Monday, February 28, 2011

Loving a Saturday Morning Baby Shower!!!

Have you ever, ever, ever seen anything so delightful and delicious for a wee little babe?
Little crocheted baby sandals with a little sweet button on the strap. Can you see the button? My dear friend Genevieve made these. I will have to tell you more about Genevieve and her sister, Amanda a little bit later. Stay tuned. Every baby girl needs a sweet little hat.

And, a blanket to keep her nice and cozy and loved.

Such sweet fabric.

New baby delights. Ready for the party.

I reuse gift bags...doesn't everyone?Maybe not? Anyway, easy to make your own little gift tag with pretty paper, a hole punch and yarn. Off to the baby shower.

Lovely and simple tables. Felt like spring. I do love lavender and African Violets.

Snagged this picture before the festivities began. This fruit salad was so colorful and my favorite food at the shower brunch. Yum! Their was also breakfast casserole and a marvelous triple layer white cake, with layers of lemon curd....all homemade. Hello!!!!! I love lemon curd.

More growing things, so bright and green--these helped dress-up the brunch table.

Ooh! The gathering of gifts!

We played this really fun "matching" memory game. The really fun part was the small gift of sweets that went with each match. For example, if you happened to match the pictures of the baby girls, you received a 'Baby Ruth' bar. If you matched the chubby-babies, you received a 'Chunky Bar'. I matched umbilical cord and received a package of 'Rope Licorice'. All so fun and funny.

Here's pretty, Mary. Due in two weeks, and, I am "on-call" to tend her 3 boys, if baby decides to arrive before Mary's mom arrives. This dress was so sweet....a little spring dress to wear after Mary and her family move to Atlanta this summer.
We will miss them so much!

And, her name will be......CLARA! My friend Kathy has a machine that did this beautiful embroidery work. I just love this blanket, don't you?
And Kathy's daughter made this gorgeous sweater. Kristi said she worked on it each evening when her children were in bed....for a week. Only a week! I was amazed.

We are so excited to meet and welcome Clara, and soon. It was a wonderful baby shower and a great way to start off the weekend. Hope your weekend was a good one. Do tell what adventures you had this weekend!
P.S. I will post more about the baby sandals next time round. They are so, I have other goodies to show and tell. xo

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Girls Who Read

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads."

— Rosemary Urquico

Day4- now Batten Down the Hatches!

We've been on survival mode here for a little bit.. the flu has come and lingered longer than wanted and it's the last week of Aaron's busy accounting season. He works Mon-Fri 8am-midnight, Saturdays 9-7pm and even Sundays all day after church which we both haven't been happy about. But at least he has a job and for that I will be grateful and accept whatever hours he has to be gone from us.

In some big important news... Overstock. com has provided a 10% discount to their site for our beloved readers and friends.
(excluding books, electronics or movies)
This code never expires although it can only be used once per email address

I'm eager to use it because I've heard a lot of good things about this site from my sister-in-law and her sister who shop there regularly. AND it's only $2.95 flat rate shipping. (I paid $12 in shipping the other day for 2 items!?! So silly...)

Things that caught my eye:

Flower necklace


Bread Maker

Cute bookshelves

If you go there, let me know how your experience went!

In other news..last week we spend some good times with good friends

Seems like spring has come upon us already here in that sun!

*Disclosure: Opinions of are my own and besides the discount code for our readers I did not receive any compensation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fire and Ice

It's morning time, here in Michigan! Here comes the sun!
Have a great day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Back from Vacation.... off the Porch!

Guess who is back? Old Man Winter paid us a mighty visit yesterday afternoon and into the night. No need to show you more pictures of our snow-ha! I heard on the news we got about 10 inches, coupled with freezing rain, sleet and...well, you get the picture. So, thought to celebrate the morning since my son is home from school and my husband is working from home...on a Conference call, at present. Might as well start this beautiful day with a good and delicious breakfast. YUM!

