Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Winners Galore!

Alrighty people, I'm supposed to wait until tomorrow but I'm not, I'm just going to draw up the random winners right now....

BELLA SARA HORSE TRADING CARDS

first up are the two winners of the Bella Sara Sets.


#22 - Life on the Hay Farm
#16 - Heather's Stitches

Congratulations ladies, please email me your addresses so that I can pass them on to the wonderful folks at Bella Sara. They'll be sending the prizes straight to you!


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The Mighty Queens of Freeville


Ok now for the winner of the book I reviewed here.



#1 - Michelle from Michelle's Family Life

Congratulations Michelle, email me your address and I'll get the book out as soon as possible!

I've done lost my mind!


You know those mornings where you wake up and right from the bat you KNOW you're going to have a nutty day?

Well I slept through my alarm which is something I never do. NEVER! But thankfully I actually was woken up by the sweet Eden, who was calling me to ask me a question. She left a message on the machine and I went to go call her back on my cellphone....and this is where I lost my marbles.

Let me give you a little backstory first. Every afternoon, I go and pick up the kids from school and I always take a snack for them, I take juice and some crackers or apples or whatever. When I get back home, I throw out the empty wrappers and the plastic bags they were in, but far too often, I pop my cellphone in the same bag to make it easier while carrying backpacks and jackets and whatnot.

So I get to the kitchen.....are you with me still? *snicker*

I look at the counter where I usually leave the phone, and it's not there. So I check in my purse thinking I put it away and it's not there. Then the paranoia hits me, I do a quick mental check and realize that I may have thrown out the cellphone inside the plastic bag.

Next thing I know, it's 7am and I'm digging through my trash. DIS.GUS.TING! Keep laughing, because I hadn't even had coffee and was elbow deep in empty juice pouches, leftover cereal and other things that I can't even describe.

Then I hear it....a ring and I start digging faster and deeper. I'm surprised trash wasn't flying around the kitchen. The phone kept ringing and I kept digging.....until I stopped for a second and realized that the ringing was coming from my purse. Somehow when I first searched through it, I missed it. The cellphone was in the purse all along!

Here, take a kleenex and wipe the tears from your eyes, I can hear you all cackling from over here....and now that it's over, it's actually pretty funny. HAHAHAHAHAH

But it gets better because apparently I had one single marble left which I done lost right as I started typing this post.

After cleaning up the mess, taking a shower, and grabbing my coffee, I sat here at the laptop ready to check email and blogs etc....and I reach over and grab my cellphone and start moving it around (thinking it was my mouse). WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I was getting pretty irritated because the pointer wasn't moving at all, then I hear Jasmine's voice "Mommy, what are you doing with your cellphone?"

BUSTED! By my own child, in a moment of insanity! Folks, I'm only turning 35 years old, there is no excuse for these things happening LOL

Now I'm going to get kids ready for school and start my day, I'll leave you all laughing over here and here's a little bit of advice....next time you hear your cellphone ringing, make sure it's in your purse before you dive for the trash can.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Because handmade is so much better....

and because it's relaxing and because I love the look on my children's faces when I show them one of my latest projects.

Like these adorable crochet eggs, so quick to make and so darn cute, they make me smile. I am making at least half a dozen for Easter, but earlier I went into the refrigerator while preparing dinner and found this....

One of my kiddos decided they belonged in the egg tray, replacing the empty egg spots. Who am I to say otherwise? I am thinking I may just make a bunch to use in there to replace the eggs as I use them.

And when I'm wanting a break from Crocheting, I pull out the sewing machine and make some fabric eggs. I want to make at least one each for the kids to add to their Easter Baskets.

I followed the super simple tutorial from Retro Mama and used up some cutsey red fabric from one of my old dresses.


You can download the egg pattern right here and when you're done, why not go ahead and post your eggs to Retro Mama's Flickr Group.

One thing though, I made this egg almost double the size of the pattern she gives. I wanted one BIG Easter egg in there.

Tomorrow, while the kids are in school, I'll be making a bunch more.

Moving on to other things, I just started The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff and even though I'm only on page two, I'm hooked, I think it's the author's wit, the way he writes so fluidly as if in conversation with the reader and the story itself. I can't wait to finish it and let you all know what I thought.

