12x12. I used a charcoal grey. 
  • Orange paper.  I used scrapbook paper.  You'll need a 6x6 or 8x8 piece - or the equivalent. 
  • 3-4 yards of ribbon.  I used 1/8 inch satin ribbon in chocolate brown.  Use more if you'd like!!
  • Adhesive. I used double-stick tape squares, because I like them. You could use a tape runner or glue stick too. I would stay away from wet glue, though.

Getting it for us

Thanks for the article from Glenda Hanson

Getting digital cable was the worst decision I ever made because it means now my brothers are at my house 24 hours a day. It was a great thing for me at first until I told them I got it because I watched all my BRAVO shows and all that but then they started coming over for games and it was all downhill from there. I just don’t understand how two grown men can be this into sports but man, they’re about to eat me out of house and home! I gave Bobby a key for emergencies and he’s always using it to come in and help himself to my TV and whatever’s in the fridge and that’s just not okay. I mean, I barely scrape by as it is – I can’t afford to feed him all the time! I love that we’re so close still and that they like to watch sports together but I just wish they’d find somewhere else to do it since my house has become a de facto sports bar.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Burts Bees Daily Moisturizing Cream + Coupon Giveaway

Last week, I told you about Burt's Bees new Sensitive Skincare line.  Now you have the chance to try it!!

You'll receive a sample that's a couple days worth, packaged with a $1 off coupon!! How great is that?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

$100 Dulce Mio Gift Certificate - Fall Fashionista Giveaway

It's here! It's finally here!! Fall Fashionista is in full effect. I'm giving away a $100 (US) gift certificate to Dulce Mio.

Fall Fashionista 150 3

4x6 and 6x6 Scrapbook Paper Packs - Giveaway

I have half a dozen or so tutorials that are all but ready to post. And I want you to be able to create with me. Sooo...I'm going to be giving away some of the items necessary for the projects.

This one is for scrapbook paper scrap packs. There will be a mix of 4x6 and 6x6 packs. I haven't decided how many packs yet. I'm thinking 3 or 4 of each size for a total of 6 or 8 packs. Does that sound good to you?

Enter after the jump

Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Care - Review

Recently, I was approached about taking the Burt's Bees for Sensitive Skin face care line for a test drive.  Being a lifelong sensitive skin sufferer, I immediately said "oh, yes please!" It also didn't hurt that I am a long-time fan of the line.  In nerd-circles, I may even be referred to as a fan, fan girl.

Burt's Bees says:  These gentle formulas are clinically proven to cleanse and moisturize sensitive skin without causing redness or irritation. Softening Cotton Extract helps skin replenish its outer layer, shielding it from potential irritants such as harsh soaps or cleansers, so your sensitive skin will look and feel beautiful, naturally.

I received a Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream and a Sensitive Facial Cleanser.  It arrived with perfect timing, as I was going to an event that night and I needed to get ready.  The facial cleanser has almost no scent - it just smells natural.  As I was using it, I realized that it doesn't foam.  At all.  I suppose that due to the soap-free & sls/sles free formulation.  This does take some getting used to, though.  It left my face feeling clean, but not stripped or tight.

Then, it was on to the Daily Moisturizing Cream.  It also has virtually no scent.  The moisturizer comes out of the pump a little thick but it applies very nicely.  It soaks in almost immediately, which I really like.  I hate having that greasy mask feel.  One caveat - there's no SPF, so you still need a sunscreen. 

I've been using the products for about 10 days now.  I haven't had any flare-ups of eczema or psoriasis.  I also haven't had any blemishes.  I'm not particularly prone to pimples or acne, but you always wonder when you change your skin care regimen.  I also haven't had to use my prescription cream during this. 

For the past several years, I've been using a department store line at the recommendation of my dermatologist.  I think I may have a new skin care line to use. An added bonus - it's about 1/3 of the price. 

I was selected for this through bzzagent. I received the products listed for review purposes only. I received no compensation.

HWYD Holiday Gift Guide - Accepting Submissions

How Was Your Day is putting together a Holiday Gift Guide.  HWYD will be posting featured reviews of each company that's included.  If you'd like to be considered for inclusion, fill out the form below.  If the form doesn't appear, email me

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Fashionista Preview - Dulce Mio

Dulce Mio is a new company that carries all kinds of amazing Artisan made products.  Jewelry, accessories, home's all there.  I hear that they plan to add kids items, clothes, and even food in the near future.

Dulce Mio's motto is For Life, For Home, To Wear and it's very fitting. Their items have an eclectic blend of modern sophistication with vintage flair.  Think Anthro, but more wearable for everyone.

The upscale styling with a comfortable feel because we know our items need to be wearable.  I like to look good but I'm not into being tortured to do so.  Furthermore, all of Dulce Mio's items crafted with superior skill of experienced artisans in the US!

For the Fall Fashionista event, they have provided a $100 (us dollars) gift certificate to!  That means you can get anything you want from the site.  Here are just a few of my favorites: 

Organics Bracelets

Flower Scarf

Bee Necklace

Confetti Lariat in Black

Fall Fashionista begins October 14!  There's 136 blogs taking part and over $15,000 in prizes being given away.  All fashion, all the time!  *drool*
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