Friday, May 29, 2009

Need a Father's Day Gift? Need Your Kate Fix? Freebie Friday

Two things have been greatly missing on my blog... an actual giveaway and an update on my baby. Today both of your fixes will be satisfied. I don't know why I haven't posted these before, but here are some of my favorite pictures of Kate with her grandpa ("Papa") and her great-grandpa ("Pap-Pap"). Since I am posting a Father's Day Giveaway.. I thought it would be fun to post pictures of her with my dad and grandpa. These are from their trip up for her birthday.

Kate with my dad, her "Papa D". She can actually say "Papa" now. She said it to us one night about 10 times. We called my dad so she could say it to him.. and of course.. she said nothing.

Kate with my grandpa.

Kate with her daddy... well with her daddy's legs. I seriously think he is the BEST daddy in the whole world. I wish you all could see him with her.. he is an amazing father.. and husband! She gets so excited every time he comes home. She walks to the door and yells, "daddy!" Don't you love her little Mickey cheerleader outfit?...It was her birthday gift from my grandpa.

Now for my Freebie Friday Giveaway...

Chic Giving is sponsoring a Father's Day giveaway featuring their new Timeworks Inc. Pop Out gift clocks and Poo-Pourri.

Timeworks Inc. is a high end clock maker. They have recently introduced a wonderful new gift line. This Men's Wristwatch Clock will be a wonderful addition to any home or office. These pictures don't do them justice. They are really beautiful and great gifts.

Added to this image, which was borrowed from the top of a 1940's wristwatch box, are the words of Leonardo DaVinci: "Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it." Wise words for any era.

Some other choices...

Here is a sample of what the clocks look like in the gift packaging and when they are popped out.

Also included in this giveaway is a 2 oz bottle of Poo-Pourri. Poo-Pourri is a funny and unique gift and something you will find in all our bathrooms. Stop embarrassing odor with Poo-Pourri's patent pending bathroom freshener. The natural essential oils create a film on the surface of the water, trapping odor at it's source. A citrus fresh blend of Lemon-grass, Bergamot, Grapefruit and other natural essential oils that leave the bathroom smelling clean and fresh! The 2oz bottle is the perfect size for your bathroom. The stunning package also makes this a "Show Item" for your bathroom. There are also other scents.. No 2. and Heaven Scent.

Their tag line: "Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know."

To Enter: Visit Chic Giving and check out the selection of clocks and Poo-Pourri. Fill in the form below and let us know what item you think your "special man" would like. Contest will be open until Monday, June 1st at 10am. Winner will be posted here on Monday and will also be notified by e-mail.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Is my dog "spider-dog"?

Our poor dog...Toby's little area in our house has been fenced in with baby gates. Kate is very curious and is now walking everywhere. Toby may have snapped at Kate once while he was eating, so we decided it would be best to keep him in our dining room with his food while Kate is up and exploring. I came home a couple times and Toby was on the other side of the gate. I told Justin that he "Houdinied" himself out of the gated area. Justin just thought I never put him up.

Come to find out.. he can climb up and over the gate. I tried to get him on video doing this, but he is not a pressure performer. He only "almost" made it. You will see here.. does he not resemble spiderman?

Oh, yes.. he can also squeeze himself through the bars to the gate on our stairs. Here is a pic of the gate. I haven't seen him do it, but Justin watched him do it the other night.

Nothing holds him back from getting to where he wants to go... usually to get to me, eat some of Kate's food or to rummage through the trash.. oh the life of a dog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Need a No Fail Dessert? - Recipe Wednesday - Fruit Pizza

If I was actually on the ball... this would have been the perfect recipe to post last week... so you would have had it in time for your Memorial Day cookout. I am obviously a slacker and do not plan ahead in my recipe post.. sorry. You should get the gist by now, I usually post something I have made that week. I'll try to think ahead for the holidays in the future.

We were invited to a cookout Monday and I wanted to bring a dessert. I wanted to make something with fruit and I laid out three of my favorite "fruit" dessert recipes for Justin to choose which one he wanted me to make. He chose my Fruit Pizza recipe. (I made the dessert, but missed the party. Justin said that the pizza was big hit.) With store bought cookie dough, your favorite fruit and a no fail "sauce" this is such an easy and yummy dessert. It is always a big hit!

