Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Sights!

What a night!

My little one woke up around 1 am and said he had to use the bathroom, he made it as far as the hallway and proceeded to throw up all over.  Poor thing!

I brought him into bed with me and we spent the whole night awake, he had a slight fever and just didn't feel good at all.  There is a stomach/cold bug thing going around their school right now and one of his friends had it just the day before so I'm not surprised at all.

In the meantime, we're all having a slow, easy, quiet Saturday.

My housework is all done, I'm just in the middle of the usual Laundry Dance, between Washer and Dryer, Basket and Ironing Board and Folding and Putting away.

He's doing much better, been in his room in bed watching TV all day, his only worry is for Halloween tomorrow and being well enough to go Trick or Treating.  It will break his little heart if he doesn't so I'm praying that he is well enough to do so.

Hubster watching the new Nightmare on Elm Street with Jasmine and the pugs


I love this fiery red hair


As for me, I'm going to enjoy my Chai Tea while I sit down to fold laundry and watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. 


I hope your Saturday is as relaxing and slow as ours.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love!

Sometimes you watch a movie and walk away feeling nothing........and sometimes you watch a movie and walk away feeling more than you ever wanted to.

I don't often find movies that reach deep into my soul and shake it to very core, that squeeze my heart and make me think and rethink everything I've been doing and leave me wondering if I'm the woman I am supposed to be.

My kids and I are a little under the weather and I had both home with fevers this morning, while they settled into watch a movie in the living room, I grabbed my cup of coffee and sat with my laptop in the kitchen, nearby, keeping an eye on them but also watching something I've been hearing so much about.

Eat, Pray, Love!

Simple words, not exactly the kind of title that catches your attention from the get go, but like so many things in life and through so many of my own experiences, I keep learning that in truth, it's the simple things that matter the most, it's the simple things that will usually be the most pivotal in your life.

The movie follows the book written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I know that many like me, will read a really good book and when the movie version hits the screen, we're left with a bad taste in our mouth, they somehow seem to always leave out one of the biggest plot points or add in others that didn't exist, so I'm glad that I didn't read the book beforehand.

I went into this without any expectations, thoughts, wishes or preconceived notions of what the characters should look like and how they should act.

I left a completely different woman.

To say that this movie rocked me to the core would be an understatement, very seldom do I watch something that pretty much has my mouth hanging open every 5 minutes.  It was like being showered with enigmas, trying to cover my head but at the same time being slammed over and over with these questions that frankly, I should have been either asking myself or at the very least pondered over my 36 years of life.

La dolcezza di non fare niente! - The Sweetness of doing Nothing

A sweet Italian expression which in a way perfectly describes me, but that just brought me to the one scene in the movie where they're all sitting in Italy having dinner and coming up with words to describe each major city...New York~achieve. Los Angeles~succeed. Stockholm~conform. Rome~SEX. In their opinion every city has a word.  But then Liz gets confronted with the question "What is YOUR word?"  and she can't really answer.

It stopped me in my tracks.  Why?  Because quite frankly, I don't have a word, I could easily say I'm a wife, or I'm a mother but that doesn't really say who I am....who SANDRA is..... and it shocked me that I couldn't and still can't come up with that one single word.

At this point in my life,  "I am a woman searching for a word".

What is YOUR word?  If I were to ask you right now to stop what you're doing, look me in the eye and tell me your word, would you be able to? 

As the movie progresses Liz gets hit with revelation after revelation, it's like knowing that everything you've thought was true, is not.   You think things work one way, but they don't.

One of the most poignant moments for me was when they were eating Pizza and her friend Sofie didn't want to because she thought she had been putting on weight, to which Liz replied:

I'm tired of saying no and waking up every morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie so I know exactly how much self loathing to take into the shower.  I've no interest in being obese but I'm just done with the guilt.

It's hard for me to even type that without getting teary eyed because that little dialogue described me to a tee.  THAT which she says she's tired of doing, is what I've been doing for many many years, until about a month ago when I finally said NO MORE.  I stopped obsessing with the scale, I stopped feeling guilty every time I took a bite and guess what????  I am eating whatever I feel like eating, whenever I feel like eating it and I haven't put on any weight because I'm happy and stress free.

There were so many good things being thrown at me while watching that I could easily make this the biggest blog post you've ever read.

