Saturday, July 26, 2008

*Sticky Post* Go Jenny Go!

This is a sticky post that will be up through the 26th. Please scroll down for the latest posts.

Join my friend Jenny as she participates in Blogathon 2008. She'll be blogging for 24 straight hours on July 26th and could really use your encouraging comments or donations if you are able to make one. She'll be blogging for the American Society for Deaf Children in honor of her son, Gus, who passed away two years ago while waiting for a liver/small bowel transplant. He was also profoundly deaf. If you'd like to read more about Gus, visit his Caring Bridge site.

I'm going to dig out my pompoms so that I can cheer Jenny on. I hope you'll join me in pushing her toward the finish line on the 26th!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ July 21-27

I haven't posted my menu in awhile so I thought I'd join in today. I've got to find some way to keep myself accountable else I'm going to have to resort to taking Leptovox ! I didn't realize it would be so hard to jump back on the diet wagon once you fell off! I'm determined to do it though and all of my recipes are Weight Watchers friendly.

  • Monday ~ Grilled Burgers, Fries, Salad (Greens w/warm turkey bacon dressing)
  • Tuesday ~ Beer-Soaked Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Salad
  • Wednesday ~ Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup, Bread
  • Thursday ~ Skillet BBQ Chicken, Green Beans, Salad
  • Friday ~ Mexican Meatloaf, Pintos, Salad
  • Saturday ~ Easy Ziti, Italian Cheese Bread, Salad
  • Sunday ~ Out

You may notice a theme, salad. We're really enjoying salad right now, even though the lettuce I planted in our garden was a total flop! We do have an army of tomatoes coming up and some jalapenos that are just about ready to be picked. I need suggestions for some tried and true meatless dishes. I'm thinking a nice cheese or bean burrito recipe would be just what the doctor ordered. We eat meat at every meal and if I even mention that we might be having a meatless dish, my hubby almost passes out. The ziti recipe guessed it! He wanted me to add meat to it! I don't have a problem with that but our budget does. So, I'm looking to incorporate at least one meal per week that is meatless. Eventually it would be nice to have two of these types of meals each week. If you've got suggestions, send them my way. I'm all ears :-o) If you're interested in any of the things I've listed above, email me and I'll be happy to share the recipe. I can't link directly to them because they are on the members only portion of the WW site.

For more menus, visit Laura.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Projects, Projects, and Yes, More Projects

I just realized I never revealed my secret project from the week my hubby was gone. Each year, he goes to boot camp of sorts for bagpipers. This is no easy week for him. A handful of pipers from all over the world, including Scotland, come to instruct students in piping and drumming. Students spend a week, from 8am to 9pm, learning from these instructors. When hubby arrives home after this weeklong instruction, he is exhausted. Last year while he was gone, I decided that we needed to tackle a major project around the house just to surprise him. He works so much and has very little free time. So the girls and I felt like this would be helpful to him. It went over so well last year that we decided to do it again this year.

Since early spring, he's wanted to get our deck stained and waterproofed. You might remember that he, his dad, and his brother spent last summer building it. It's become very special to him since his brother passed away this past March, unexpectedly. Naturally, he wanted to get it waterproofed so that it was protected from the weather. We had tried several times to tackle the project but just as we'd start to do it, it would rain. If he mentioned getting it done one time, he had mentioned it 100 times since early spring. Well, while he was gone, the girls and I decided we would tackle it for him. It took us three days working from early morning to late evening and four gallons of Thompson's water sealer. It was a huge success and as soon as I can locate pictures of our work, I'll share them. It really looks wonderful and we added some nice little planters full of flowers to the railing. He was thrilled that we had knocked this out while he was gone.