It is also very festive.. if I remember I will link to it again for Fourth of July. When you make it with strawberries and blueberries - this will be the perfect dessert for your festivities. I am planning on making it for Justin's family when we are in Missouri on the fourth.

Fruit Pizza


1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (7 ounce) jar Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
-Slice cookie dough and arrange on greased pizza pan (or square jelly pan), overlapping edges. (cookies will expand during cooking)Press dough flat into pan.
-Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (do not overcook) Allow to cool.
-In a large bowl, soften cream cheese, then beat in marshmallow creme.
-Spread over cooled crust. You can chill for a while at this point, or continue by arranging the fruit.
-Begin with strawberries, sliced in half. Arrange in a circle around the outside edge. Continue with fruit of your choice, working towards the middle. If bananas are used, dip them in lemon juice so they don't darken. Then make a sauce to spoon over fruit.
-In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, corn starch, orange juice, lemon juice and water.
-Cook and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until thickened.
-Remove from heat, and add grated orange rind. Allow to cool, but not set up. Spoon over fruit.
-Chill for two hours, then cut into wedges and serve.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Know Someone Struggling in their Life or Marriage? 30-day Shred-First Things First...

I have talked with so many friends lately who have asked me to pray for them because their marriage is in trouble. Some of these friends didn't surprise me at all when they told me... others have completely shocked me. I have noticed two things in common in each of them. First, they feel like their marriage is the only one that has struggles. Second is the core problem of their marriage... UNFORGIVENESS. {Single people, stay with me.. this applies to EVERYONE!}

I can notice unforgiveness a mile away because it is one of the biggest struggles I have in my own life. For a brief time in my life, I was able to be discipled by an amazing woman I barely knew, Mindy. Several of my friends had met with her so I got enough nerve up to call her one day to see if she would meet with me. That was the most difficult and most amazing time in my life. I was newly married and working for a boss I did not care for (to say the least). We had been meeting together for about two or three weeks... and Mindy revealed to me in a loving and very direct way... "Nicole, you have a problem with unforgiveness, and this is something we will have to deal with right away."

You see, my parents divorced when I was five and I was raised by my dad. I felt abandoned by my mom and never truly forgave her. Not only did I not forgive her, Mindy revealed to me that this is something that I don't do on a regular basis in my marriage or in my life.

Why am I talking about this now? Because FORGIVENESS is something that we have to practise on a regular basis. We have to do this almost minute to minute. My mom was here recently and I treated her terribly. I think that since I have had Kate my relationship with my mom had gotten worse (on my part.. NOTHING she has done). In my head, I think... how could she leave her daughter? (bringing back my unforgiveness)

I may be wrong, but I really think this is something that all people struggle with.. if we notice it or not.

Why forgive? First of all, for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, it is commanded and he has forgiven us of so much. With his forgiveness, how can I not forgive others? Second of all, unforgiveness breeds a very BITTER and very unhappy person (know any of those).

The obvious question is... how do I truly forgive someone?

Mindy gave me a copy of a chapter from CTO Ministries in their discipleship material. The chapter is titled: "The Christian: Called to Obedience." It is about 8 pages long and this post is already too long, so I am not going to post it all. {If you would like a full copy, please comment with your e-mail address and I will e-mail you a copy.} VERY PRACTICAL HELP!

Here is an excerpt that I love:

It is necessary to forgive in the following situations:

A. When someone seeks your forgiveness, make the commitment to forgive and grant forgiveness immediately. (Luke 17:3-4)

B. When forgiveness has not been sought by the offender, in prayer say, "I forgive (name of offender) for (specific offense)." (Mark 11:25)

C. If there have been multiple offenses over an extended period of time, it is highly recommended that you pray, making the commitment to forgive in the presence of a witness. (Gal. 6:2)
  1. Make an individual list for each person who sinned against you (mother, father, spouse, child and other people)
  2. List specific ways that person sinned against you or hurt you. (BE SPECIFIC)
  3. Pray to forgive each specific offense individually, e.g. "I forgive my father for his drunkenness," I forgive my father for not encouraging me or praising my efforts." "I forgive my husband for...)"
  4. Tear up your list so you do not keep a "record of wrongs". (1 Cor 13:5)
  5. Implement this process whenever you are having a difficult time forgiving an offender, after having made a commitment in private.