God is not interested in watching a performance of how a spiritual person looks and behaves.

God dwells within me AS ME.

Two huge truths that I so often forget, so often deny, so often gloss over in my attempt to try and fit in with everyone else and with what society expects me to be.

Guess what?  It doesn't count if I pretend to be a Christian on the inside while being spiritually dead inside.

It doesn't count if I act like a Christian by throwing out scripture without once picking up the Bible.

Actions speak so much louder than words.  In ending this post, I want to encourage you to watch the movie, even if you've read the book, if nothing else, the powerful performance by Julia Roberts is enough to leave you gobsmacked.

I also leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the movie, powerful, touching, thought provoking and liberating.

If you are prepared most of all to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, the truth will not be withheld from you.

Tis better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else's perfectly.

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.

As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you.

I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.

Cooking Thursday - October 28

Won't you join me and share with us one of your new recipes, or an old family favorite, you can even throw in a recipe for homemade soaps or detergents (just remember to specify).

For the guidelines, you can go here.

Bifanas - Pork Sandwiches

Pork loin chops or pork cubed steaks (you need at least one for each person)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
bay leaf
white wine
Portuguese Rolls (or any other roll that is thick and doughy)

The whole trick to getting that wonderful taste is to marinate the meat for at least a whole day before you cook it. You can do it overnight or first thing in the morning so you can use it for dinner, the longer it sits in that marinade, the tastier it will be.


I roll mine up and put them in the tupperware bowl and then pour about 1/2 cup of white wine over. Cover it up and place it in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to cook, add some olive oil to a skillet and then add the pork steaks, top with some butter and fry until cooked through and nice and brown.




Once they're cooked, slice your bread rolls in half and then take them and dip them into the drippings in the pan.

You don't want to cover the bread, just get a little of that tasty sauce on them.


Slice the sandwiches in half and serve with some homemade fries or salad.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Night!


On my bedside table:
O Pioneers by Willa Cather
2011 Taste of Home Annual Recipes
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael

On board from Netflix:
The Tudors Season 3 - Disc 1
The Tudors Season 3 - Disc 2

Latest interests:
Learning about US History
Photoshop Actions

On my mind:
Halloween this weekend
My husband's PT test next week

How to have patience
Cook the perfect Turkey
To tell myself that we don't have that much time left in this place

Crochet Granny Stripe Blanket

Looking forward to:
Returning to Idaho
A trip up to Flagstaff to see the changing leaves

Visiting new blogs
The cooler temperatures
Seeing my library basket full of books to read

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

There were little pumpkins and seeds scattered about........


It's a family tradition, when this time of the year rolls around we sit at the table ready to get our hands dirty

Concentration abounds

Scooping the insides is one of our favorite parts, you get to dig your fingers in there and smoosh the insides all together

Mommy usually does the tops, it takes precision and small little saws that bend after the first cut...Ugh!

The end result is what we're all waiting for, no matter how frustrating or tiring it may get, the glowy pumpkin designs are all worth it.


At the end of the night, we walk away with orange stained fingers, roasted pumpkin seeds to munch on and a huge smile on our faces.


Yes, the pumpkins have found their home.

Would you like a $25 Gift Certificate to Whole Foods Market?

If your answer is yes, then don't miss out on this opportunity to win either the gift card to Whole Foods Market OR two full sized Kikkoman Products.

Run on over to Full Bellies Happy Kids and enter my Kikkoman Giveaway.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hallmark's Recordable Storybook Review and Giveaway!

I have been extremely blessed to be contacted quite often by amazing well known companies and asked if I would consider reviewing one of their products.

Such is the case with Hallmark who wanted to know if they could send me one of their new Recordable Storybooks called Bright and Beautiful .  Here is a little tidbit of what they said:

Following the introduction of Recordable Storybooks last holiday season, Hallmark received numerous letters from servicemen, servicewomen and their families sharing how they were able to share special moments with their distant loved ones through the Recordable Storybook. In fact, this video contains one of these stories from a military family located in North Carolina (their story starts around the 2:00 mark):

As a military wife, I know full well what it's like to have a husband deployed and to have those extremely short phone calls which half the time you can't even hear your loved one's voice on the other's even worse for the kids who struggle with not knowing why their father had to leave for months on end, but also struggle with not hearing their voice.
I was so excited to receive the recordable book and I immediately gave it to my husband to record his voice, this way, whenever he is forced to be away, the kids can still hear him.