On Saturday our temps really dropped and I heard about the storm coming our way. I had such a hankering for homemade tomato soup. I have always thought or wanted to make homemade tomato soup, and shied away from it...thinking it must be to hard. Wrong! Found a recipe in Martha Stewarts newest Everyday Food Magazine...modified it a little bit. Here is what you will need to make a rich and nice tomato soup...serves 2-3.

Put one teaspoon olive oil into a small pan...heat...add 1/2 chopped onion and cook for five minutes. Add in one clove of smashed and chopped garlic. Cook for an additional minute. Pour in a can of tomato's (14.5 ounces). Simmer for 15 minutes.

Then, carefully pour hot ingredients into your blender. Add 1 tablespoon plain yogurt----or cream----or i guess you could use whole milk. Place a dish towel over the top because of the steam. Blend thoroughly.

Add a little salt and pepper, to your liking. And that is it. I think this is a good basic tomato soup recipe. I think you could add other little delights into your soup...different herbs that you like, perhaps. And, definitely pair your soup with some good home bread, rolls, bread sticks.....oh, grilled cheese would have been divine with this soup. Now, warning--because of the onions and garlic, this soup has a hot punch to it. Next time I make it , I will use only a 1/4 of an onion and maybe 1/2 of the clove of garlic. I like husband does not. So, I will find a happy medium.

For dessert we had fresh sliced peaches and these little beauties. Thanks to sister-in-law Barb Lane for giving us this recipe. It is one of our families all time favorite's--- Mrs. Burgoyne's cookies have been baked in our home for ...well, toooooooo many years for me to even count.
This is one of those standard recipes that you can add in what you like and it turns out every time. Really!
3/4 c brown and white sugar mixed, 1/3 c shortening (do not use butter), 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well. Add in
1 cup flour, plus 3 T., 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. This is the basic recipe.
I changed things up with throwing in a small hand full of coconut, used 1/2 c of oat flour instead of all regular flour, a tsp of wheat germ ( to equal the 1 cup plus 3 T of flour), chopped walnuts, and I chopped and mixed in a bit of a Lindt chocolate bar. Drop teaspoon size bits of dough on your cookie sheet. I actually use my teaspoon measuring spoon.
Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes. The secret of this recipe is not to bake them until too well done. Enjoy.

"Seams" to be a good day for me to finish the last of my receiving blanket sewing, reading and maybe some baking, for me today. How about where you live? How are you spending your Presidents Day Holiday? xo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vacation...on the Porch!

I really should be sewing these little pretties into receiving blankets, as planned! But...

...something else is happening-----the snow is melting with our super warm temps. Good-bye beautiful snow. See you next time round! Drip, drip, drip! The sound of ice and snow sliding off the roof is loud and very exciting, to say the least. So, on such an occasion, I decided to take a little time off from my busy day and take a mini vacation on my front porch.

I tried out this new sugar free gum, which was surprisingly, very good. Mint Chocolate Chip gum sounded somewhat better than Cookie Dough or Strawberry Cheesecake gum. And as I chewed my gum, basked in the sun, I was swept away with all the beauty I found in my Seed catalog.

How i love growing vegetables! Look how bright and festive! If you are a gardener, give Armenian Cucumbers a try this summer. If I am remembering correctly, the first time I had Armenian Cucumbers was when I lived in Elk Grove, CA...or was it Linden, CA? No matter. I love cucumbers and these are at the top of the list of "best cucumbers" from the garden.
And, then I felt a little hungry, as I basked in the sun on the porch. I could not resist a little outdoor snack of vanilla yogurt, fresh strawberries, blueberries and one of my all time favorites...blackberries. As a child, my family use to pick bucket loads of wild blackberries. I remembering wading in the creeks to reach the berries, all the while-keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes and water snakes, and anxious to pick our fill, so that we could then swim and play in the water. Those California days were hot, hot, hot and the mountain creek water was always so cold, cold, cold!

Question...has anyone started their winter into spring cleaning? I began last week and am so glad I did because the more warm days we have, the harder it is to stay inside. Or, to sit myself down and do my sewing. We will be 10 or so degree's warmer tomorrow than we were today. HELP! I think I already hear my porch calling me. Guess I will be moving my sewing to my porch tomorrow. xo

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Death By Chocolate!!!!!