Now I'm moving on to other things. I've started painting our indoor trim again. UGH! Our house was built in the late 80s and all of the woodwork is stained a dark color. It's murder trying to cover it up and very time consuming. I finally did get a section of the house done. I only have three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs to finish! And the smell.....who knew paint smelled so bad! I'm starting to think we need one of those Austin Air air purifiers ! We also have to clean up the mess the plumbers made last month which involves hanging sheet rock, laying ceramic tile, painting the entire bathroom, installing a new light fixture, vanity, and sink. Ahhhhhhh! The beauty of it all is that one day we'll be done renovating and will be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I'm looking forward to that day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Loving The Wii

Well, we've been spending more time with the tv lately. Since we got the Wii, I've enjoyed watching the girls play. I finally created my "Mii" and I have to say, she does look a little bit like me. It's quite scary. The complaint I have is that all of the noses you can choose are just ugly! I've got this cute little character that looks like she had a bad nose job!

There are so many cool things about this thing that it's hard to name them all. Now, I'm not a real fan of console games normally. We purchased an Xbox a few years ago and I think it was the biggest waste of money ever. However, the Wii is really, really cool. The girls just showed me a feature that allows you to read news via the Wii. It somehow picks up your internet connection and gives you the latest news! I'm also loving the fact that playing it forces you to get off your hump and get active. You can check the weather. You can upload digital photos from your cell phone or camera.

The funniest thing I've seen out of it yet though is a game called Charge! Logan had a sleep over this past weekend and my stomach is still sore from laughing so hard at four 14 year old girls playing that game! Your character rides a cow around a dirt track while you jump hurdles and try to run into scarecrows that earn you points. The girls spent most of their time running into trees! It was so funny!

I'm looking for other tried and true games to purchase. I'm looking at American Idol. For those of you that have a Wii, do you have any game suggestions for us? We'd love some really fun ones that we can play with multiple people. We want to start doing Friday night game nights with friends. I'd love to hear what games your family likes.

Kroger Deal On Herbal Essence

I just made a quick discovery today that I wanted to share. Hopefully you've got Herbal Essence coupons ($3/2) from the 7/6 insert. If so, snatch them up and head to Kroger. Through Saturday, Kroger has Herbal Essence shampoo or conditioner for $2.50 each. If you buy three, you get a $3 discount. So, here's my scenario:

  • Buy 4 Herbal Essence shampoos or conditioners = $10.00
  • Receive $3 off for buying 3 participating P&G products = $3.00 off
  • Use 2 ~ $3/2 coupons = $6.00 off
  • Total for 4 Herbal Essence products = $1.00

Can you belive this! I only have two coupons but if I had more, I'd wear this deal out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Alphabet Meme, Thanks To Annie!

I saw this fun meme over at Annie's and thought I'd throw it in here. I haven't done one in awhile and I enjoy doing them. I usually learn quite a lot about people from these little sillies :-o)

A is for age: 34

B is for burger of choice: Three cheese bacon burger from O'Charleys. Trust me, it's the bomb!

C is for the car I drive: Toyota Echo.

D is for your dog’s name: Sadie, pooch, little buddy (same dog, different names depending on my mood!)

E is for essential item you use every day: My laptop

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: Lost and House

G is for favorite game: I like all kinds. I guess I'll say Scattergories, although I really like Scrabble.

H is for home state: Virginia (I live in TN but was raised in VA)

I is for instruments you play: Learning to play a tin whistle

J is for favorite juice: Apple

K is for whose bum you’d like to kick: My own

L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Moto (I really, really love Japanese food!)

M is for your favorite Muppet: Fozzy

N is for number of piercings: Only my ears so 2.

O is for overnight hospital stays: 2 childbirths

P is for people you were with today: Hubby, Logan, Caroline, MIL, FIL, Darby, Ciara, Lauren, Donna and her six children, Elizabeth

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Quiet time....hmmm, that's an interesting concept.

R is for biggest regret: That I wasn't nicer to my mother growing up

S is for status: Sooooo married!

T is for time you woke up today: 7:30am

U is for what you consider unique about yourself: Goodness, this is a hard one. I'm a HUGE sports fan. All types of sports. I love them. All of them. A LOT! And I also talk in baby voices to my animals.

