Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Halloween pics
Happy Halloween everyone!

I'm not sure if the pictures I'm about to share can be considered all that great, but at least they're something to look at.

Snuggle Bug had a fun Halloween! This afternoon we attended his daycare Halloween party. I brought the mummy and monster cupcakes pictured below. Aren't they cute?


After the daycare party, we headed over to the assisted living facility where our former neighbor, Jack, now lives. Jack was in the dining hall finishing his dinner when we arrived. When Snuggle Bug walked in dressed as a fire chief he made quite a stir with all the elderly folks! There were baskets of candy on each table and most everyone there grabbed candy out of their basket and waved to Snuggle Bug to come get some from them. He made his rounds and scored quite a bit of candy. The elderly folks loved it and Jack was delighted to have Snuggle Bug come sit by him for a bit.


Finally, we came back home and did some trick-or-treating up and down our block. By 7:00 p.m. we had one tired but happy little fire chief. His orange pumpkin bucket was nearly full by the time he called it quits. Little does he know that I'll be taking 99% of that candy in to work for my co-workers to enjoy. Little boys don't need that much candy. A little goes a long ways!


Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!

Stop back tomorrow afternoon for some exciting adoption news and for details on my upcoming FIF- Cookie edition recipe exchange!

Labels: , , ,

8:33 PM
13 comments


Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Overwhelmed with choices!
You know, two months ago I had a "Name that Business" contest and all your suggestions got my creative juices flowing and I came up with a name. Nope, I can't reveal it yet because I'm worried if I do someone might be tempted to snatch the name and use it themselves before I can get a website and logo designed (I know, I'm paranoid).

But here's the problem I'm having. I'm searching out there for an inexpensive but nice web-hosting and web design for my business (I can't spend a lot of money on this because I don't have a lot of money to spend) and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with choices. Most of these choices are way out of my price range!

So, I thought that perhaps I could appeal to all of you out there to help me find an inexpensive, reliable web host and, even more important, maybe one of my creative and talented readers could cut me a deal on a pretty & whimsical web design for my jewelry business. I can't pay you much but I could make you a nice jewelry set and I would sing your praises from the rooftops to anyone who would listen and prominently advertise your web design company on my website.

Any takers? Leave me a comment or feel free to email me. If you're emailing me, I don't want your email getting lost in the pile-o-spam that I get each day so just put "Web Design Idea" in the subject line of your message.

Thanks for your help! You all are wonderful!

By the way, don't miss my Fall, Y'all bloggy giveaway for a chance to win a pretty, beaded bookmark!

Labels: , ,

5:27 AM
9 comments


Sunday, October 28, 2007
Fall, Y'all bloggy giveaway

UPDATE: See this post to find out the winners! Thanks for visiting!

Shannon over at Bloggygiveaways.com is hosting a giveaway carnival! I participated in the one she held this past summer and it was amazing! I'm sure this one will be just as fantastic, so please join in!

I'm going to give away two beaded bookmarks that I've made, one blue and one green. I'll pick two winners for my giveaway.




For your chance to win, just leave a comment on this post. I'll leave the comments open until this Saturday, November 3rd. Then I'll use a random number generator to draw a winner.

Remember to head over to Bloggy Giveaways for the master list of other participants. Have fun finding things to win!

P.S. I need your help coming up with a web design for my jewelry business. Check out the details right here.

Labels: ,

6:14 AM
146 comments


Saturday, October 27, 2007
Mama's little Fire Chief
We took Snuggle Bug to the zoo last night for their Halloween festivities. He was much more frightened of things this year than he was last year. We had a tough time getting him to walk on his own, he wanted to be carried, because every scary masked costume frightened him.

Still, he seemed to have a good time getting candy at each stop. And he was thrilled when we let him have one of his suckers, since suckers are very rarely eaten in our household.

Okay, so I didn't get many good pictures last night, but I thought I'd share at least one to give you an idea of how cute Snuggle Bug looks in the Fireman's costume that I got him in Las Vegas. I'll try to take better pictures on Halloween night to share.