Another question that is often asked after one chooses to forgive is... How do I forget?

This is something that is not possible. This is where you have to daily make a commitment to forgive. We have to set our mind on other things (other than our self.. the real reason for unforgiveness). A couple verses to help you are: Rom. 12:2 and Phil. 4:8.


A book that goes hand in hand our 30-Day Shred is: How People Change

This book is wonderful and CHALLENGING! If you want a boost and challenge in all areas of your life.. I highly recommend participating.

We will start the Book Club next Tuesday. I will post questions and my favorite experts from the book.

Here is a preview:

2 Peter 1:3-9

"Why are many Christians "ineffective and unproductive?" Peter provides the diagnosis in verse 9: they are nearsighted and blind, having forgotten that they have been cleansed from their past sins. They are blind to the power and hope of the gospel for today. What does this mean?

The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a "then-now-then" gospel. First, there is the "then" of the past. When I embrace Christ by faith, my sins are completely forgiven, and I stand before God as righteous. There is also the "then" of the future, the promise of eternity with the Lord, free of sin and struggle. The church as done fairly well explaining these two "thens" of the gospel, but it has tended to underestimate or misunderstand the "now" benefits of the work of Christ. What difference does the gospel make in the here and now? How does it help me as a father {mother}, a husband, a worker, and a member of the body of Christ? How does it help me respond to difficulty and make decisions? How does it give me meaning, purpose and identity? How does it motivate my ministry to others?

It is in the here and now that many of us experience a gospel blindness. Our sight is dimmed by the tyranny of the urgent, by the siren call of success, by the seductive beauty of physical things, by our inability to admit our own problems, and by the casual relationships we have within the body of Christ that we mistakenly call fellowship.

He address three kinds of blindness and I love what he says:

My work with teenagers has convinced me that one of the main reasons teenagers are not excited about the gospel is that they do not think they need it. Many parents have successfully raised self-righteous little Pharisees. When they look at themselves, they do not see a sinner in desperate need, so they are not grateful for a Savior. Sadly, the same is true of many of their parents.

Sorry for such a long post... I have been sick, struggling and learning so much!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Do you accept my apology?

Dear Bloggy World,

These past few days have not gone as planned, I was sick on Thursday and Friday and did not post my Freebie Friday giveaway as planned. Next Friday my giveaway will be back on as planned. (I know I have said "planned" too much, but is late and I am tired). Also, the winners of Monday's giveaway will be both entries (since there were only two). I'll contact you to get your address and send you each a book. Congratulations!

I'll give you a weekend update on Monday. Until then, have a great Sunday and Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What in the world was I thinking?

We continued our quest today to find Kate a Mother's Morning Out program or something similar. I contacted a church near us who has a pre-school program and they start at one. I knew it was right up my alley when she said that the one year old class doesn't really have a curriculum and that they are there more to play and for socialization. She also said that it was only $12.50 / day. Ding, Ding, Ding.. we have a winner. I spoke with several people and they also said that the teachers are very sweet at that school (very important). At her age, I am not really looking for her to learn Spanish. I just want to give her something to do one day a week, instead of being stuck with me everyday.

Now, off to the best part of the story... This school and church has a little indoor playground area. It is open daily to the public, so I asked the director if I could bring Kate into play. All I really wanted her to do was to crawl / walk around (Kate had other ideas).

There were two other little girls in there (probably around 3-4 years old). The structure looked something like this (with only one slide):

Kate was watching the other girls climb up it and of course wanted to climb up also. There was a little step you had to climb up in order to get inside. She could not quite get her leg up on it.. so I thought... I'll help put her up there. She will only crawl around at the opening... BAD IDEA. There goes my baby crawling up the steps, right up to the top of this structure, like she was a champ. What do I do? Of course, I had to climb up after her. I didn't want her to get stuck, or come tumbling down the slide.