The book I received was the Bright and Beautiful:  A child's Blessing which is a story based on the hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful", it allows you to tell your child or children just how unique and special they are.  How wonderful is that????

Hallmark has a wonderful selection of Recordable Books perfect for any occasion, you can learn more about them here.

  • Is your spouse serving overseas? Capturing the voice of the
    soon-to-be-deployed parent is a great way to help a child feel
    connected during Mom or Dad's absence. Also, a Recordable
    Storybook read by the little ones and mailed to the enlisted parent will be a great surprise and a breath of fresh air.
  • Do Grandma and Grandpa live far away? A book recorded by the grandparents will help close the distance and keep grandchildren familiar with their voices.

I am so thankful for this opportunity, not only because I help such a great company bring to light an amazing product, but because I have a memento of my husband to keep forever, it's something the kids will always have at hand, even if they're having a bad day or daddy is working extra long hours.

But here's the best part, the wonderful people at Hallmark,  have offered TWO books to be given away on my blog to TWO lucky winners.  Now you too get a chance to give this book as a gift or to keep for yourself.

Here's what you have to do:

- Leave me a comment and let me know if you are keeping this book for yourself or if you're planning to give it away to someone special.
-  Please Please and I can't stress this enough, leave an email address so I can contact you.


- This contest is open to US Residents only
- You will have 2 days to get back to me if you are one of the winners, if I don't hear from you by then, I will pick a different winner.

This contest will run until next week Monday the 1st of November.  I will draw a winner using

Good Luck!

CVS Flag Winner!

Thank you all for entering the contest, as always I only wish I could give each and every one of you a flag to fly at your house. 

I used and the winner is:

#8 - Katrina Garza

Congratulations Katrina!  I will be emailing you shortly to get your info!

Happy Homemaker Monday - October 25


The weather in my neck of the woods:
66 degrees outside, I really have been enjoying the cooler temperatures

Things that make me happy:
Reading a good book while the rain is pounding against the windows

Book I'm reading:
O Pioneers by Willa Cather

What's on my TV today:
Episode 5 of Downton Abbey
Merlin Season 3 new episode
Ghost Stories
The Haunted

On the menu for dinner:
Thanksgiving Dinner for a review on the blog that is going up later today or tomorrow morning, there is a giveaway too so stay tuned for that.

On my To Do List:

Finish off the Laundry
Sweep and Mop Floors

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Crunchy Chicken so good.

In the craft basket:

Granny Stripe Crochet Blanket.

Looking forward to this week:
Just hoping for a stress free good week at school for the kids.

Tips and Tricks:
I buy my parsley fresh at the commissary and then bring it home and hang it up with some twine on one of the cabinets in the kitchen.  It dries up nicely and I'm able to use it in my recipes whenever I need it.

My favorite blog post this week:
There have been so many, I finally got caught up on my blog reading, I just honestly can't think of a specific one right now.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
One of my very favorite blogs is Eyes of Wonder and I'm sure a lot of you know which one I'm talking about, if you don't you'll have to go check it out, but be prepared to spend a couple of hours catching up.  One of the author's daughters, Rosie has her own blog and I just LOVE it, as much as her mamas.  I spent most of yesterday reading her blog posts.  Go on over to Rosie's Ramblings.

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):


Lesson learned the past few days:

To continue trusting in the Lord and that He will get me through the hardest moments of my quit questioning His path for me.

On my mind:
My children

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
John 7:38

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home Life


Bringing a bit of Fall to our home


Working on my Granny Stripe blanket, it's slowly coming along.  When it's finished it will fit a Queen Bed, that being the reason it's so slow to progress but I'm thrilled with it so far, my only problem is that I'm running out of the yarns so pretty soon I'll have to go hunting for the colors.


I made a trip to our base library this afternoon, all by myself, no one else wanted to go.

I always enjoy going with the family but I must admit to really liking the few chances I get to go alone, I tend to browse and peruse and go through book after book in my search for the right one.

I just never know which one it will be, I tend to go through phases in my reading and just recently I was really into Vampire books but quickly got tired of those.