V is for vegetable you love: Green beans

W is for worst habit: Being a pack rat

X is for x-rays you’ve had: Dental

Y is for yummy food you ate today: Dirt cake that I made for Logan's sleepover this weekend.

Z is for zodiac: Capricorn but I'm not into all that.

Happy Birthday Mom!

In honor of my mom, who turns 52 today, I wanted to share a few things about her. Here are ten of the things that come to mind right away:

  1. She is very, very handy around the house. She can fix anything!
  2. She lives in a 9 bedroom home (alone) that consists of three floors and still doesn't have enough space!
  3. She has a cat named Ruby. She's solid black! LOL!
  4. She loves going to antique and thrift stores.
  5. Her hair is actually auburn.
  6. She's been a manager in a retail store for about thirty years. (And she works too much!)
  7. She's the master at finding a great bargain.
  8. She loves to listen to books on tape.
  9. She loves grilled pineapples.
  10. She is MUCH shorter than me!

Happy Birthday Mom! I hope you spend it resting and enjoying yourself! I love you!

Belated Birthday

Logan had a birthday last week and I forgot to mention it here. She turned 14! We took her to supper and came home to watch a movie with her. It was a fun evening. We ordered her birthday present a bit late so we didn't actually have it on her birthday. Instead we had to improvise. Hubby got online and printed out a picture of her gift and put it in an envelope. While we were eating, he gave her the envelope. She opened it and quickly became giddy. What did we get here? Well, we looked at womens gold watches but quickly decided she'd rather have something more fun. No, she opened the envelope to find a picture of a Wii!!!! She was so excited. I think we were equally as excited because we had heard so much about this thing.

A few days after her actual birthday, we received her package. She quickly read the instruction manual and figured out how to hook it up herself. She wasn't wasting any time! Both girls and hubby have played with it and even had sore muscles afterwards. I haven't messed with it much yet, except to create my "Me." Whatever that is! LOL! It's been great fun to watch them playing it. I'm hoping to get some pictures of them playing it so I can post them and show you just how much fun it is. The thing I really like about it is that it is so physically interactive. I can see the Wii Fit in my future :-o)

Is it wrong to love someone's gift as much as they do? I sure hope not! If so, I'm in big trouble! Does anyone have game suggestions? I saw the American Idol game last night and thought it looked pretty fun. I've also heard a lot about Dance Dance Revolution. If you know of any good ones we should get, share the love and tell me about them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ten On Tuesday ~ Ten Fav Movie Characters

These are ten of my favorites. I've got a million favorites though. It's hard to narrow them down to just ten!

  1. Jason Bourne (The Bourne Trilogy)~ One of my favorite characters ever!
  2. Batman ~ Michael Keaton and Christian Bale are my favs in this role.
  3. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride & Prejudice) ~ He's almost the perfect man :-o)
  4. Mr. Knightly (Emma) ~ I like him almost as much as Mr. Darcy.
  5. Peter Parker (Spiderman) ~ He's sweet and innocent by day and courageous by night.
  6. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective ~ So funny!
  7. Michael Meyers ~ Still scares me to death! It's the mask.
  8. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice) ~ Strong, smart, this role.
  9. 007 (Sean Connery) ~ The name's Bond.....James Bond.
  10. Jane Eyre (from Jane Eyre)~ One of my favorite books and I love the movie just as much.

Who are your favorites? Check out more favorites at Enjoy!

Getting Back On Track

There's something I love and hate about dieting. I love being able to stop and restart a diet that really works. I also hate that. WW has been great in that it's the easiest diet I've ever tried. It has really worked and produced amazing results. My problem is that I got off track for a few weeks and now I'm finding it hard to get started back up. I've felt sick for these past few weeks though and I think it's due to going back to old eating patterns.