I also have Into The West from Netflix, I'm thoroughly enjoying it, I think it's written extremely well, because for me, I have found it hard to find a good story about the west where I don't feel that either the Pioneers or the Indians are being portrayed in a negative way. I'm learning SO much which is wonderful for me.

Now I'm off to get my babies to bed and then post my new Two Week Menu plan at the food blog, I have so many goodies to try the next few weeks, I can't wait to share it all with you.

Happy Homemaker Monday!

Welcome to my Monday feature, a place where I'll be writing about my day, what I've learned the past week, any new recipes I've tried, scriptures that made an impact and everything else in between.

Every Monday, I will post a Mr Linky, you are more than welcome to join me, all you need to do is grab the button, copy the categories and fill in your answers, then come back here and add your post so that others can come and visit you.





On my bedside table:
A Country Called Home by Kim Barnes
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff - I'm dying to start this one, I've heard such great reviews about it.


On my TV:
Paranormal State
Dancing with the Stars
Into the West - Disc 1


On the menu for tonight:
Portuguese Pork Chops and Potatoes


On my To Do List:
Sweep and Mop floors
Change bed linens
Laundry
Make up the menus for the next two weeks
Make the grocery list


New Recipe I tried last week:
Jucy Lucy Burgers....YUM!


In the craft basket:
Crochet Easter Eggs
Fabric Easter Eggs


Looking forward to:
Starting my new 30 Day Shred DVD from Jillian Michaels, today.


Homemaking Tip for this week:
I'm sure a lot of you know this one already, but I love it. Everytime you use a jar of spaghetti sauce or anything else...pour a little bit of water into the empty jar, close the lid and shake it up as well as you can. You will get all the extra sauce that would have been left in there.


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
I have to say Bonnie's post with the grasshopper picture, that was SO neat. Go and check it out.


Favorite photo from last week:
Earth hour


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Lesson learned the past few days:
You can NEVER have enough sunscreen, NEVER. Even if you think that you are don't ever burn, believe me, you will.


On my Prayer List:
Soldiers overseas
My husband and children
Baby Stellan


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

Proverbs 12:25-26(KJV):
25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Mighty Queens of Freeville!

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518Qz%2Betb0L._SL500_AA240_.jpgThe Mighty Queens of Freeville was a great read, I won't say I absolutely loved it but I did enjoy her wit and her sense of humor.

These are the memoirs of Amy Dickinson, the author of the syndicated advice column ASK AMY. We are led through her journey in life, the trials and the tribulations and her relationship with her daughter Emily.

I was able to relate to her in the sense that she speaks of the women in her family as strong and amazing, which is exactly how I feel about the women in my own family.

The book tells the story of life as a single mother, Amy moved to London because of her husband's job but then finds herself divorced when their daughter is only two years old. The switch from married and dreams of a happy life to facing the unknown and raising a child on her own, send her back to Freeville....back to the arms of the women in her family who have all been through divorce and are now single mothers themselves.

One thing I did enjoy was the fact that Amy refrained from blasting her ex husband or even her own father who abandoned them when she was young. I think she tried really hard to be fair in her writing, even when you feel her despair and her sadness and anger at certain actions and situations, she stayed true to her own feelings through it all.

In the summertime of 2002, after spending months living off of her credit cards between freelance writing jobs, Dickinson sent in an audition column to the Chicago Tribune and became the papers replacement for the late Ann Landers. Here, Dickinson traces her own personal history, as well as the history of her mothers family whose members make up the Mighty Queens of Freeville, N.Y., the small town where Dickinson was raised, and where she raised her own daughter between stints in London; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago.

I'm not a single mother, but I AM a military wife which means that far too often, when my husband is deployed for months on end, I do become the only parent in the house, so there were a times in the book where she mentioned one thing or another that struck a cord, that made me go "uh huh, I know that feeling".

All in all, I really enjoyed the book, if not just for the story of how Amy Dickinson became a syndicated columnist but for her way of writing, reminiscent of sitting on the back porch with your friend talking about life and it's ups and downs.

If you're interested, you can buy the book here.......BUT, I'm also giving away my copy to a lucky reader. Just leave me a comment and make sure I have an email to reach you if you don't have your own blog or website.

I hope someone enjoys the book as much as I did.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Helping the planet and having fun!

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The lights just came back on after one hour in darkness. One hour by candlelight, and one hour spent with laughter and jokes and a game of Gestures where trying to act out clues became even more funnier when you can hardly make out the person standing before you.