Now, I'm in a historical, biography phase most specifically Pioneers, Pilgrims, Oregon Trail, Gettysburg and Underground Railroad, so it was fun looking for reading material in the library.

Here's what I came home with:

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch
The narrator, 16-year-old Rose Nolan, arrives at Ellis Island with her family, but right away they are beset by obstacles. Her baby brother is diagnosed with trachoma, and her father must take him back to Ireland; her uncle's family, while taking them in, makes it clear they are unwelcome. Rose finds work in a sweatshop and, after her mother, too, gives up on America, Rose rents a tiny room with her 12-year-old sister from the father of a union organizer, a girl named Gussie. High-minded Gussie helps Rose deal with her dishonest boss and finagle a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. There, Rose makes friends and begins to enjoy New York, but when the infamous fire breaks out, she finds herself trapped, along with all of her fellow employees (management locked the girls in each day); Rose's friends, including Gussie, are among the 146 fatalities.

Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie by Bill Neal
This delightful cookbook celebrates the glories of southern baking, with 300 recipes for the breads, biscuits, cakes, pies, cookies, and sweets that have been the pride of southern cooks for generations. 

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden takes root in your imagination and grows into something enchanting--from a little girl with no memories left alone on a ship to Australia, to a fog-soaked London river bend where orphans comfort themselves with stories of Jack the Ripper, to a Cornish sea heaving against wind-whipped cliffs, crowned by an airless manor house where an overgrown hedge maze ends in the walled garden of a cottage left to rot. This hidden bit of earth revives barren hearts, while the mysterious Authoress's fairy tales (every bit as magical and sinister as Grimm's) whisper truths and ignite the imaginary lives of children.

 Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael
The publications aren't instant successes, and shortly after Charlotte's Jane Eyre creates a stir in London, a wave of deaths in her family leaves Charlotte as the sole caretaker of her aging father. That responsibility, combined with her average looks, seem certain to fate Charlotte to a life of spinsterhood—until a confession of undying love comes from an unlikely corner. Charlotte has a choice: will she settle for less than that all-encompassing passion she writes about? Or would she rather be alone for the rest of her life? Through letters written by Brontë herself and research on her life and life's work, Gael paints an accurate and intriguing depiction of the author, though her dedication to her material leads portions to read like straightforward biography. 

The Times of their lives by - Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony
The authors demystify both the political realities and the daily social lives of the New England colonists popularly identified as "Pilgrims." Both casual readers and researchers are offered an engaging and edifying introduction to the actual ramifications of life in the early 17th-century colony.

 Best of Covered Wagon Women 
The women who traveled west in covered wagons during the 1840s speak through these letters and diaries. Here are the voices of Tamsen Donner and young Virginia Reed, members of the ill-fated Donner party; Patty Sessions, the Mormon midwife who delivered five babies on the trail between Omaha and Salt Lake City; Rachel Fisher, who buried both her husband and her little girl before reaching Oregon. Still others make themselves heard, starting out from different places and recording details along the way, from the mundane to the soul-shattering and spirit-lifting.

Confederates in the attic : dispatches from the unfinished Civil War
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz returned from years of traipsing through war zones as a foreign correspondent only to find that his childhood obsession with the Civil War had caught up with him. Near his house in Virginia, he happened to encounter people who reenact the Civil War--men who dress up in period costumes and live as Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. Intrigued, he wound up having some odd adventures with the "hardcores," the fellows who try to immerse themselves in the war, hoping to get what they lovingly term a "period rush."

 Harriet Tubman:  Conductor on the Underground Railroad
Born a slave, Harriet Tubman dreamed of freedom. And through hard work and her willingness to risk everything-including her life-she was able to make that dream come true.But after making her escape, Harriet realized that her own freedom was not enough. So she became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and devoted her life to helping others make the journey out of bondage. An invisible threat to plantation owners, she served as a symbol of strength and inspiration for her people. 

Land of the Buffalo Bones:  The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota
Land of the Buffalo Bones is the diary of Mary Rodgers, known as Polly. Promising religious freedom and fertile land, Polly's father, Reverend Rodgers, moves their Baptist community from England to the Minnesota prairie. 
A Little House Traveler
This volume combines three Wilder travel diaries: On the Way Home, recounting the 1894 trip from South Dakota to Missouri, with husband Almanzo and daughter Rose; West from Home, featuring letters written by Laura to Almanzo during her 1915 solo visit to Rose in San Francisco; and The Road Back, highlighting Laura's previously unpublished record of a 1931 trip with Almanzo to De Smet, South Dakota, and the Black Hills. 

