Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Homemaker Monday - #5 - 2011

Good Morning everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

I have to take Nicholas to the doctor this morning for a follow up on his pneumonia so I wanted to get this up before I left.


The weather in my neck of the woods:
48 degrees, cloudy and we're getting rain today.  I love a good rain :)

Things that make me happy:
Seeing the first lemon pop up on my tree

Book I'm reading:
The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh
Born under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious

What's on my TV today:
Pretty Little Liars on TV tonight
The King's Speech - Been wanting to watch this one all weekend and haven't had a chance yet
Being Human on Syfy

On the menu for dinner:
Shepherd's pie, it's a cold rainy day and I'm thinking comfort food :)

On my To Do List:

Nicholas has a follow up appointment at the doctor for his pneumonia
School work

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Garlic Chicken Panini super easy and very delicious

In the craft basket:
African Flower Crochet Blanket
Crochet Votive Candle jars

Looking forward to this week:
Just a good week of homeschooling and getting our tax return money.

Tips and Tricks:
Before you wear a new garment, put a little clear nail polish on the front and back of each button. Buttons will stay on longer when their threads are sealed.

My favorite blog post this week:
Lifeguard a wonderful post by a wonderful friend Nene

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Bluebirdbaby - Just recently found this blog and loved it, haven't had a chance to really sit down and go through it but I can't wait to do so.

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

Lesson learned the past few days:

That you should always stick with your mommy instincts and if something is telling you that it's not right, it usually isn't.  Don't ignore your instincts.

On my mind:
My father and stepmom, they are going through a rough patch and I really would appreciate some prayers for them.
My husband's retirement coming up in October, we are struggling to make the right decision so prayers would be appreciated.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him."
Jeremiah 17:7

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Upcoming Dramas and Mini Series

I'm a huge fan of a good drama or a good mini series and more so when it's either from England or one of the bigger networks like Starz, HBO, Showtime or AMc.

I love a good show so I'm always on the look out for upcoming series and as such, you know that I love sharing them with my readers.  I've often received numerous emails thanking me for pointing them to a new favorite series or movie and there's usually the "I had no idea that show even existed, thank you so much".

It makes me smile, so with that in mind, I thought I would go ahead and let you in on some new series that are set to start within the next month and beyond.  Goodness there is some good stuff on the horizon.

February 3rd on ITV - Marchlands (5 part series)

"Marchlands is the gripping story of three different families living in the same house in the 1960’s, 1980’s and present day. The families are linked by the spirit of a young girl – the 1960’s family’s daughter who died in mysterious circumstances. It’s a brand new five-part drama from ITV Studios written for ITV by Stephen Greenhorn (Glasgow Kiss, Doctor Who).

March 11 on BBC - Jane Eyre 2011

Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) star in the romantic drama based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, from acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”).

Watch a sneak preview

April 1 on Starz - Camelot

In the wake of King Uther’s sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur, Uther’s unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur’s cold and ambitious half sister Morgan will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control. These are dark times indeed for the new king, with Guinevere being the only shining light in Arthur’s harsh world. Faced with profound moral decisions, and the challenge of uniting a kingdom broken by war and steeped in deception, Arthur will be tested beyond imagination. Forget
everything you think you know…this is the story of Camelot that
has never been told before.

Watch a sneak preview

April 3 on Showtime - The Borgias (Adult content so be advised)

Oscar®-winning actor Jeremy Irons stars in the epic drama series as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the Borgia family who ascends to the highest circles of power in Renaissance-era Italy. The series is created and executive produced by Oscar®-winning director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), who is directing the first two episodes.

THE BORGIAS is a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history's most intriguing and infamous dynastic families. The series begins as Rodrigo schemes his way into the position of Pope, causing him, his two Machiavellian sons Cesare and Juan, and his scandalously beautiful daughter Lucrezia, to become the most powerful and influential family of the Italian Renaissance. Premiering Sunday, April 3rd at 9PM ET/PT with a special 2-hour pilot, only on SHOWTIME®.