So there I go... feeling like this:

(Please note this is NOT me.. just a wonderful picture of how I was feeling climbing up that thing). Oh, did I mention that the there were two moms watching me whole time and one of them was our neighbor.. yes.

At the top of the structure there was this little steering wheel. When I reached the top, of course Kate went right to the wheel. Did I mention that the other little girl was playing with the wheel? Well, that little girl was not about to share that wheel with Kate. And Kate was not about to let that little girl not share. I kid you not, my baby went right up to the little girl and tried to push her hand over so she could also steer. Oh, she was also staring the girl down.. I could only imagine what she was thinking.. you better let go or else. {BTW.. during all this, I was getting very hot and claustrophobic.. I placed my face right up to the opening to make sure I was getting air.} So, I tried to talk the little girl into letting Kate steer just once, but she really did not want to share with Kate. I will have to say.. I was pretty proud of Kate for not backing down, but I knew it was TIME TO GO.

So the next question.. How do I get down? Kate did not want to leave, but I grabbed her and headed down the slide. Yes, the two mothers were at the bottom to greet us.

No, I will NEVER do that again. Seriously, WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So, you don't like Spinach? Recipe Wednesday - Spinach Salad

I would have to say that most people do not love the canned spinach that you see Popeye eating. BTW.. the title question is a quote from the Popeye movie. No, I don't have it memorized. I honestly have never seen it, but is amazing what useless information you can find through google.

Anyway, I made this recipe last night and it is one of our favorites. It is a salad that you can eat for a meal or as a side dish. I think I got it from my aunt, who is an amazing cook.


Spinach Salad

Salad Ingredients:

1 Bag Fresh Spinach (remove stems)

1-2 Eggs (Hard Boiled, Whites only) {we usually leave these out, because I am lazy}

1/2 Red Onion (chopped or thinly sliced)

1/2 pound bacon (cooked and crumbled)

1-2 cups of Mushrooms (chopped)

8oz (2 cups) of Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Extra Light Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Garlic Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 Cup Sugar (can be substituted with baking Splenda - we prefer the Splenda)

2 Tablespoons Ketchup


Toss together Spinach, Eggs, Red Onions, Bacon, Mushrooms and Mont. Jack Cheese.

Combine Salad Dressing ingredients.

I would suggest waiting to pour the dressing over salad after it is is divided up in portions.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Three Questions.. Free Book? How do people change? Want to start a bloggy book club?

Want to join my 30-day Shred? Want to win a free book?.. keep reading! As you can probably guess, I am somewhat addicted to the blogging world. I check my bloglines at least once a day to catch up on all my favorite blogs. One theme I have seen in most of the blogs I read is CHANGE. These changes are usually focused on physical changes (i.e. doing the Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred or the Spring Cleaning Party. I help lead a small group for the High Schoolers in Justin's youth group. I was preparing for the lesson and it really hit me... The Lord has so much work to do in my life... man do I need to change.

Inspired by Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, I thought it would fun to do a 30 Day Shred on my blog. Only not the physical exercise 30 Day Shred (although I need that too), a spiritual "soul-changing" shred. A type of shred that will affect every area of our lives.

A SHRED as described in Hebrews 12:1 - "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Also, I am notorious for starting a book and not finishing it. Ask my husband. He is amazing.. he reads about a book a week. So as part of this 30-day Shred, I was wondering if you would like to be a part of a little bloggy book club?

I started this book (several years ago) and it is wonderful. The name of the book is How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp. I am dying to finish it. So I thought this will be a wonderful companion to our 30-day Shred.

Want in? Just post a comment with your thoughts. Let me know if you want to be apart of the book club, the 30-day Shred, or both. The 30-day Shred will be posted every Tuesday and we will do the book club every Monday. Of course I will still do my Recipe Wednesday along my Freebie Friday and of course, post encouragement along the way.