North by Night:  A story of the Underground Railroad
In January, 1851, Lucinda Spencer, age 16, writes her second entry of the new year from the free state of Ohio. In answer to God's call and as a matter of personal conscience, her father has made the family farm a station on the Underground Railroad.

O Pioneers
The book takes place on the plains of Nebraska in the late 19th Century as the Prairie is settled be Swedish, Bohemian, and French immigrants trying to eke out a living from what appears to be a harsh, inhospitable land. The heroine of the book is Alexandra Bergson who inherits her father's farm as a young woman, raises his three sons and stays with the farm through the harsh times to become a successful landowner and farmer. 

 There is plenty here to keep me busy for a few weeks and I just can't wait to dive into these books and to be transported back in time.

Now I have to get dinner started, I'm making Chicken Curry, yummy! 

Have a blessed night!

Saturday, October 23, 2010



I absolutely love nighttime, not necessarily going out at night but being able to sit down on my patio furniture with a glass of wine and enjoy the evening.


We have one of the most stunning full moons tonight and I only wish I could fully capture it on camera, but shooting at night time is one of the hardest things to do.....maybe not for all the brilliant photographers out there with the special cameras with all the doodads, but for a stay at home mom with a pretty inexpensive simple camera, yes.

Even so, it didn't stop me from stepping outside and snapping some shots to share with you all.


We're having a barbecue, pretty late at night for us considering we're early folk and usually eat dinner around 5pm.  It's 7:40 and we just couldn't help it, it's a beautiful night, with nothing but a few wispy clouds in the sky, not a breeze in sight and the scents of fall all around mingled with grills, the only sounds I hear right now are my children playing on the swing set (in the dark), my pugs sniffing around in the yard and the crackling of my candles on the table.


It's pure bliss!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

America's Prophet by Bruce Feiler

The pilgrims quoted his story. Franklin and Jefferson proposed he appear on the U.S. seal. Washington and Lincoln were called his incarnations. The Statue of Liberty and Superman were molded in his image. Martin Luther King, Jr., invoked him the night before he died. Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama cited him as inspiration.

For four hundred years, one figure inspired more Americans than any other. His name is Moses.
In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler travels through touchstones in American history and traces the biblical prophet's influence from the Mayflower through today. He visits the island where the pilgrims spent their first Sabbath, climbs the bell tower where the Liberty Bell was inscribed with a quote from Moses, retraces the Underground Railroad where "Go Down, Moses" was the national anthem of slaves, and dons the robe Charlton Heston wore in The Ten Commandments

We all know the story of Moses but what if it was told in relation to what America is today? 

In this book the author Bruce Feiler does just that, he goes back in time and traces the influences that Moses had and still has on America.

I hadn't even stopped to think about how many times the name Moses has been mentioned in the past, many Presidents have done so, they've touched on the commandments and the need to follow the Lord's word.

One thing I love is History and learning about what makes the world what it is today, where did we come from, how did we get here, what sacrifices were made and who was responsible or served as a great example.  This book has it all, it teaches us, it instructs us, it gives us hope and faith.

We learn how the Liberty Bell came about, what God's role played in it and even down to the inscription and what it means.


I absolutely love how Feiler went above and beyond to trace these steps, often times attempting to put himself into certain situations to make us understand, like when he retraced part of the Underground Railroad.  I truly felt like I was right there with him.

It's a wonderful book, chock full of information, it will definitely make you stop and think about the role of Moses in the shaping of this Nation.

For more information on the author Bruce Feiler, you can visit his website twitter or facebook page.

I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for a review.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Cooking Thursday - October 21

Won't you join me and share with us one of your new recipes, or an old family favorite, you can even throw in a recipe for homemade soaps or detergents (just remember to specify).

For the guidelines, you can go here.


Crunchy Chicken Tenders

2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dehydrated onion flakes
2 teaspoons dry mustard (you can also use bottled mustard)
Bread Crumbs (I use my homemade)
1 pound chicken tenders

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine 2/3 cup mayonnaise, the onion flakes and mustard in a shallow bowl.  Mix well.  In another bowl, place the breadcrumbs.

Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise mixture, then coat with the breadcrumbs.  Arrange the coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the chicken until cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From behind closed doors!


My morning started out with a cool 66 degrees outside, it felt absolutely wonderful, it was like being transported to another place where you actually feel the coolness of Autumn.

I stepped out back with my coffee in hand and noticed that the skies were a looming dark color, there were clouds moving in and then some sprinkles and anytime I see that I literally want to jump up and down for joy.  I must be one of the few people on earth who just love rainy days.


There's something about the darkness in the house, the illuminating candles glowing while the pitter patter of rain surrounds you and the prospect of baking in a warm kitchen.


I'm often asked if I really do love being a stay at home mom as much as it looks like I do on my blog.

I always answer with a resounding yes.  Yes I do.  You may find that hard to believe, but I vividly remember being about 6 or 7 years old and while other little girls were playing hopscotch and dreaming of being a teacher or a model, I was in my house surrounded by toy pots and pans and dolls.

I dreamed of being a wife, a mom, of staying at home and following in my Greatgrandmother's footsteps.  I wanted to be just like her, to cook for a big group of people, to dust and iron and mop and smile everytime the family returned home after a long day of work or school.

In essence, I'm living my dream.  Oh it's not all wonderful, there are days that I have breakdowns like everyone else but really, I'm blissfully content and I really couldn't ask for more.

So today, I found myself in my quiet house.  The kids were at school and my husband was asleep as he works Mid Shift or the Graveyard shift.

I puttered around, I lit candles, I picked up here and there and straightened out the living room for the umpteenth time because really, when you have children, no matter how old they are, there is always some sort of mess going on in that living space.

Then I stepped into the kitchen and while the raindrops hit on my kitchen window, I pulled out my Kitchenaid and made a Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread.  Lordy do I love these, but I did omit the raisins as my kids are not particularly fond of those.


Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the kids and head back home to get dinner started.  I made some delicious crunchy chicken tenders which left everyone licking their lips and announcing that they are the best things they've ever had  HA!

Truly, if you think about it, there are so many foods out there that you could be making at home, much healthier and cheaper than buying, and you KNOW what is going into them, no weird colorings or additives.

Both recipes are up on Full Bellies, Happy Kids if you want to give them a try.

I'm going to round up the kids and make sure homework is done.  Tomorrow I have Parent/Teacher Conferences and quite frankly, this is the first year that I'm having issues with one of the teachers and really not looking forward to this meeting.  I'm not impressed with a lot of what goes on in that school and the classroom.  I can't tell you how happy I am to be pulling my children out next year, I just can't wait.

See?  Not everything is roses in my household :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

In the Kitchen........

Want to know what I've been busy doing in the kitchen?????

Well how about some Caramel Popcorn for snacking????  No need to go dig in a cracker jack box when you can whip a humongous amount of these goodies in your own kitchen.  They're great for snacking but they're also great for goodie bags and it's just what I was looking for to hand out to my kid's friends around Halloween.


If that's not your cup of tea, you can try out my Ricotta Potato Skins. I was contacted by the wonderful folks at President and Precious Cheese and asked if they could send me a copy of their The Skinny Cheese Cookbook to try out, along with some coupons for me AND my readers. Ooohhhh cheese and potatoes, one of my favorite things in this world.


Go on over to Full Bellies, Happy Kids and enter for a chance to win two VIP coupons for a free package of Feta cheese and a free package of ricotta cheese. Yes FREE!

Happy Homemaker Monday - October 18


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Woke up this morning to dark skies and the sky covered in dark clouds.  Within 10 minutes they were all gone and we're back to sunny skies....blech.

Things that make me happy:
Flavored coffee, I know it sounds lame but really, I love it.

Book I'm reading:
Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harries
Don't Kiss Him Goodbye by Sandra Byrd (Review)
America's Prophet by Bruce Feiler (Review)

What's on my TV today:
Episode 3 of Downton Abbey

On the menu for dinner:
Beef Stew, homemade bread

On my To Do List:

Finish off the Laundry

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Soft Pretzels

In the craft basket:

Granny Stripe Crochet Blanket, I've been making some progress on that one, will have to take a picture to show you all

Looking forward to this week:
Parent/Teacher Conferences

Tips and Tricks:
Establish a command center. Designate one location (usually the kitchen) for daily mail, calendar, bulletin board, car keys, school papers, grocery lists, etc. Every family member should have a shelf for messages and an out box or folder to deal with clutter on the spot.