Snuggle Bug with his little buddy, who dressed up as Superman!

Labels: , , ,

7:37 AM
15 comments


Friday, October 26, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Gingerbread Cupcakes)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange!

Upcoming Themed Schedule

November 2- Cookies
November 16- Muffins

The recipe I'm about to share is one that I found on Better Homes and Gardens. These are so good! I made these and took a batch to work using my new cake/cupcake carrier. (I got my carrier at Michael's for $10 by using one of their 50% coupons!)


Gingerbread Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt
1 slightly beaten egg white
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Sifted powdered sugar (optional)

Preparation:

Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl stir together the egg white, molasses, water, and oil. Stir molasses mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in center. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or cool. Makes 8 cupcakes (8 servings).

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

Labels: , ,

6:00 AM
15 comments


Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Adoption #2- the lead that didn't pan out
Well, I have another update on our efforts to adopt again.

That private adoption lead that I posted about at the beginning of the month hasn't materialized into anything solid. In fact, my neighbor told me that, although the baby's mother and father wanted to make an adoption plan, the baby's maternal grandmother is encouraging them to keep the baby. My neighbor said she's not sure how it will play out in the end.

I told my neighbor that if there was any doubt about placing the baby for adoption, then they were right not to rush into that decision. I told her that I have no problem with the fact that the maternal grandmother wants to try to make it work. I told my neighbor that if the entire family made the decision to place the baby for adoption, then we'd be interested in talking to them but otherwise we didn't want to put additional pressure on the baby's parents.

So, that private adoption lead probably isn't going to pan out, and I'm okay with that.

We still have not heard back from the state on getting licensedfor foster-to-adopt. It's taking much longer than we were lead to believe it would but what can we do? All we can do is continue to wait.

In the meantime, we've gotten an email from yet another employee of the agency we went through. It seems they'd like a Foster Care Specialist to meet us and get to know us in preparation for our getting licensed. I'm not sure why we have to do this song and dance with another agency employee but I guess we'll make an appointment for her to come out and meet us next Friday afternoon. She wants to meet us at our home. ((sigh))

I'm reminded yet again that by going through the state in our attempts to adopt a second time we have to get used to having strangers in and out of our home checking up on us. The tough part is knowing that this will possibly be the case for 12-18 months after we're placed with a child! Yikes!

But, despite the endless wait and the feeling like our private lives are constantly under a microscope, we're committed to this path of adoption. We've gone through so much already that we're not turning back now.

Your ongoing prayers would be much appreciated!

Labels: , , ,

6:58 AM
20 comments


Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Pictures from our mini-vacation
So, if you're wondering where I've been for the past 3 days, Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I escaped to Mexico for a mini-vacation Friday afternoon and just returned last night. Last week at work was extremely busy (long hours) so we decided to treat ourselves to a long weekend by the ocean. As always, we had a blast! I thought I'd share some pictures from our trip. Click on the images to enlarge. Enjoy!


This was our first glimpse of the beach after we unpacked our belongings in the condo and went down for a walk. Pretty, eh?


Here's Snuggle Bug with his new-found friend, Max. They were admiring a sand castle that two guys had built earlier that morning.


Here's Snuggle Bug playing with another new-found friend, Aspen. They decided to try to make their own sand castle.


This was our view from the balcony of our rented condo. The picture doesn't capture the sparkling ocean water as the sun shone down upon the waves. It was beautiful! We had breakfast and lunch on the balcony each day.


Snuggle Bug had his first sailboat ride this past weekend. He loved it! He got to help his daddy steer the boat for a while. We were thankful that he showed no signs of sea-sickness!


Here's Snuggle Bug in the cabin of the sailboat. Don't you just love the pink sunglasses that he wanted to wear? :)


The rocking of the sailboat upon the ocean waves lulled Snuggle Bug to sleep. He napped through our return to shore. We hit a wall of fog on our return but with Oronzo's GPS we had no problems finding our way back.