Watch a sneak preview

April 3 on AMC - The Killing 

The Killing ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim's grieving family, and the suspects. Set in Seattle, the story also explores local politics as it follows politicians connected to the case. As the series unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no accidents; everyone has a secret, and while the characters think they've moved on, their past isn't done with them.

 Watch a sneak preview

April 17 on HBO - Game of Thrones

The television series is expected to follow the multiple storylines of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels closely, and author Martin has stated that the pilot script was very faithful to his work. Set in Westeros where "summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime," Game of Thrones chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among noble families for control of the Iron Throne.

Watch a sneak preview

March on HBO - Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce is the epic story of a proud single mother struggling to earn her daughter’s love during the Great Depression in middle-class Los Angeles. The five-part miniseries, produced in association with MGM, will follow the story laid out by James M. Cain in his 1941 novel of the same name.  Starring Kate Winslet.

Watch a sneak preview

Those are just a few of the new series starting on our screens soon, I'm very interested in all of them, they seem just up my alley.  Hope one or more catches your eye and as I hear about new ones, I'll be sure to share them with you, if you would like.

Have you ever found a series or movie on my blog posts that you didn't know about but quickly became one of your favorites?

Would you like me to continue posting about new stuff coming up?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You know you're getting old when.....


after a day of giving your son's room a really good deep cleaning, you sit in bed with the most grating pain in the lower back.

Oh it's not just from the room, the older I get the worst my back feels.  Do you know that I can't stand and do dishes for more than 5 minutes without feeling my lower back screaming in agony?  Do you know that the same goes for sweeping and mopping?

Doing dishes

I'm 36 years old folks, I understand that I'm no spring chicken anymore, but I'm also still young, so this pain is very irritating.

So after this week of pneumonia's and hives and whatever, I've been on a cleaning spree, I pretty much follow Nicholas around with a can of lysol and a bottle of hand sanitizer, I'm determined to keep the germs away from the rest of us.

I do the usual daily cleaning but now that he seems to be well on his way to a full recovery, I gave his room a really good cleaning this morning.  He helped me.


The curtains were removed and tossed in the washer, the blinds were vacuumed and wiped clean with bleach and the same went for the window sill and the toys on it.........except for the part where I throw the window sill and the toys in the washer.

Nic cleaning

He takes his job very seriously, he washed all of his cowboys by hand and insisted on putting them back where HE says they belong.

Having fun

Of course no cleaning is complete without a few short breaks of monkeying around on top of the bunk bed.

This boy cracks me up, I forgot to tell you that last week while we were at the ER, the nurse came in around 3am with his meds to take.  I had given him a glass of water which he filled to the top with ice, so it was really cold water.

She started passing him the meds and he started taking them but you know kids, they turn their noses and make these faces because it tastes gross, so in his attempt to wash away the nasty taste he started downing the icy water which in turn gave him brain freeze.  He put his cup down, grabbed onto his head and with this look horror at the nurse said "are you trying to give me brain damage?"  HAHAHAHA

My husband and I were horrified but I wanted to laugh so bad because the nurse's expression was priceless.

Puttering in the kitchen

After the room was done, it was back into the kitchen for me, some more puttering here and there, drying and putting away the clean dishes and dinner preparations.

Amish White Bread

The simplest and tastiest of homemade bread. A slice straight out of the oven, hot, melted butter and the biggest of smiles on the kids faces.

Simple Apple Crumble

But my poor back is rebelling against me, it complained all through the sweeping, yelled and yelled through the 3 loads of laundry and has finally taken to giving me the sharp little twinges while I'm sitting in bed.

I am going to attempt to bribe it into submission...maybe a cup of coffee and some apple crumble will suffice???

Thermal Tote Giveaway Winner!

First I want to thank Caitlin from Thirty One Gifts for the great giveaway.

Now, thank you to all who entered and as always, I just wish I had one for you all, but don't let that stop you from purchasing one of the Thirty One products, they are inexpensive and totally cute :)

I used to draw a winner and it came up with:

#20 - Chrissy

Congratulations Chrissy, you will be receiving an email from me shortly!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Life of a Military Wife

We are trying to make a decision, a decision that will affect our futures and so therefore, it has to be made taking everything into consideration, looking at the pros and cons.