My favorite blog post this week:
Didn't do blog reading last week, had no time.  Hoping to go around today and see what I've missed.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Slicelicious - My friend Jacki who I went to school with in South Africa, has just started a blog.  She moved to the States about 4 years ago :)  She is amazing with cakes, you should see some of the stuff she makes, I only wish I wasn't so scared of fondant LOL

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:

That my life is not perfect.  I often get emails asking me if I really am as happy as I come across, and yes for the most part I truly am, I feel that I've been blessed immensely.  But I also have my bad days, I also have times when I break down, when I feel run down or taken for granted, unappreciated.  It's part of life.  What I've learned is that I'm not as strong as I think I am and that everyone needs to vent and everyone needs a good cry once in a while, it doesn't make you weak, it makes you NORMAL.

On my mind:

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Enjoying Autumn!

It's so hard to act like it's autumn when everything around me points to Summer.

The heat, the green trees, the heat.....the heat and the heat.  HA!

Oh I've missed blogging, I feel like I'm on this constant rollercoaster going full speed with twists and turns and no way to get out, no matter how much I try.  I need to slow down, no really, I HAVE to slow down because I can feel myself running out of steam.

So I decided to just stop, ignore the extra things I throw into my life and just stick to the basics which really are just enough to keep me and my family content.

Like this picture below, do you know that I could happily live in that place?  Of course my husband thinks I'm crazy LOL   See, simple!


We're simple folk, we don't like elaborate things, we're pretty content just being us which on a given day could be anything from just hanging out doing our own things, being alone in our thoughts, or, doing something together like decorating the outside for the season.

You may think that's ridiculous, but really it's not, it's a way of spending time together, of having some good belly laughs, of catching up on our lives and what is going on, our thoughts and wants etc.

Our house is bursting with the anticipation of Halloween, there's costumes and decorations and graveyards outside and pumpkins inside and the scents of Fall wafting through the house.  It's pure joy for me, I am content.

So let's see, I have a few giveaways coming up on the blog, lots of goodies to giveaway so be sure to keep an eye out.  I have book reviews and cooking reviews and I'm super excited for one I'm doing next weekend, but I won't say much more on this, just know that I have some cute things to giveaway which would make great Christmas gifts.

But back to Halloween, I love this time of the year and I've been totally indulging in all the scary shows and movies on TV.  What about you, do you like a good scary movie?  And am I the only one who thinks that they just don't make scary movies like they used to?

Here's a list of spooky shows and movies you can catch on your TV's this month.

All Month Long

  • ABC Family - 13 Nights of Halloween
  • AMC - Fearfest
  • Disney Channel - October Takeover
  • Hallmark - Countdown to Halloween
  • Syfy - 31 Days of Halloween

October 19

  • NBC Parenthood - "Orange Alert"

October 25

  • NBC Chuck - "Chuck vs. The Aisle of Terror"

October 26

  • FOX Glee - "Rocky Horror Glee Show"
  • FOX Raising Hope - "Happy Halloween"/"Family Secrets" (one-hour episode)
October 27

  • ABC The Middle - "Halloween Time"
  • ABC Better With You - "Better with Halloween"
  • ABC Modern Family - "Halloween"
  • ABC Cougar Town - "You Don't Know How it Feels"

October 28

  • ABC It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • NBC Community - "Epidemiology"
  • NBC The Office - "Costume Contest"
  • NBC Outsourced - "Bolloween"
  • NBC Scared Shrekless

October 31

  • ABC America's Funniest Home Videos - "Episode 2105"
  • ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - "Oregon School for the Deaf"
  • ABC Desperate Housewives - "Excited and Scared"
  • AMC The Walking Dead - "Dead Man's Identity"
November 7

  • FOX The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXI"
  • FOX The Cleveland Show - "It's the Great Pancake, Cleveland Brown"
  • FOX Family Guy - "Halloween on Spooner Street"
  • FOX American Dad! - "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls"

And with that I'm out, I have housework to catch up on and then I'm going to sit down with a big bowl of popcorn, close the curtains, make the house nice and dark and watch some scary stuff.