Well, hope you've enjoy the pictures. Have a great Tuesday!

Check back tomorrow for an adoption update.

Labels: , , ,

9:35 AM
17 comments


Just Being Notesy!

Notesy Button

Lani over at The Wooden Porch has just launch her new personalized notecard business. Go check out her new business, Just Being Notesy! If you make a purchase as a result, let her know that I sent you! :)

Labels: ,

7:14 AM
3 comments


Friday, October 19, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Soup Edition)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Soup Edition! I'm hosting a soup exchange in about 2 weeks and I can't wait to get some soup recipes to introduce to my friends that will be attending!

My contribition comes from Better Homes and Gardens. This is a delicious soup that Snuggle Bug will eat willingly! If you try it, I hope you enjoy it.


Winter Squash Bisque

Ingredients:

• 6 medium acorn squash
• 3 14-ounce cans chicken broth
• 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1-1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
• 3/4 cup sour cream (optional)
• Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Preparation:

1. Halve squash and remove seeds. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Turn cut sides up. Bake, covered, 20 to 25 minutes or until squash is tender.

2. Scoop squash pulp out of the peel using a spoon; discard peel. Place pulp in batches in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until squash is smooth, adding some of the chicken broth if the mixture is too thick.

3. Stir together pureed squash and remaining chicken broth in a large saucepan. Stir in ginger, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Bring mixture to boiling. Reduce heat and stir in half-and-half or light cream. Heat through, but do not boil. If desired, garnish each serving with sour cream and thyme sprigs. Makes 12 side-dish servings.

Labels: ,

6:00 AM
17 comments


Wednesday, October 17, 2007
WFMW (gardening tips)
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip.

This week I'm offering a couple of gardening tips. Sorry for the slightly blurry picture.



Oronozo and I want to have our own vegetable garden. Just for fun, I decided to take the seeds from bell pepper and plant a few in pots to see if I could get hardy plants out of them. They're sprouting now after less than 2 weeks. I know, it's a bit late to be planting bell peppers, but it was an experiment. Instead of buying plants at the nursery, grow them at home yourself using seeds from the veggies you buy at the store!


My next gardening tip is labeling of pots. Sure, you can buy those fancy plant labels but why? I like to take white chalk and label clay pots. When I'm done, I can rinse off the pot and write on it again.


I hope these little gardening tips work for you! To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

Labels:

6:00 AM
5 comments


Monday, October 15, 2007
Snuggle Bug update
I recently posted an update on our efforts to adopt a second time but it's been a while since I've posted an update on Snuggle Bug. I thought I'd share some pics of him while I'm at it.

Snuggle Bug is growing like a weed lately. He'll be turning 3 in December and right now he's about 28 lbs. and is roughly 35" tall. His feet have grown to a size 8 so I'm now buying size 8 1/2 winter shoes so that he has room to grow. He's moved from 24 mos to 2T clothes. One day he'll make it to 3T.

Snuggle Bug's such a smart and inquisitive little boy. He learns things quickly...well, all except for his colors, for some reason he still likes everything to be blue. His potty training is going well, at least the daytime aspect of it. He still has occasional accidents, but overall he's doing really well!

Snuggle Bug is talking up a storm. I think being in daycare (yes, he's still there because Oronzo's contract job is going longer than expected) is actually helping in this area. His interactions with other kids teach him a lot (thankfully mostly good). And he's stopped crying when we drop him off, so that's a good thing. He seems to enjoy the other kids and his teachers too. I still can't wait until he's a stay-at-home kid again, until we send him part time to pre-school.

Besides becoming a little chatter box, Snuggle Bug also sings a lot, in a sweet and clear baby voice. He loves music, painting, gardening, playing in dirt and water, baseball, and sports in general. He also seems to be drawn to pink...pink backpacks and pink sparkly shoes. Nope, Oronzo refuses to purchase any of these pink items for him, but Snuggle Bug would sure love us to!