Need a little motivation??... GIVEAWAY.. Everyone who post a comment will be entered to win Paul Tripp's book "How People Change". This giveaway will only be open until Friday, May 22 @ 10am.

Click link to order and preview How People Change.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Love Bags? Freebie Friday.. Top Five

Today I am featuring my Top Five giveaways. Today it is all about bags. I will be having an actual giveaway next Friday here at Questions from a Wife and Mother. It will be a Father's Day giveaway. Check back next Friday.. to enter. Until then... Here is my top five giveaways I found today: Fabulous Bags!

Born out of Necessity Mini Tote ($269.00) {Deadline: 5/21 @ 11:59pm}

Petunia Pickle Bottom Clutch ($88.00) {Deadline: 5/17 @ 11:59pm

(I have so been wanting one of these!!)

Amy Kathryn Gladiola Magenta Handbag ($120) {Deadline: 5/19 @ 11:59pm}
Purse Organizer ($28.00) {Deadline: 5/16 @ 11:59pm}

$75 Gift Certificate from Jumeau {Deadline 5/20 @ 11pm}

Good Luck! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Speaking Five Languages & Mandarin Chinese by Age Five... Seriously?

As you all know, Kate turned one. A great church near us has a wonderful mother's morning out program. I called them a couple months ago to get information and they accept kids at age one. I was planning on contacting them in the next few weeks to see if I could bring her one morning a week... I just found out they are closing their program.

Since I had it in my mind to take her somewhere one morning a week, I decided to look into what other toddler programs were available in our area. A new preschool called The Goddard School has just been built and it is right across the street from our neighborhood. I read a flyer they mailed us and I decided to stop by the other day.

The Education Director gave me a tour and proceeded to tell me that all their curriculum is written by a professor at Yale, all their teachers have four year degrees and they focus on language development along with social skills, yoga, etc. Kate's teacher would teach her sign language. (We have already taught her some signs, so I thought... yes, we are such great parents, she will already be advanced in her class.) Then the director proceeded to tell me that at age two they starting teaching them Spanish. At age three they add in French, at age four they add German and Italian and by age five she will be speaking those five languages along with Mandarin Chinese.

To be honest, I chuckled to myself a little when she told me how much Kate would love her yoga class, but then when she told me she would be speaking all those languages including Mandarin Chinese.. by age five. I was like.. are you serious?

Well, needless to say, I really want to send her to that school now... especially after I had to google "Mandarin Chinese" to find out how to spell it.

Of course, as always, reality sets in... two half days cost almost as much as my friend pays to send her kids to private school. Sorry Kate, you will be stuck with me for a while, but maybe Handy Manny will teach you a little Spanish. (Yes, I know it is not Mandarin Chinese.. but come on!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May I have the whole pan? Recipe Wednesday - Ribs & Hash Brown Casserole

We have some friends who are the best cooks. They are those friends who always make the most amazing meals. If they invite us over for dinner, Justin will starve himself to make sure he is hungry and ready to devour their food. We went over to their house this weekend for their little girl's birthday party. Jennifer (my friend) makes the most amazing Hash brown Casserole. She made it for her party this weekend. She asked me if I would like some and my response was something like.."Yes, may I have the whole pan?". It is amazing and the perfect side dish to any meal.

Her husband, Curt, makes the most delicious, fall off the bone ribs on the grill. We have attempted to make them about 4 times. I think we have it somewhat perfected.

So.. today's Recipe Wednesday is inspired by Curt and Jennifer. I am going to post Curt's Ribs recipe and Jennifer's Hash brown Casserole. These are our favorites that they make. Trust me, this is a meal you will love and it is perfect for entertaining. (**Note, this is a time consuming meal.. but OH SO WORTH IT!)
**I realize that most women are leary about grilling. I used to be the same way, but it is so easy!! Try it, if I can do it.. trust me.. you can do it!