I was reading a Fenphedra review recently and was fascinated by it. I learned that NPY, a stress hormone, decreases your metabolism and definitely increases your appetite. Yep, that's what is wrong with me right now. That NPY is getting me! I'm on a mission to get it under control and get things going strong again. I also need to get back on the treadmill (yuck!). I think that'll take a few weeks though because I really hate that thing. I'll just continue to use gardening as my exercise for a week or so and maybe by then I'll have worked up the motivation for the treadmill.

Speaking of the's doing very well this year. I planted six or seven tomatoes (from seed) and I ended up with eighteen plants! Go figure. I guess the wind was blowing when I planted the seeds! They are starting to produce and I'm suddenly starting to panic. I'm going to have so many tomatoes at one time! We planted them mostly for salsa but I'm going to have so many that I'll have to learn to can half of them. I can see all kinds of great things coming from this. I'm going to try my hand at a homemade spaghetti sauce and a tomato sauce for pizza. We've also got jalapenos, green pepper, broccoli, okra, pickling cucumbers, green beans, squash, watermelon (if it produces), and zinnias.

How about you.....what have you planted this year?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Recipe Round Up

It looks like we'll start trying to put our bathroom back together this weekend. We'll have to start with the plumbing. Once that's all fixed, we'll need to find a vanity, sink, mirror, flooring, and some Hinkley lighting . Just thinking about it seems overwhelming but I'll be happy to get a start on it. It looks so terrible right now. We haven't heard a word from the plumbers we fired. I guess that's a good thing. It kind of disappoints me though. A company as big as Roto Rooter should be more concerned with the service they provide.

We're heading to my grandmother's house to spend the day today. Lots of my cousins, aunts, and uncles will be there so I'm looking forward to it. I wanted to post a couple of recipes before going though. These are two of my favorite things right now. Both are very good and I hope you'll try them.

Italian Cheese Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBS quick-rise yeast
  • 1 TBS veggie oil
  • 1 cup warm water


  • 1/4 cup italian salad dressing
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 TBS grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pepper, to taste

Combine first 4 ingredients. Combine water and oil and then add to flour mixture. Form soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Punch down. Place on a greased 12-inch pizza pan and pat out to a 12' circle. Brush with salad dressing. Combine seasonings and sprinkle on dough. Sprinkle w/cheeses. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until golden. **Recipe courtesy of . **Made this last night for the first time and it really is wonderful. It had great reviews so I had to try it. It was our favorite part of the meal. So yummy!

Luscious Key Lime Cake

  • 1 pk Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 pk Instant lemon pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup veggie oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 2 TBS water
  • 2 TBS melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 10' bundt pan. Mix cake ingredients together on medium speed until mixed well. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (I bake mine about 50 minutes). Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan, then return to pan. Poke holes in top of warm cake with a long fork or skewer. Combine glaze ingredients. Stir well and slowly pour over top of warm cake. Cool completely. Turn out onto a service plate. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

**This cake is so wonderful and moist. It has a nice flavor and our family really likes it. In fact, I made it last night so that I can take it to our family gathering today. I hope everyone loves it as much as we do.**

Have a wonderful 4th!

Blog Tour: Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Starts With Elle

(Thomas Nelson - July 8, 2008)


Rachel Hauck


Rachel Hauck is a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's, who roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero. She graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism.

After graduation, she hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. But, she's traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine.

Rachel met Tony, her husband, in '87, at church, of all places. They married in '92.
They don't have any children of their own, just lots of kids-in-the-Lord and they love them all. However, they do have two very spoiled dogs, and a very demanding cat.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. My current release is Sweet Caroline from Thomas Nelson. Romantic Times Book Club gave both books their highest rank of 4.5 stars, with Love Starts With Elle being honored as Top Pick!


Elle's living the dream-but is it her dream or his?

Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.

Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.

But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.

Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

*I just received this book a few days ago and I'm currently reading it. I hope to post a full review once completed. It's very good so far!*