Snuggle Bug is a handsome boy, and not just in his looks but also in his manner. His manners are coming along nicely (he says "xcuse me", "please", "dank you" and "I sorry" a lot) and his smile lights up a room! Other than an occasional stubborn fit here and there, he's such a cheerful and happy child. He's so much fun to be with! He's not particularly shy. He'll walk up to perfect strangers, especially when we're hanging out in Starbucks, and strike up a conversation with them. He effortlessly charms girls of all ages and elderly people too! He's a compassionate little boy. If he sees someone getting an "owie" he'll stop what he's doing, come over to pat you on the back, and say, "You okay?" with a concerned frown on his brow. He's generous with his kisses and hugs. Best of all, he still loves snuggling with his mama!

So, although this waiting and uncertainty with trying to adopt a second time can be nerve wracking at times, I'm reminded daily how blessed we are to have an adorable little boy in our hearts and home to fill our lives with joy and laughter.

So, here are some pictures for you to enjoy!




Labels: ,

6:00 AM
23 comments


Friday, October 12, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Lasagna Roll-Ups)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! Before we get started, I want to thank all of you who have participated in my Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style 2nd Edition recipe exchange. What a great success it's been!

Upcoming Themed Schedule
October 19- Soups
November 2- Cookies
November 16- Muffins

The recipe I'm about to share is one that my sister-in-law, Madeline, gave me as part of a wedding shower recipe exchange that was done for me four years ago. It's quite delicious! Sorry, I have no picture to share with you for this one.
Lasagna Roll-Ups
Ingredients:
8 lasagna noodles, cooked
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 pound ground beef, browned
1 jar Prego (or other spaghetti sauce of your choice)
1 pkg. Italian blend shredded cheese
Preparation:
Spread 1 oz. cream cheese on each lasagna noodle. Combine Prego and hamburger. Put some on each noodle. Roll and place in baking pan. Top with remaining meat and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes!
Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

Labels: ,

5:00 AM
16 comments


Thursday, October 11, 2007
Slow Cooking Thursday (Lasagna Stew)

It's time for the slow cooker recipe exchange that Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom hosts each week.

My choice for this Thursday's Slow Cooker recipe exchange is something I found in on Weight Watcher's website. I'm not actually doing Weight Watchers (a co-worker of mine is) but I'm really loving the nutritious recipes they offer!



Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew


Ingredients:
1 pound uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 items dry lasagna noodles, no-cook
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

Preparation:
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

3. Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.

4. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.

5. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.

Notes: To boost your vegetable intake, add a can of zucchini in tomato sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add 2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms to the beef mixture.

Now that I've shared my slow cooker recipe, please visit other Slow Cooker Thursday bloggers, starting with Sandra.

Labels: ,

6:33 AM
11 comments


Wednesday, October 10, 2007
WFMW (nutritious packed lunches)
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip.

Want some ideas for nutritious packed lunches for your kids, and maybe even for yourself? Well, the September edition of Parents Magazine had some great suggestions for your kids, and I'm using them for my lunches that I pack to take to work. I've scanned in the pages, so click on the images to enlarge!











Nutritious packed lunches work for me! To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

Labels:

6:00 AM
4 comments


Tuesday, October 09, 2007
BabyNamesCountry.com- check it out!

Yesterday I saw an email in my Inbox that was titled, "Thank you for your wonderful blog!" Now how could I resist opening something like that? :) I get a lot of spam and usually delete most of it, but the subject of this email caught my attention.

The email was from Veronica and she let me know that she's read my blog and decided to link it on their website, BabyNamesCountry.com under the Mother's blogs section. Thanks, Veronica! I'm honored.

After visiting that link, I browsed through other parts of the blog. If we're lucky enough to get another baby soon through adoption, we'll need to decide on a name. I love baby name books and this website is even more fun!

I clicked on their About Project section and here's what I found:

Hello and thank you for visiting our site! BabyNamesCountry.com is dedicated to Baby Names and their Meanings and Origins.