It may not seem like a huge thing to some but if you're military, you know that when the time arrives to retire, you are always faced with the we retire now after serving 20 years or do we extend for another 2 years? 

There are so many things pushing for us to retire, mainly the fact that we loathe Arizona and would love nothing more than to pack our belongings and move home to Idaho, to buy or build our own house, to start putting roots down somewhere.....but then we have to look at where we are right now in our lives and figure out if we are ready for retirement.

What will we do, do we have enough income to support a family of four, do we have enough saved up to allow us to build or buy a house and to have enough to live on every month?

But if we stay in, there is a HUGE chance that because it's only an extension for two years, that we may not have the retainability we need to get orders somewhere else, which would mean another two years in this hell hole. 

So, we're weighing our options and we're asking the Lord to give us a sign, to help us make the right decision.  It's hard folks, this military life is not cut out for everyone, so please, keep us in your prayers.

What I'm sharing underneath couldn't have come into my hands at a better time, it just reminded me of what a strong person I am, little ol' me in the military wife ranks and it just reiterates why even though things are tough at times, I keep doing what I do.   Hope it brings a smile to another military spouse's face and I hope for those who are not one of us, that it will bring a little understanding of just what we go through on a daily basis :)


Lots of moving...Moving...Moving...Moving far from home... Moving two cars, three kids and one dog...all riding with HER of course. Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house; Moving curtains that won't fit; Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours. Moving away from friends; Moving toward new friends; Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting...Waiting...Waiting...Waiting for housing. Waiting for orders. Waiting for deployments. Waiting for phone calls. Waiting for reunions. Waiting for the new curtains to arrive. Waiting for him to come home, For dinner...AGAIN!

They call her 'Military Dependent', but she knows better: She is fiercely In-Dependent.

She can balance a check book; Handle the yard work; Fix a noisy toilet; Bury the family pet...

She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts. She can file the taxes;Sell a house; Buy a car; Or set up a move........all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her. She reinvents her career with every PCS; Locates a house in the desert, The Arctic, Or the deep south. And learns to call them all 'home'. She MAKES them all home.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty...They leap into: Decorating, Leadership, Volunteering, Career alternatives, Churches, And friendships. They don't have 15 years to get to know people. Their roots are short but flexible. They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other: They connect over coffee, Rely on the spouse network, Accept offers of friendship and favors. Record addresses in pencil...

Military Wives have a common bond: The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique. He doesn't have a 'JOB' He has a 'MISSION' that he can't just decide to quit...He's on-call for his country 24/7. But for her, he's the most unreliable guy in town! His language is foreign TDY PCS OPR SOS ACC BDU ACU BAR CIB TAD And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long- distance link to keep them informed; the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments: She wants to wring his neck; Dye his uniform pink; Refuse to move to Siberia; But she pulls herself together. Give her a few days, A travel brochure, A long hot bath, A pledge to the flag, A wedding picture, And she goes. She packs. She moves. She follows.

Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind. But actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man, Who puts duty first, Who longs to deploy, Who salutes the flag, And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband, She will remain his military wife. And would have it no other way.

--Author Unknown

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flowing beautifully


I began this journey feeling that I need, or rather should, stick to a schedule.  That we should begin school at a certain time and end by a certain time, that we should eat lunch at so and so hour and dedicate a certain amount of time to studying this subject or that.

We tried it the first few days and honestly it quickly became evident that it would not work, I won't say my children are not cut out for structure, I will say that for some reason, maybe the fact that they despised this public school they attended and caught a lot of bad habits there, they were in desperate need of a break....some unschooling if you will.

Now there's days where it's chaotic and stressful and we can't figure out which way is up and which way is down but then there's days like today, where everything flowed beautifully.

From the minute we got out of bed things just fit.

First let me explain that the style in which we homeschool is based on our own preferences, with our children's needs and desires being the biggest consideration.  Everyone is different, children learn at different paces and require different things and to me that is the beauty of homeschooling, knowing that I can tailor it to what works for us.