Curt's Fall off the Bone Ribs


3 Racks of Baby Back Ribs (this will feed 6-10 people)
Pork Rub Seasoning
1 Box of Brown Sugar
Favorite BBQ Sauce


-Preheat grill to 300 degrees (*This recipe calls for indirect heat. Only use one burner on your grill. Ribs will be placed over burners that are NOT on.)
-Cut each rack of ribs into thirds.
- Lightly coat each 1/3 of rack of ribs with pork seasoning and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. (Coat both sides of ribs with seasoning and brown sugar).
-Wrap each 1/3 rack of ribs in foil, making sure ribs are completely sealed in foil.
- Place ribs in preheated grill, close cover. (Place ribs over burners that are OFF. We have a three burner grill. We leave the center burner on and place the ribs over the left and right burners that are off.)
- Cook Ribs at 300 degrees for 6 hours. Check grill every 30 min. to make sure grill is on and temperature is at 300 degrees.
- After 6 hours, check ribs. They should be very tender. If they are not tender leave on grill for another 30 min.
- Remove ribs from foil and place directly over flame. Grill on each side for about 2 min, brushing each side with your favorite BBQ Sauce. Serve with additional sauce on the side.

Jennifer's Hash Brown Casserole


1- 1lb, 14 oz bag frozen shredded hash browns
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 8oz container French Onion Dip
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Mix the soups, dip, onion, cheese, salt and pepper together.
- Fold in half the bag of has browns at a time
-Pour into greased baking dish.
-Pour melted butter over mixture and cover with the corn flakes.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What if I wiggle my nose and wave my wand?

Do you have those days, weeks, months where you don't feel like doing anything? I had to laugh at an e-mail I got from a friend of mine. She has a little boy who is about 6 weeks younger than Kate. Her e-mail said something have it sooo together, what is your daily schedule? I am glad she lives in FL and I live in NC. If she lived even remotely close to me, she would realize what a mess I am. As most of you know, life with a baby who get into everything is filled with non-stop picking up. {I know it only gets worse}

Since Lea always says that cleanliness is next to godliness. I do strive to have a clean house.

After all our house guests left and Kate's party was over, I crashed and burned. I am so embarrassed to say that I just finished taking down her party decorations today. I have the laundry done, but it is piled up. {for some reason I hate putting it away}

I keep asking Justin.. if I wiggle my nose and wave Kate's wand, do you think I will wake up and the house will be spotless? {If only it worked like that}

Dear Fly Lady, I am so sorry. I have left your ways, but don't worry, I am coming back to them.

Can you wave your wand and make my house spotless (just this once)?

Hey, it may work... she is the "cleaning fairy".

PS... You have to read this story.. Can you imagine receiving this Mother's Day gift from your three SINGLE daughters? Read Meghan's Story..

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Do you want your kids to be just like you?

I read this Bible verse today and man did it scare / motivate me! I have so much changing to do! This is major motivation.

Ezekiel 16:44 - "As is the mother, so is her daughter" (kjv) or "Like mother, like daughter" (niv)

It is even more scary in context. Lord, please help me be more like you... so Kate will be more like you.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is Freebie Friday Over? Yes.. and No

My 30 day blogging challenge from my husband is officially over, so I will not personally be doing a weekly giveaway. I will probably do a giveaway once a month on my blog. I will still be featuring Freebie Friday with links to the best giveaways I find.

Here are my top five. Have fun entering! (Oh, and yes, I have entered all these contest.) Good Luck. Make note some of these contest end today, so make sure you enter!
Also, feel free to comment and share your favorite giveaways.

2) Adhering Words Monogram Wall Tile

3) Madson Bucket Cargo Bike (worth $1300)

5) Pearl Swimwear Giveaway (Do you think you can win their body also?)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Want a sneak peak?

Kelly @ Fabulous K has been working on redesigning my blog. She sent me this proof last night of my header. Isn't it so cute? I am hoping the new design will be up in a couple days. I can't wait! {THANK YOU JUSTIN! - this totally counts as one of my mother's day gifts.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going to a BBQ, Church Function or Family Reunion? Recipe Wednesday

Do you stress out trying to figure out what side to bring to your friend's BBQ, church function or family reunion? I made these for Kate's Birthday Party and several people asked me for the recipes. Here they are.. two EASY and wonderful recipes to bring to those special events.