When you are expecting a baby there are a lot of details you should take care of - the nursery, a car seat, bottles, sleepers, burp cloths. The most important detail, which will have the greatest impact on your future child's life, is the name you will give him. On our site you can find more than 20,000 Baby Names from all over the world and we keep adding new names to our database.

BabyNamesCountry.com is owned and operated by Veronica and Daniel Russell. The site is non-profit.

This site is dedicated to our son Gregory, who died 4 years ago from a serious illness. He was just 2 years old. We loved him very much, and miss him greatly. The pain of the loss and memories of him will always live in our hearts. Now we have an adopted daughter named Caroline (Name Meaning: Little and Strong). We are very happy and love her very much.

We hope our site will be helpful to you in finding a perfect name for your baby
and the name you choose will bring only happiness for your baby in the future.

Good luck in your baby name search!

Sincerely yours,
Veronica and Daniel Russell


So if you're in the mood to look for baby names, be sure to check out BabyNamesCountry.com. I'm sure Veronica and Daniel would appreciate you stopping by!

Labels: , , ,

6:00 AM
5 comments


Monday, October 08, 2007
Adoption #2- An Update and a Lead!
Well, I have an update of sorts on our efforts to adopt again.

If you remember, our application was finally sent on 4 September from the agency to the state for approval. We were told that it would take anywhere from 3-5 weeks of waiting. It's been a little over 4 weeks now and we're still waiting!

We've been told by the agency that they know the state has received our application and it's been assigned to someone because a lady called them asking for clarification on part of the paperwork. So, we at least know that our application isn't floating around in la-la land. It's on someone's desk. We just don't know how long it'll be there.

Ironically, we may have a lead for a private adoption!

This past Saturday I was out walking with Snuggle Bug and we stopped to chat with a neighbor that was out with her two teenage boys (Snuggle Bug loves playing basket ball with these older boys and they're so nice to him).

As the boys were playing and Sherry and I were chatting, I thought it'd be good to tell her of our efforts to adopt through the state, so she wouldn't be surprised if we suddenly had a baby, out of the blue.

When I told her she said, "I didn't know you were looking to adopt again! You should've told me! I know a young girl that's pregnant and probably looking to place her baby!"

Sherry went on to explain that a family friend of theirs, an 18 year old girl, is pregnant with a boy and is due to have the baby in December. She is living with her grandmother and feels that she isn't prepared to raise a baby and is talking about placing the baby for adoption but isn't thrilled about going through an agency.

Sherry asked if I wanted her to talk to their friend and see if she is interested in talking with us. I told her we'd absolutely be interested. I told her we'd be happy to call her or even meet with her in person, whichever she feels most comfortable with. Sherry's going to talk to her soon and get back to us.

I have no idea if anything will come of this lead but if something does, we'd go for it! And more than likely, we'd continue on our course with the state as well (we've gone through too much to just drop it all) and try to adopt a little girl as well. I've always said I'd be okay with three children and Oronzo feels the same way.

Please keep us in your prayers and I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

Labels: , , ,

11:02 AM
24 comments


Friday, October 05, 2007
Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style- 2nd Edition

Last year I hosted the 1st Edition of my Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange and I was delighted with the impressive participation from my fellow bloggers! 81 bloggers linked up and, since many of you listed multiple recipes in one post, there were over 200 recipes shared!

The day has arrived to kick off my 2nd Annual Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange! If you intend to participate, and I hope you do, I'd like to lay out just a few guidelines.

1) Recipes can be as long or as short as you'd like. They can be quick and simple or they can be a bit more complex. You can post more than one recipe if you'd like. Don't worry if you think there might be duplicates of the recipe you have in mind (more than one stuffing recipe, for example) because I'll bet each recipe is unique.