We got all the schoolwork out of the way before noon and then I did laundry

They played together on their Nintendo DS's

I worked on my crochet a little bit more


They watched a movie

We had popcorn and hot chocolate

Nicholas played a game on his computer, Jasmine read one of her books

I read a book for review

They ate chocolate chip cookies for snack

I made the best chili ever for dinner and we all enjoyed it.

As this day draws to a close, I am sitting on my bed with my laptop typing this post and I hear their voices coming from Jasmine's room.  They are giggling and laughing and being silly and I'm smiling because the biggest change I've seen in my children, other than the joy on their faces, is the bond they've created.

The sibling rivalry is at a minimun, they love each other and it shows.

There's nothing like watching Jasmine teaching her younger brother, I've heard this often happens in homeschooled kids, the oldest take the youngest under their wing and they teach them and I'm seeing that happening already.

So I close this post with the memory of a beautifully flowing day and one single thought deeply ingrained into my mind that this is why I homeschool, this is why no matter what tomorrow may bring I can be certain that we are doing what is right and what the Lord has shown to be the best path for our family.

The rest???  It doesn't matter.

Cooking Thursday - #4 January 27

Crazy Pizza Bread

Crazy Pizza Bread
Credit:  The Ivory Hut

1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Lindsay Chopped California Ripe Olives or 1/2 cup Lindsay Large Pitted Black Ripe Olives, sliced
1 1/2 cups favorite toppings, chopped
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl. Let it sit for 3 minutes until foamy, then add in flour and salt. Mix (using a mixer, spoon, or your hands) just until it comes together. Add in the olives and toppings and combine well.

Crazy Pizza Bread

Dough will be tacky, but feel free to dust with a bit more extra flour if it feels too tacky. Let rise for about 1 hour, then put in the refrigerator for another hour.

Crazy Pizza Bread

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and flour a Silpat or waxed paper. Roll out into a rectangle about 11×17”. Sprinkle cheese over top. Then, using the Silpat or paper, fold along the long side, like an envelope. Seal sides so cheese is not exposed. Let rest while you preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let oven stay at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Bake the bread, either on a pizza stone or baking sheet, for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. About 3 minutes before taking it out, lightly brush the top with olive oil and let it finish baking.

Crazy Pizza Bread

Let rest on a wire rack to cool slightly before slicing.

Crazy Pizza Bread

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The first "I want to run away" day....

because quite frankly I knew it would arrive.

When you first throw yourself into homeschooling, you're pretty much like a baby learning to walk, some days you're courageous and adventurous and you just get right up there and do it and then there's those days that you stumble about looking for that reassuring hand or that table to prop yourself up on.

One thing you don't really realize or rather, you pretty much live in denial about, is the fact that there will be bad days, impossible days, days where you literally think to yourself "What the heck was I thinking doing this?  Where did I ever get the idea that I could be a teacher?"

Yeah, we had one of those today, our first one and it knocked me on my tush.

Nicholas flat out refused to do any kind of work, I mean the excuses were flying out of his mouth faster than flying monkeys.

I didn't get a break
I don't feel like it
I don't like writing
But I'm too hungry right now
But I'm tired
Can't I just leave it until later?

One after the other he showered me with these.  Now usually when he starts like this, I am able to get him right back on track, either we leave the lesson that he doesn't want to do, for later in the day, or I give him a break OR I tell him that he can always do it when daddy wakes up.  It usually so much.

I really wanted to run away, it was so frustrating, so I did what I could...I vented and then I went right back to solving the problem without yelling or fighting.

We sat down and quietly had a talk, I explained to him the pros of being homeschooled like being safe, being with mommy, learning at his own pace, being able to take breaks when he needs it, LAUGH and TALK during lessons, even have a snack while working.  I also explained what I am willing to do to make this happen but I can only do this if he helps me and does his part.

Wouldn't you know it, it worked, he sat down and within 2 hours we were completely done with all his work.

Do I think I will never see another one of these days?  No, that would be just setting myself up for disappointment, but I do realize that these are going to be few and far between and when they DO happen it's not the end of the world.  I don't need to run out the door or swig back a glass of whiskey.  Thank goodness for that.

Here's what I WILL do.....head into my kitchen and have a cookie, a homemade warm out of the oven chocolate chip cookie and here, you can have one too just for having to listen to me and my issues HA!