Why you may ask? Because we contributed to Earth Hour 2009. Just 60 minutes of turning off the lights in your home can do so much for Global Warming and I can't even begin to describe the excitement in my children's faces knowing that they're a part of something so important.

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Forcing ourselves to switch off for that hour was the best thing we could have done, we had so much fun together as a family. I'm thinking we should carry this on not just once a year but maybe once a week.

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Nicholas was beyond thrilled to be doing this, look at the excitement on his face.

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Listening to daddy's stories

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Have you ever read by candlelight? I think it just adds to the relaxing feeling of opening a book and immersing yourself into the story.

It makes me feel like I'm back in the pioneer days, sitting near the fire with my shawl wrapped tightly around my shoulders and my book in my lap, with nothing but the candlelight reflecting off the pages.

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And now here I sit, in bed, preparing my menus for the next two weeks, surrounded by new cookbooks and delicious recipes from the internet.

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It's getting late and my eyes are starting to close. It's funny, I vividly remember the days where I could stay up into the early hours of the morning without blinking an eye, but now, by 9:30pm, I'm ready to snuggle under the covers and get some sleep....which is exactly what I'm going to do.

Sleep tight!

Giveaways!

The cutest horse collectible card game for little girls.

If you're interested in winning a set of the Bella Sara trading cards, please go HERE and enter the giveaway.

I will randomly pick two winners on April 1st. Good Luck!

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For the grown ups, I have a copy of Amy Dickinson's memoirs "The Mighty Queens of Freeville" to giveaway. Go and read the review here and leave me a comment.

I will also randomly pick a winner April 1st. Good Luck!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bella Sara!

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I'm sure as a parent and having at one point in time, been kids ourselves, we're all aware of collectible cards right?

But what if I were to tell you that there is one specifically made for girls? One that is so adorable and so filled with the cutest horses EVER, that you will wonder how you made it so long without it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

That's what I want to share with you today. Jasmine first got these cards when they were sent to me last year to try. I handed them to her and she looked at them and immediately fell in love, she was even more excited because they have an online website filled with adorable horses and adventures, printables etc.

If you have young girls around, this is the perfect toy for them. Bella Sara just came out with 2 new products.

Bella Sara Miniature Series 1 Collection, you actually get to collect figurines of the Bella Sara Horses. They are ADORABLE and so tiny. Keep in mind they are for ages 5+.

Bella Sara Treasures. Ok, now this one Jasmine was going crazy about. They are playing cards BUT get this, they come with codes, stickers or tattoos AND you can play online with each corresponding code. Jasmine said that with the code on each card she could access a different area of the website.

I am telling you, she spent about two hours glued to the computer, playing with the different horses and exploring different areas. When she was done, she actually called her best friend in Virginia and told her all about Bella Sara.

Ok, so now that I've told you about it, I will tell you that the wonderful people at Bella Sara are offering two sets.


1 Miniatures Set (one random velvety horse, a random bonus code redeemable online and a full color checklist)

1 Treasures Set (5 random horse and/or treasure cards, a random sticker card, a random tattoo card, a mini-game, a card checklist, online codes, and positive messages.)


All you have to do, is leave me a comment, make sure you have an email account listed where I can reach you if you win, and tell me which of these sets you think your daughter would like the most. Easy as that. I will random generate two winners on April 1st!

Pssstttt....come here!

porch swing Pictures, Images and Photos

Go ahead and sit down, I have a few things to share with you, or rather, show you.

It's a quiet morning here, the base is having a wing down day which means the guys are off for a day of rest. I think they deserve it, they've worked extremely hard the past few weeks, first pulling in 13 and 14 hour shifts during an exercise and then the Air Show. So, they're all home, sleeping and catching up on their rest. I'm sure the internet will be completely bogged down soon once they start getting up and making their way to the computers to play games *snicker*

Ok, so here's the first thing I want to show you. You all know about Google Reader right? I mean, you should, because if it weren't for you guys, I would still be sitting with Bloglines, completely frustrated with feeds not updating and other things.

But did you know about the NEXT button? Oh if you don't, you don't know what you're missing.

Come here, let me show you. If you go to your Google Reader and click on Settings up top, near Your Account.....you can add the Next button to your browser. Let me show you how easy it is.

video

Isn't that the coolest thing?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic



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Ok now something I want to talk to you about is Earth Hour. If you haven't heard about it, you can go here and read more, or watch the video below. It brought tears to my eyes, I don't know if I'm hormonal or what, let me know if it does the same thing for you.