2) I'd appreciate holiday recipes that are tried and true. They don't have to be your own creations, I don't care where you originally got the recipe from, I just ask that you post a recipe that's worked for you in the past. Feel free to give credit where credit is due. If you post a recipe from your aunt Martha Stewart, by all means, mention that! I'll be sharing some family recipes.

3) When you post your recipe on your blog, within your post be sure to link back my post so that others know where to come and view more recipes. Feel free to use the graphic above in your post or on your sidebar.

4) Once you've posted your recipe on your blog, don't forget to stop back and link on my Mr. Linky so that everyone can stop by and take a look at your recipe. I'd really appreciate it if you'd put your recipe title in parenthesis in Mr. Linky. And please link directly to your recipe post, not just your blog, so that it's easy for people to find your recipe no matter what day they're looking for it! Fair warning, if this isn't done, I'll do it for you and then you'll loose your original spot on Mr. Linky.

5) There's no deadline on when you have to post your recipe. This post isn't going anywhere, so take your time! I'll have this post linked up on my sidebar until next year's Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange!

Okay, enough with the guidelines let the fun begin! I can't wait to see your holiday recipes! I promise, I will visit your blog to see your recipe if you link here. It may take me a little while to get there, but I will get there!

Labels: , ,

5:20 AM
55 comments


Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style- My Recipes

I have two family favorite recipes to share for my 2nd annual Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange! I hope you enjoy them!

The first one is from my older sister, Tia. She makes this for nearly every family gathering. We all love it. I've made this myself a time or two, but it never turns out as good as it does when Tia makes it, go figure!


Scalloped Corn Supreme


Ingredients:
1 lb. can (2 cups) cream corn
1 small package frozen corn
1 well beaten egg
1 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup buttered cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup diced onion
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Preparation:
Heat corn & milk in a saucepan.
Gradually stir in egg.
Add remaining ingredients, all but the buttered cracker crumbs.
Mix well and pour into a 8" round casserole dish.
Sprinkle buttered cracker crumbs over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serves 6.

The next one is one of Oronzo's holiday favorites! He could drink this by the gallon. It's quite rich and decedent but oh so yummy!




Old-Fashioned Egg Nog


Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup brandy
1/3 cup dark rum

Preparation:
Chill everything before starting, for best results. Beat eggs until frothy, then beat in sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Slowly stir in brandy, rum, cream and milk. Chill again, and serve eggnog cold.

Labels: , ,

5:00 AM
14 comments


Wednesday, October 03, 2007
WFMW: Backwards Day
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip. This time Shannon is doing a Backwards Day edition where you ask for advice, rather than give it. I love this concept!

No, this is not a picture of me.


I really could use some suggestions on a good eye makeup remover! What brand do you use? Where do you purchase it and for how much? What do you like most about it? Do you use wipes or cream?

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

To see what advice others need, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

Oh, a couple of notes!

First, my October Pay It Forward Book Exchange is now in full swing. At this point in time, there are 13 free books up for grabs and more will probably be added throughout this month!

If you want a chance to win, be sure to check out this post for more details!

Also, please join me for my 2nd annual Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange this Friday, 5 October, by sharing your favorite family recipe(s)!

Last year I had over 200 recipes shared and I'm hoping for that many or more this year! :)

Labels: , ,

6:00 AM
46 comments


Monday, October 01, 2007
October Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway- 26 books up for grabs!


Edited to add: The winner of my first book, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, was Lace. The winner of my second book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, was BeckyB. There are more books linked below to be won, so keep entering! My next Pay It Forward Book Exchange will be hosted on 5 November.

It's time for another one of my free Pay It Forward book giveaway!

Let me just recap the Pay It Forward Book Exchange concept for those who might have missed it.

Most all of us love to read and get “new-to-us” books, right? And if you’re anything like me, you love winning things (what a rush), not to mention getting fun stuff in the mail! So here’s what this book exchange is all about:

1) On the first Monday of each month I'll pick a couple of books to give away to two lucky readers (you don’t have to have a blog to enter). It may be a book that I’ve purchased new or used, or it may be a book that someone has shared with me that I really like. It’ll probably be a paperback, just to make things easier, but no guarantees.