But after you have the cookie, I wouldn't mind some advice on getting through days like these, I'm kinda proud of myself for not panicking and throwing in the towel........thankfully I was able to remind myself that I'm doing a good thing and this is what is best.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Homemaker Monday - #4 - 2011

What a crazy busy week we had last week all culminating in a trip to the ER for a sick little boy with Pneumonia.  

I'm hoping for an uneventful, quiet week!

On with today's Happy Homemaker Monday, and please do remember to link directly to your HHM post and not to your main blog, it makes it hard to find the post that way :)


The weather in my neck of the woods:
We seem to be over the cold weather and actually hitting the 70's some days.  Feels just perfect outside.

Things that make me happy:
May sound very simple, but, watching one of my children's fevers break when they've been so sick.  There is nothing like that moment when you're a mama :)

Book I'm reading:
The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh
Born under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious

What's on my TV today:
Pretty Little Liars on TV tonight
Lark Rise to Candleford Season 4 Episode 3

On the menu for dinner:
Crazy Pizza Bread - recipe will follow on Full Bellies, Happy Kids.  BTW, did you know that Full Bellies is now on facebook too?  You can follow the food blog if you wish :)

On my To Do List:

Sweep and Mop
Post office to mail off a book
Take Nicholas to the pediatrician for his follow up after the ER visit

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Sicilian Meatloaf - meatloaf rolled jelly roll style and filled with ham and cheese

In the craft basket:
African Flower Crochet Blanket
Crochet Votive Candle jars

Looking forward to this week:
My baby boy feeling better.  I hate to see him uncomfortable and having Pneumonia and HIVES as a side effect from the infection is just brutal.  Hoping for a good week.

Tips and Tricks:
I can't think of a single thing today, sorry about that  LOL

My favorite blog post this week:
No blog reading last week, honestly did not have the time

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Bluebirdbaby - Just recently found this blog and loved it, haven't had a chance to really sit down and go through it but I can't wait to do so.

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

Science: Day and Night

Lesson learned the past few days:

That you can get hives as a side effect to a viral and bacterial infection, even something like pneumonia.  I am sure a lot of you knew about this already but I feel like I've been living in the boondocks.  I had NO idea. 

On my mind:
My sick little one.  Going to talk to the doctor today and see about getting him tested for allergies.  Arizona has been absolutely dreadful to him when it comes to allergies and colds etc.  Just so tired of this place and pray every day for orders out of here.  Please keep my little boy in your prayers, he is miserable with his pneumonia and hives.  :(

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week in review

It's been a pretty crazy week for us as I'm sure you can tell by my absence from the blog, sure I did the usual Happy Homemaker Monday posts and the Cooking Thursday, but not much else.

The reason is simple, we've been busy with Homeschooling, Dibels testing and I've also had my little one sick with a bad cold which has now turned into Pneumonia.  Goodness!

We spent last night in the ER and got home around 4am.  Exhausted can't even begin to describe, Nicholas actually fell asleep on my lap while waiting for the doctor to return with the result of the chest x-rays and the medication.  Poor guy!

He started getting a cold last week Wednesday, had a fever for about two days and then seemed to be fine.  Two days ago he started coughing, this really nasty wet cough you could tell that he had a lot of phlegm going on but other than that, perfectly fine.

Last night he went to go take his shower and called me to tell me that he was itchy, when I looked, he had this big red raised splotches all over his back, sides and groin area.  While at first I thought that maybe he brushed up against something or ate something, I honestly could not come up with anything.  Within an hour, he was complaining that he couldn't sleep, he was extremely itchy and the red blotches had moved down to his legs and under his arms and neck etc, that's when we decided to take him into the ER.

After 4 hours, doctor said he had pneumonia but brief and also hives which can possibly be caused by a viral or bacterial infection.  They filled him up with benadryl and all these other meds including steroids for the cough and by the time we got home from the ER the red blotches had completely disappeared. They're back again but we'll just keep the Benadryl going until they're gone for good.

He is doing much better today, only coughed once or twice, no hives anymore.  We're going to start his antibiotics and the rest of his treatment though, better safe than sorry.