We didn't participate last year, but we are tomorrow and the kids are super excited about it. I think it's a great opportunity to turn off the computers and the tv's (even though they just mention lights), and do something as a family.

So tomorrow night, between 8:30pm....no matter WHERE in the world you are, at 8:30pm YOUR TIME....you are to turn off all the lights for just one hour, just until 9:30pm. I'm sure we can survive one little hour can't we? And just think we'll be helping the wildlife and the planet, so what better way to get your kids involved?

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Turn out. Take action.
Be part of this historic event.
March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time
World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.

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We'll be lighting candles, we'll go outside with flashlights and look at the night life, we'll also just sit on the couch and talk, tell stories, laugh whatever comes to mind. I'll be taking photos and posting them here on the blog too, so you'll see.

And if your kids want to learn more, there is even a great site for them called Earth Hour Kids, they can play games, learn about animals, there's a place for teens, a place for teachers and parents etc.

If you plan to participate, be sure to Sign Up so that you will be counted in.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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I'll be putting up a giveaway this afternoon for Bella Sara products. Jasmine is completely hooked on them and loves them, so much so, that Nicholas is actually wanting to play too. There will be two winners, so stay tuned.

I think that is all I wanted to talk about, I can't remember anything else, if I do, I'll let you know.

For now, I'm going to wake up my hubby and then we're going out to lunch, just the two of us which is something we don't do that very often at ALL.

Then it's back home for a few more loads of laundry and cleaning before the kids come home from school. They're so happy that daddy is home today.

Speaking of kids, I need to make an appointment at the eye doctor for both, I think it's time for them to go in and have an eye exam done. Also after the antibiotic ointment they were both fine, but this morning Jasmine woke up again with a little bit of that gunky stuff and her eyes looked a little red again in the corners. I honestly don't understand what is going on and I'm done playing with the normal doctor, I think the eye doctor is the way to go.

Wish me luck and say a prayer that whatever is going on with the eyes gets resolved soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday


Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

As always, share your slow cooking recipes but if you REALLY REALLY don't have one and still want to participate, then you can share any kind of recipe.

http://www.taste.com.au/images/recipes/sfi/2006/12/15012.jpg

Mustard-glazed Ham

3 pounds cooked ham - (to 5 lbs) -- drained
10 whole cloves - (to 12)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Score ham in a diamond pattern; stud with cloves. Place in slow cooker. Combine brown sugar, mustard and lemon juice; spoon over ham. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour; turn to LOW and continue cooking for 8 to 10 hours. Remove ham to a serving platter; keep warm. Turn slow cooker to HIGH. Combine orange juice and cornstarch to form smooth paste. Stir into drippings in slow cooker. Cook stirring occasionally for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Spoon over ham.

This recipe yields 8 to 12 servings.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wanna Try That Wednesday!

There's so many wonderful projects and ideas that I come across while blog hopping and web surfing, that I thought they needed a place of their own.

Since Wednesdays I really don't have any kind of features going on, I thought this would be perfect. It doesn't mean that I won't post another entry if I want to, but at least every week, on Wednesdays, I will post my Wanna Try That Wednesday!


Wanna Try That Wednesday

- When I'm working on the computer, I love having the radio on in the background or the tv or something, so when I came across iSerenity online, I just knew it was exactly what I wanted to try. With sounds such as Rain (my favorite), Roaring Ocean, Thunder and Lightning and even Birds, you can be sure to relax.

- My husband actually came across this one when his alarm clock stopped working....I decided to take a look at it and see what the big fuss was about. Imagine if you will, an alarm clock on your computer, even if the internet goes out, once the alarm is set it will still work. You can set the time on Kuku Klok and even choose the sound to wake up to, including a Rooster. Nothing like that wake up call to make you think you're out in the country.

- With our summer trip to Texas coming up, I really want to try these Fabric Car Organizers. I have some cool fabric the kids would love and I think this would be perfect for keeping Nintendo DS's and games, books and snacks and even empty wrappers and trash that may otherwise end up on the floorboard.

- Speaking of trips, I'm going to plan our trip online with the Yahoo Trip Planner. You can add as many cities as you want to stop over, you can make it public or just private, which means if you go public you can actually share your trip details with family and friends.