The recipes are Cream Cheese Fruit Salad and Texas Ranch Potato Salad.

The recipes are of course from All Recipes - with my changes.

(**Note - you can use your favorite fruit)

2 pears
2 apples, cored and chopped
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
3 cups seedless grapes
1/2 lemon, juiced
8 ounces fat-free strawberry cream cheese
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free pretzels, broken (I left these out because I didn't have any.)

Combine the pears, apples, bananas, strawberries and grapes. Add lemon juice and toss.
Blend together the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; add the fruit and pretzels. Fold together. Serve immediately with a dollop of lite whipped topping or refrigerate until chilled.

1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onion
1 pound bacon slices
5 pounds unpeeled red potatoes

-Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add whole potatoes, and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to cool, and chop into 1 inch cubes. Transfer to a large serving bowl, and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.
-In a small bowl, stir together the ranch dressing mix, mayonnaise, sour cream and green onion. -Cover, and refrigerate for about 2 hours to blend flavors.
-Wrap bacon in paper towels and place on a plate. Cook in the microwave until crisp, about 15 minutes depending on the power of your microwave. Cool.
-Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the bowl of potatoes. Crumble bacon into the bowl, and stir to distribute. Serve.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Did Murphy's Law Apply? Kate's First Birthday Party

Do you have those friends or family members who are "Debbie Downers"? I may have had someone tell me that she hopes everything will go well for Kate's party because, you know how it goes... "if anything can go wrong, it will." (Yea, thanks)

I am the type of person that will stress over everything that could go wrong. I even had a bad dream the night before the party. I dreamed that I was picking up the food and my watch said it was 11:30am, but my watch had stopped and it was actually 1:30pm (the party was at 12:00pm). I missed the party and my guest had no food or cake. Yes, I have issues. (Isn't the first step to recovery admitting it?)

Well, I am happy to tell you that nothing went wrong. We were so afraid that it was going to rain, but the weather was great. Everything turned out perfect. Kate was so overwhelmed and didn't know what to think of it all. She was a trooper!

My family was here to help us set everything up. I could not have done it without them. My cousins (who usually sleep until 3pm on Saturdays) were even up early helping us.

Here are several of my favorite pictures from the party.
The cupcake tower. No, I didn't make the cupcakes. They were from the Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh. For you NC people, if you have never been there.. you have to go. It is so cute!
Kate in her cute little outfit. It was a hand-me-down from her cousin, Sara Beth. It was perfect for her special day.
We got Kate a Princess Play land from Ragland Productions. It was so cute!
Kate with her friend Aaron.
Kate with her friend Caitlyn.
Eating her cupcake... She didn't exactly dive in. She took a little while to warm up to it. She ended up loving it!
Sorry, I lied.. she did eventually dive in.
Kate with her Aunt Sharon.
Our little princess. I can't believe how big she is getting and I much I love her!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Who won the Seda France Candle?

Congratulations!!!! Entry #35 - Ellen C. - You are the winner of the Seda France Candle.
I will e-mail you. (results were calculated from contest machine)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Need a Mother's Day Gift? - Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday will make a wonderful Mother's Day Gift or a great treat for yourself.
Courtesy of Chic Giving, we are giving away a Seda France Pagoda Candle. These are one of the best candles you can buy. They have been featured in various magazines and TV shows. Check out the various scents at Chic Giving. We will be giving away the Citron Du Sud scent. These candles are packaged so pretty, you won't even need wrapping paper. Any mother will love to receive this special candle.

I have a new entry method. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to enter.

To enter: Leave your e-mail and answer to the question in the box below. The winner will be announced / posted on Monday after 10am. I will also e-mail the winner. Only one entry per person, but feel free to share with your friends...

Giveaway will be open to enter until Monday, May 4th at 10am.

PS.. I added some new features to my blog.. If you have a blogger account, you can "Follow" my blog. You can also sign up to receive an e-mail of my posts.

Yesterday marked 30 days of blogging straight (minus two weekend days.. come on they don't count.) In my eyes I won the challenge. Hopefully my makeover will be done soon! I can't wait.

Good Luck and Have a great weekend!