You really should.......
...just one slice will do it!
This is a perfect cake for the month of February. Can you tell that this piece is still warm? I bet you chocolate lovers can nearly smell the goodness! YUM!
Welcome weekend. Glad you are here!
p.s. Thanks for sending me this recipe, Mom. I remember when we first made this recipe together in Michigan, some years ago. It was such a crowd- pleaser! xo

"Death by Chocolate Bundt Cake" or Super Moist Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 devils food cake mix (Dry--don't make it according to directions on the box)

1 -4 serving instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup warm water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer 1 minute.

Stir down sides. Continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350. Cool 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platter.

8 Tbsp butter (not margarine)

4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk (I used 2%-it worked great)
4 cups sifted powdered sugar ( I'm not that great at sifting, Ha!)
Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in cocoa and milk. Bring mixture just to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar with electric mixer until thickened and smooth. Pour warm frosting over warm cake. This recipe makes a lot of frosting.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 3: Make Baby Food

Squash: Check!

Did you know that in recipes you can use squash instead of pumpkin? And they taste the same? This is a yummy muffin for MY breakfast when I make squash for the wee babe:
(thanks Heavenly Homemakers. com for the recipe and info!)

Sweet Potato/Squash/Pumpkin Streusel Muffins (healthy style)

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 egg
1 cup mashed sweet potato/squash/pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
3 T. melted butter


3 T. sucanat/rapadura (dehydrated cane sugar juice) or brown sugar
1 T. butter, softened
2 T. chopped nuts (optional)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Add honey, raisins, eggs, sweet potato, milk and butter. Stir until just mixed. Scoop into 15 paper lined muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

(Recipe source)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lovely February!

There is just something magical about icicles. And, the cold really makes me want to eat yummy soup and garlic bread. So delicious and done in a snap.....I just added some cooked hamburger, and fresh chopped potatoes, carrots and onions, to my cooking pot. Then, I added a little salt and pepper and a can of beef broth and water to cover everything. Cook until veg's are done. If you care to thicken your soup, just take a cup of your hot beef broth out of your pot. Add a tablespoon or two of flour to the hot broth. Mix well and add back into your soup pot and stir. That should do it!
I have loved going for winter walks. Here's a picture as I head back into our driveway and towards our garage. Our house actually sits on the hill to the left. I just love the blue, blue, blue sky! And, we have had another snowstorm since I took this picture, so, add in another 4 or so inches of white fluff.

BINGO! I saw these little neon delights in our market and knew they belonged to me...ha! They have added a very bright touch to our home. Makes me think about looking through seed catalog's and dreaming of all that I would like to grow in our garden and in the flower beds in our yard. But, truthfully, for the moment, I am enjoying the quiet hush of "all things growing" as the earth rests under our blanket of snow.

Loving my new Valentine dish towels. I kept thinking I would cut them up and make sweet hot pads. Then, I thought about making them into aprons. Finally, I decided to just let them least for now. They are just so beautiful. And, I made some oatmeal, dark chocolate chip, dried cranberry cookies this morning. Just followed the recipe off the oatmeal container. This recipe has never failed me. Give it a try for a quick and delicious little cookie. Makes a good breakfast cookie, as well.

And, what would February be with out some Sweethearts! These little candies have a significant meaning in my family. When I was 5 years old, my mom and dad brought home my brand new baby sister, Kelli. She came home on Valentines Day. My mom gave me and my other sister's Sweetheart candies....a little box for each of us. Every Valentines Day since, my mom and dad have given or sent Sweethearts....Conversation Hearts, to my sister's and our families. This is such a highlight each and every February.

Came across some little Valentines. I do love Valentines...homemade or store bought.
They are so cheerful and make me smile.

Hope you are enjoying this "lovely" month of February. Just heard on the radio that today and tonight will be good for cuddling.....we will reach a high of 15 this afternoon and a low of 1 tonight.
That's my kind of weather. xo

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