- I'm getting the kids more involved in the kitchen, they love cooking, so I want to try some of the tips offered by Simple Mom.

- I'm going to have to try this Apple Dessert in less than 5 minutes from 4 Reluctant Entertainers. It's simple and I think will be perfect for the summer when we're craving something sweet and simple.

- I'm thinking these Baked Doughnuts are JUST what I'm looking for, the recipe is from 101 Cookbooks. I'm a huge doughnut fan, so much so that I avoid buying them often because I can easily get through half a dozen on my own. But I'm craving some, so this may just be today's snack.

- I want to start Spring Cleaning and I'm thinking of making my own cleaner, so I can't wait to try these great tips from The Simple Dollar.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pretty Things...

Some crocheting while waiting for the clothes to finish washing.

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Cupcakes and Donuts....they look good enough to eat.

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A new set of curtains I'm making for the living room

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I hung them up so I could pin where I needed to hem. I love the colors, the main panel is a sage green and for the bottom I added a stripe in a red flowery pattern.

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A trip to the Airman's attic to donate some clothes and then a quick peak inside where I found the cutest vintage lines. FOR FREE!

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Pretty pillow case

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Another beautiful pillow case....they've all been washed and bleached and look good as new.

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Pretty white curtains with little pink flowers embroidered. I don't know yet where these are going but I couldn't leave them behind.

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My new nightgown. I absolutely adore it. I found it a few weeks ago while out shopping.

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It's so girly and so me

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Gorgeous pink flowers and a pink ribbon

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It makes me smile!

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What about you? What are some of the pretty things you keep around the house?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blimey the sunburn is annoying!

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I have to say though, having a Medicinal Aloe plant around is OH SO WONDERFUL. It's what has helped me through the past two days, I don't burn people, I go brown, but this Arizona sun is a killer and it got me good. I can almost hear it cackle way up in the sky *shake head*

Anyway, what a wonderful weekend, full of airplanes and boys in uniform, well my husband in uniform is what I concentrated on. I love it! What can I say, there's something about a man in a military uniform WITH children around....it melts my heart and it makes my uterus start crying for another baby. Shame on me!

But just look, tell me that doesn't pull at your heartstrings?

And this?
What about this?
A man who loves his children and his family and is not afraid to show it. A man decked out in a military uniform ready for battle but yet calmly walking along the flight line holding his daughter's hand tightly in his, and pulling a wagon with his son. It's heaven :)

So Saturday because of the sunburn and the heat, we came home and didn't get to see the Thunderbirds, but we decided to go back yesterday. Well, we went, but we came home without watching the Thunderbirds again because....this is so ridiculous.....a wind/dust storm kicked up during the Air Show. I was whacked by flying boxes, I saw a couple trash cans go barreling down the air strip and everyone was so covered in dirt at one point that all you saw was a dark film on their skins.

Oh well, I guess my backyard show on friday was a sign LOL

But let's get back to my day. With the kids both off to school I jumped right into cleaning. You know how it is after a weekend, it just seems like the house is turned upside down, there's dishes everywhere, drinks in the living room and blankets and shoes thrown around, there's toys all over and Wii remotes laying on the couch.

I started off with opening all the windows in the house and allowing the cool breeze to come in, with the curtains blowing in the wind, I set to work.

Washed all the laundry, hung it out to dry, ironed and put away. Swept and mopped all the floors, vacuumed the living room area AND the couches. Then I changed all the bed linens and dusted everything.

By the time I was done, I had to head out and pick up the kids from school, Monday's are early days.

While the kids played and watched TV, I finished cleaning Jasmine's bedroom and then started dinner, Stuffed Meatloaf....SO GOOD! And some Brownies for dessert.

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I have been letting the kids help, they both love cooking and being in the kitchen with mommy and it's also a way of everyone contributing. I made the meatloaf, Nicholas did the mashed potatoes and Jasmine made the brownies. I love it, it makes me happy to see my children so invested in learning to cook.

And that is how my day went, I'm going to put away one last load of laundry while helping the kids with homework, then it's bath, book and Bible reading with the kids and they're off to bed.

I'll probably watch Dancing with the Stars and then later Paranomal State.....unless I nod off to sleep before. Who knows right?

Well I'm out of here, I am coming your way for a bloggy visit, hope you have coffee and cake *snicker*