2) Details on how you can enter to win will be listed below.

3) If you’re the lucky winner of the book giveaway and you have your own blog I ask that you, in turn, host a drawing to give that book away for free to one of your readers, after you’ve had a chance to read it (let’s say, within a month after you’ve received the book). If you mail the book out using the media/book rate that the post office offers it’s pretty inexpensive. If you're a non-blogger who has won the book, please consider donating the book to your local library or shelter after you're done with it.

4) If you’re really motivated and want to host your own “Pay It Forward” giveaway at any time this month, feel free to grab the button above to use on your own blog. Just let me know so I can publish a post on my blog plugging your giveaway and directing my readers your way!

So there you have it, my Pay It Forward Book Exchange, designed to encourage people to read, to share good books, to possibly get you out of your reading comfort zone, and to get fun stuff in the mail instead of just bills!

Now then, my book giveaways for the month of October will be two books given to me by Lucy with booksprice.com. Thanks, Lucy!

Books Price is a really cool multiple price comparison website. Just to check it out, I typed in one of the books Lucy gave me and I got a long list of price comparisons. What's neat is that the price comparison even includes shipping costs. It's not just book prices that you can check, you can also look into DVDs, CDs, and games as well! If you haven't already, you really should check out booksprice.com.

Okay, now for my two books that are up for grabs!

1) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

I must admit, when I first saw this out in the stores and read the back cover, it didn't seem all that interesting to me. But when it was presented to me again I figured, 'Why not?' I'm so glad I read this book! It ended up being a really good read!

Here's an editorial review from Publishers Weekly:

With its spotlight on elephants, Gruen's romantic page-turner hinges on the human-animal bonds that drove her debut and its sequel (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes)—but without the mass appeal that horses hold. The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. When 23-year-old Jankowski learns that his parents have been killed in a car crash, leaving him penniless, he drops out of Cornell veterinary school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus, where he cares for a menagerie of exotic creatures[...] He also falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers—a romance complicated by Marlena's husband, the unbalanced, sadistic circus boss who beats both his wife and the animals Jankowski cares for. Despite her often clichéd prose and the predictability of the story's ending, Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes and freaks who populate her book.

2) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

This book was quite an emotional one to read. It was excellent! Oronzo grabbed it and read it before me. After reading it, he promptly went to Barnes & Noble and purchased another book by the author.

Here's the editorial review from Publishers Weekly:

Hosseini's stunning debut novel starts as an eloquent Afghan version of the American immigrant experience in the late 20th century, but betrayal and redemption come to the forefront when the narrator, a writer, returns to his ravaged homeland to rescue the son of his childhood friend after the boy's parents are shot during the Taliban takeover in the mid '90s. Amir, the son of a well-to-do Kabul merchant, is the first-person narrator, who marries, moves to California and becomes a successful novelist. But he remains haunted by a childhood incident in which he betrayed the trust of his best friend, a Hazara boy named Hassan, who receives a brutal beating from some local bullies. After establishing himself in America, Amir learns that the Taliban have murdered Hassan and his wife, raising questions about the fate of his son, Sohrab. Spurred on by childhood guilt, Amir makes the difficult journey to Kabul, only to learn the boy has been enslaved by a former childhood bully who has become a prominent Taliban official. The price Amir must pay to recover the boy is just one of several brilliant, startling plot twists that make this book memorable both as a political chronicle and a deeply personal tale about how childhood choices affect our adult lives. The character studies alone would make this a noteworthy debut, from the portrait of the sensitive, insecure Amir to the multilayered development of his father, Baba, whose sacrifices and scandalous behavior are fully revealed only when Amir returns to Afghanistan and learns the true nature of his relationship to Hassan. Add an incisive, perceptive examination of recent Afghan history and its ramifications in both America and the Middle East, and the result is a complete work of literature that succeeds in exploring the culture of a previously obscure nation that has become a pivot point in the global politics of the new millennium.