So there you go, that's what's been going on life's what's happening in Homeschooling::::


Nicholas:::  Social Studies learning all about being fair, the emancipation procramation, Thurgood Marshall and Susan B. Anthony.

Social Studies

Science:::   Day and Night, what makes it happen.

Science: Day and Night

Art:::  Primary and Secondary colors

Art: Colors

Jasmine:::  Art:  Pottery and Clay

Art:  Pottery

Boy did they have fun with this one, they each got to make their own clay and used food coloring until they achieved the color they wanted.

Art:  Pottery

Art:  Pottery

Art:  Pottery

Here is her finished product

Art: Pottery

We've started Unit 2 and they're enjoying all the new lessons. This has been such an amazing journey for us and we're seriously considering never going back to public school :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thirty-One Gifts Tote Giveaway

Oh do I have a good giveaway for you ladies today.

Just think beautiful thermal tote and faith based company all in one?  Thirty-One is a faith based company with their name derived from Proverbs 31 and the virtuous woman.


I was contacted by Caitlin and asked if I would be interested in helping her garner some followers for her page on facebook AND giveaway a beautiful thermal tote to one of my readers.  The immediate reaction was "Oh my goodness, you chose my little blog for this?"  It's such an honor.  I then looked through the Thirty-One website and literally drooled at the products, I may just place an order for myself.

Here is a little bit more about the company:

Have you heard of Thirty-One?  Thirty-One is one of America’s fastest-growing Direct Selling companies. We are successful because our products are designed to complement your life, and are a perfect marriage of style and function. From uniquely styled handbags and purses to handy storage totes, baskets, stationery and more, there is truly something for everyone. With our extensive selection of embroidery colors and stylized lettering, clients can add their own personal flair to their Thirty-One purchases.  I invite you to turn the pages of our catalogues and create your own style statement! Thirty-One believes in Celebrating, Encouraging, and Rewarding Women.

You can learn more by visiting the website at or visit the facebook page at Caitlin Nickel ~ Thirty One Gifts

I tell you, I was just gobsmacked at the variety of beautiful products available and I did spend a little bit too much time on the Hostess Category.  Oh my word.....Oh MY word!  Go ahead, check out the online catalog and let me know what you think.

 The tote bag being given away does NOT have the embroidery on it

Now for the giveaway part.  The contest is open to US residents only.  It will run from today until next week Friday the 28th at 12am EST.  I will then use to draw a winner.  Please be advised that you will have exactly 2 days to contact me with your information so that I may pass it on to Caitlin, she will be mailing the prize directly to you.

The rules?

-- Head over to Caitlin's Thirty One Facebook page and follow her. Leave me a comment with your email address so that I can contact you.

-- Leave me a comment on this post and let me know that you are following Caitlin.

Simple!  Nothing out of this world, just please remember to include a way to contact you.

Good Luck everyone!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cooking Thursday - #3 January 20

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

1 loaf frozen bread dough (thawed, just let it sit out for about an hour or so)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (for the filling)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 T ground cinnamon
3 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (for the icing)
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or maple extract

Once the dough is thawed, roll it out on a floured surface until you get a pretty big rectangle. I don't measure, I just eyeball it but I would say about 9x13 inc which is about the size of the baking pans.

For the filling, combine the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and then spread over the dough but not to the edges, leave about a half an inch edge, it will make it easier to seal once we roll it up.

Start rolling the dough up carefully, press the seams a little to seal.

I usually use a bit of thread or fishing line to slice it up, it makes it easier and gives a much better clean cut, but if you want to use a knife, use a serrated one.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Slice into 1 inch slices and place into round baking pans. You can also put them in a 9x13 inch. pan, but I prefer the round foil ones. They're pretty cheap and make clean up easier too.

Let rest for about 30 minutes.

Pop into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until done and nice and brown.

In the meantime, mix 3 ounces of softened cream cheese, the confectioner's sugar and the vanilla or maple extract, with an electric beater. Spread over the cinnamon rolls.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Note: I like making huge batches of these and freezing them. I either bake them all and then freeze, or a bake only what I need and wrap the rest in press n seal wrap and pop in the freezer until ready to bake.