If you'd like to win either of these books, here is what you must do:

1. On your blog, write a post about this giveaway, using my "Pay It Forward" button, and then link back to my post. I am sure your readers would appreciate learning about the chance to win a book. You must complete this step to be put in the drawing, unless of course you don't have a blog!

2. Sign the Mr. Linky (the Mr. Linky is that list of names at the end of this post - just type your name in the box) with your name and the specific URL of your PIF post by end of day on Friday, 5 October. Note: If you are not a blogger, you may still enter. Just sign your name on the Mr. Linky without a URL and then email me your contact information. Please note on your email that it is for the PIF book giveaway.

I'll announce the winners this coming Saturday morning, so be sure to check back.

Best of luck!

Additional Pay It Forward Book Exchange Giveaways!

Shauna at Shauna Rumbling gave away the book The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith's on 5 October. Thanks, Shauna!

Kathleen Marie at The Open Window gave away four books on 6 October! She gave away the books Stuffed by Brian Wiprud, Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker, The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy, and The Amen Sisters by Angela Benson. Thanks, Kathleen Marie!

Paige at Superpaige's Pad gave away the book I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith on 8 October. Thanks, Paige!

Beth at Sportsmomma gave away two books: Dear John by Nicolas Sparks and Extravagant Grace on 9 October. Thanks, Beth!

April at Butterfly Kisses gave away three books: 3 Seconds by Les Parrott, Are you kidding, God? ME, a Prudent Woman by Melissa Jansen, and Every Breath She Takes by Suzanne Forster on 10 October. Thanks, April!

Carrie at with all that I've been given gave away two books: Going Over East: Reflections of a Woman Rancher by Linda M. Hasselstrom and Herbs for Health and Happiness by Mo Siegel on 10 October. Thanks, Carrie!

Julie at Joyful Days gave away the book Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden on 14 October. Thanks, Julie!

Cloudscome at a wrung sponge gave away the book Sugar Cage by Connie May Fowler on 14 October. Thanks, Cloudscome!

Libby at Lessons from the Tortoise gave away the book The Noah Confessions by Barbara Hall on 15 October. Thanks, Libby!

Magpie at Magpie Musing gave away the book Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman on 15 October. Stop by her blog to enter to win. Thanks, Magpie!

Blue Momma at Life in the Fishbowl gave away the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy on 18 October. Thanks, Blue Momma!

Vail at Thoughts of a Wannabe gave away the book Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella on 19 October. Thanks, Vail!

Julie at Joyful Days gave away the book The Divine Appointment by Jerome Teel on 21 October. Thanks, Julie!

Beckyb at In the Pages gave away the book Cave of the Dark Wind by Ridley Pearson on 22 October. Thanks, Becky!

Karen at Mommy of Three gave away the book Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore on 31 October. Stop by her blog to enter to win. Thanks, Karen!

Briggie at There is Power In Prayer... gave away the book Dinner With A Perfect Stranger by David Gregory on 31 October. Thanks, Briggie!

Elrena at Elrena Evens gave away the book Life among the Savages by Shirley Jackson on 1 November. Thanks, Elrena!

If anyone else is hosting a Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway this month and you'd like me to link you on this post, just leave me a comment letting me know the details and I'll be happy to add you!


Labels: , , , ,

5:30 AM
31 comments




Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Beautiful adoption video
Date Night Bliss
Family Rules and Values
In the swing of school
It's time for the kiddos to head back to school a...
Flying home for a nice, long visit!
Baby fix!
Easing back into blogging
A shocking phone call
1 year anniversary for Boo
























Add to Technorati Favorites Blog Flux Directory Google PageRank 
Checker Tool



Parenting Blogs - Blog Top Sites

Top Parents blogs

Subscribe to Overwhelmed With Joy!

Add to My AOL

Add to netvibes

Powered by FeedBurner

Subscribe with Bloglines Add to Google


Powered By: