Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Monday--Challenge Week #9

Goodness, I thought I wouldn't get to this tonight.  My computer has been so slow!  And with our snow days last week, I thought I may not have an entire CD listened to!

I got this CD from the library, and I am very happy to report that this is my favorite Brad Paisley CD!  I may just have to buy it.  I think I liked every song to a some degree.

It starts out with Two Feet of Topsoil, a cute little song that is typical Brad Paisley about breaking up and missing the girl, but it is not too silly--it's clever.  He then goes onto the song that featured several stars in the video--including his future wife:  I'm Gonna Miss Her."    I think mot  men could relate to this song!  No woman should do what the woman does in this song!

Part II deals with meeting his wife and getting married, etc.  And then you get to Wrapped Around (really cute) and Two People Fell in  Love.  Moving on to Come On Over  Tonight and  You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive (a really good country song!).

I Wish You'd Stay is poignant and All You Really Need  is Love is very funny.  He then goes to a straight instrumental song that is pretty neat  Munster Rag.  You Have That Effect on Me is very sweet.  (I think his  wife influenced him A LOT on this album).

He ends with  Too Country which is reminiscent of his current single.  If you like country, you'll like it.  And the final song is The Old Rugged Cross.  It is live from the Opry, and I wish he  would release a  gospel album!  I love the way he sings the old hymns.

So this is really a good CD, and I hope that  one day Brad will go back to his roots and sing more songs like this rather than his current album style!

Sponsored Post--The Mile High Cry Tips on Traveling Stress-Free With Your Toddler

The Mile High Cry: Tips on Traveling Stress-Free With Your Toddler

This guest post was written by H. Denbert who has a degree in social work and hopes to satisfy her interest in science by getting a forensic science education in her spare time

We’ve all been there: trapped on an airplane, with that annoying baby crying in the next aisle throughout the flight. I was even on a plane once where another “helpful” woman angrily screamed, “Have you heard of a pacifier?!” Maybe like me, now you’re on the other side of the equation, with a toddler in tow, trying to fend off pissed-off passengers with apologetic half smiles. From navigating the maze of airport security to the endless hours in the sky, here are ways to cut down on the inevitable stress of flying with your child. Just look at it this way: at least we don’t have to travel by wagon train anymore.

Before You Get to The Airport

  • Make sure you have the right size containers. You’re allowed to fly with juice, formula, or breast milk for baby, but it has to be in the right size container. Only 3.4 ounce (100 ml) or smaller containers are allowed. Check the TSA website for the most recent information on airport security and what it means for your toddler.
  • Keep your stroller organized: You’ll have to take everything out of your stroller, in order for it to be x-rayed. Keeping things organized will cut down on annoying time in the security line. Pack things together, and minimize the amount of clutter floating in your stroller’s compartments.
  • Bring a baby seat and reserve that extra plane seat: While it might be possible to carry your child on your lap while flying, it sure isn’t comfortable. The money you can save by doing it might be appealing, but reserving an extra seat is more courteous to the fellow fliers and more likely to result in a calmer flight for your kid. And, if your child weighs more than forty pounds, you’re required by the FAA to restrain them with an airplane seatbelt.
  • Bring the right entertainment: If it’s the portable DVD player your kid loves, make sure it’s in the bag. Don’t overpack, however, or you’ll be lugging a heavy bag through the airport.

In Flight

  • Pack a diaper change kit: Put all the things you need to change a few diapers in one easily accessible bag. You’ll be glad you had that diaper, some wipes, and a good smelling lotion around when you need to change a diaper in flight. If you’ve got a larger kid, ask a crew member if there is a bathroom on the aircraft with a change table, as this is often the case.
  • Dealing with ear popping: That uncomfortable feeling of pressure buildup in the ears can be one of the most trying things about flying with children. A pacifier is helpful, and should be put in during take-off and before your descent. Unfortunately, for kids too young to understand the instructions to swallow, crying can be the only effective way to relieve ear pressure. Let them cry it out---it’s actually helpful.
  • Bring more food than you think you'll need: Pack food and snacks as if you won’t be getting any on the plane. This is often the case these days, and even if there is food that doesn’t mean your toddler will actually eat it. When it’s time to eat, feed your kid first, then yourself. Manipulating trays of food in flight can be difficult, and you’ll be more relaxed while eating if your child has already.
  • Be prepared for motion sickness: If it’s your child’s first flight or you know they are prone to motion sickness, be prepared. Put a Ziploc bag in your purse or in front of your seat, if you fear they might puke. And of course, keep lots of wet wipes around for clean up. Don’t let them eat too much before the flight, and consider putting a disposable bib on any child that may get sick. Even a little puke smells really bad, when stuck in a tiny airplane.

Solution Sunday (on Monday!) Update on my Challenges

Well, due to family issues, this is one day late.  I am planning to update my challenges tonight, and so even though it's late, here goes.

Well, I am finally getting caught up!!  I read chapters 5 and 6.  While the Valentine's Day chapter was not really applicable to me (Valentine's Day is past), I think there were some ideas to save for next year.  I really liked the chapter about being creative.  Since I have had Martha, my creativity around the house has suffered.  I used to make the Christmas presents.  I used to decorate.  I used to always cross stitch.  And now?  I'm lucky if I get to bed on before 11!  I love that she said that this is a season of life that will pass.  I will have more time to be creative when my daughter grows up.  And one day I may even have my own home again.  I appreciate the fact that the author is so easy to relate to!  She is a real person, and she gives some very practical idea.  I plan on getting the book she recommended:


Okay, I did not finish the challenge for the week.  It was too long.  I will show you next week.  I am working on the same magazine area.  When you have 50 magazines to organize (and possibly more), it does take time.  I don't want to throw them all out.  So for this week, I am continuing with the organizing challenge of the magazine and organizing the area around it as well.  I know I am keeping this short.  I am going to be glad when I am fully functional again!


Nothing new here.


Okay, I just finished this book today, but I am putting it off till next Sunday to count towards the challenge.


All right!  I finally did something for this challenge!  Here's my review of this book!


Nothing new here.


I plan to start this book  this week!


Nothing new here.


Check out my current recipe post here!  It is very pantry-friendly.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Solution Sunday Tonight

I want to apologize for not posting tonight--things really escalated at our house tonight.  I will catch up tomorrow.

Have a great evening.  I'll try to let you know more tomorrow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Satisfied Saturday--Family Feast Recipes This Week

I get bored easily when planning out meals, so I went a little different direction.  I decided to use this book.  It is still pantry cooking, and I love the fact that these recipes are easy to prepare, taste good, and the recipes are fairly inexpensive.

So these are the meal plans for the week:

Meal 1:  Curried Chicken and Recipe p. 105, veggies

Meal 2:  Toasty Tuna Melt Casserole p. 119, veggies

Meal 3:  Italian Sausage Soup p. 191, Italian bread of some kind

Meal 4:  Split Pea Soup With Ham p. 190, Big Biscuits p. 224

I still have a molasses cookie recipe to make from a couple weeks ago.  I will do my best to review these recipes next week.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sponsored Post--Valentine's Day Facts Infographic (lots of great info!)

Thoughtful Thursday (even though it's early Friday morning)

Isn't it too bad that you can't schedule a post for the past?  You can schedule it for the future, but not the past.  Doesn't seem fair, does it?

I really planned on posting this last night, but it go late, and I was tired, so here I go this morning.

Yesterday was an unusual day.  It was a snow day for us, and so I was at home all day.  And my mom and I were talking in the morning before Martin got up.  Actually, this may have been the night before--I'm not sure.  Anyway, my mom said that Martin had commented to her how much my cooking had improved.  I have always prided myself on being a good cook, so at first, I think this hit me across the face.  I was somewhat taken aback.  I had become a better cook??  Well, when you understand Martin, it makes sense.  He never understood why I stuck to recipes so strictly.  He has always given me a hard time when I stressed over not having the right ingredient.  I have had to learn in the past couple years to substitute ingredients and make adjustments to recipes.  I had completely gone out on a limb and made up something from the ingredients we have on hand.  I have been more confident of my skills in this area.  And I do my best not to make things I know he doesn't like.  And I don't worry too much about counting calories in dinner recipes, but I do make healthier substitutions he doesn't know about.

Things were very tense yesterday evening as my Mom, Martin, and my dad were working outside.  There was a big blow-up, and I headed outside in spite of my leg to try to be there for Martin.  I told him that the cold was bothering my leg after he told my story, and I was preparing to go back in.  He said it was a shame I couldn't stay because it would be nice for me to remain as he got over his being angry.  I was able to stand in such a way that my leg was not bothered, so I told him I would stay a little longer.  I know he appreciated it.

The last thing that happened really got me.  I was putting Martha to bed, and Martin was handing out these fantastic cookies called Hob Nobs.  I was putting Martha to bed, so I didn't know what he was giving out when he offered me one.  He made a sarcastic response, and  I'm not sure why, but when he asked me if I wanted one, I got a little snippy and said I didn't.  I guess it was everything that had happened, and I wasn't in the mood for his sarcasm.  But I really wanted one.  I turned away from him, and he asked me again.  I still said no.  I refused to look at him.  Now I was unnerved.  He wasn't supposed to keep asking.  My no should have told him I didn't want one.  I wanted to remain mad at him for treating me like a child, but I also wished he would leave me alone.  After all, wasn't that what an insensitive man was supposed to do?  I struggled, and God told me I needed to let my anger go.  There was really nothing to be mad about.  But you know what?  It felt good to be mad at him.  But I knew that was wrong.  So I began to let my anger go.

I turned to him, and I asked him about a scratch he had received earlier.  After our little exchange, he said that I was welcome to one of the cookies, and he even showed me where the nutrition label was.  I told him that I knew.  And he placed the cookies nearby me.  By this time, I was no longer angry, but I was reflecting on something regarding the situation.  I wanted to know how on earth he was able to sense that I actually wanted the cookie and he wouldn't give up.  Okay, I know it was a small thing, but it is often the small things that stand out.  And when he didn't give up, why did it bother me?  Because he was showing genuine love and concern for me.  He knew  I wanted something.  He knew something was wrong, and he wasn't sure if it involved him or what.  And it kind of scared me.

Silly, isn't it?  I spend all my time praying for Martin's salvation and praying that he will show me love.  And then when he does show me genuine love and concern, I feel uncomfortable and almost don't want it.  I didn't like the fact that he knew me so well.  He was able to read me--probably the first time he really has.  And he refused to give up.  Just so you know, yes, I had a cookie.  He even offered to make me tea--which I accepted.  Going over everything recently, he has shown some true love to me lately  that has not been physical.  The dog bite thing really scared him.  And he has been very responsive to my needs as of late.  He is even driving me over an hour to work today due to icy roads.  Out school district cancelled, but where I am going was only delayed 2 hours.  I feel bad, but he wants to do this, and he was planning on going that way anyway.

I guess I really do have a lot of things going on right now.  I have a teacher's test to take tomorrow--2 of them.  I don't know how I will score.  They will probably be my hardest tests yet, but I am trying.  And Martin may have to take me to the testing site tomorrow if the roads aren't any better.

Hope your Thursday was wonderful, and may Friday be even better!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kid's Sock/Stuffed Animal Giveaway (ends 3/13) (CLOSED)


Well, I do have a kind of random giveaway today.  I was going through some stuff I had on hand, and I knew that my daughter was well past any of these.  So here is what I am giving away!  

I remember reading a lot of reviews out there for smart knit kids socks.  I was so excited to have my daughter try them.  Wouldn't you know that her foot is too big!  These are white socks in size medium and large.  Read more about the socks here.  They have no annoying seams that kids absolutely hate and make socks comfortable.  I wish they had these for my daughter's size!  But alas, she is a big kid now.  I am also throwing in a pair of black ballerina slippers size medium or large--not sure which.  Again, too small for my daughter.  They are made by design studio by GMI.  They were only taken out of the package and tried on by my daughter.

Now we come to the thing that my daughter would say she wants, but she has so many stuffed animals that something's gotta give!  It is a flingshot flying monkey that is brand new and still screams when you hit its belly!  It is really cute, and I am glad my daughter is out playing in the snow or she would tell me I couldn't give it away.  It looks like the string that tied his arms together may have come off, but trust me, it makes no difference whatsoever.  Your child will love this!

So, now on to the fun stuff.  How do you go about winning this?  Just be sure to leave a comment for every entry.  If it says two entries, leave 2 separate comments and so on and so forth.  Be sure to either leave your e-mail in the comment or make it visible in your gfc profile.  I hate it when someone wins and then I cannot contact them so I have to choose someone else!  The giveaway ends Sunday, March 13 at 9 P.M. PST.  Please don't enter late--I will delete your entry.  Also, please be advised that I do check entries and will delete them if they are not valid!

To Enter:

1.  Follow me via google friend connect.  Leave me a comment stating that you do.
2.  Subscribe to my blog via e-mail and/or RSS (1 comment per each).
3.  Add me as your facebook friend.  Leave me your facebook name in the comment.
4.  Like my new facebook page.  Please leave your facebook name in the comment.
5.  Comment on any non-giveaway post.  Please specify where you commented so I can check it out.  (This is an unlimited entry as long as the comment is a real comment.)
6.  Share the giveaway any way you like.  Leave an applicable URL's.  You may do this once a day.
7.  Post my button on your blog.  Be sure to leave me the URL so I can come check it out.  (worth 5 entries)
8.  Comment on either my facebook profile or fan page on facebook.  Tell me where you commented or leave me the URL.  (This is an unlimited entry as long as you leave a real comment.)

And one final unlimited entry:
Tell me what your child's favorite toy is right now.  Yes, they may have several, and you may have several children.  You may be an aunt, grandmother, friend, caregiver, etc.  So tell me what the favorite toy is of a child that you know and is special to you.  Leave as many valid comments as you would like about this.  I need to know what the cool toys are out there.  No need to leave me a link to the toy unless you would like to.  Just let me know what the toy is.  

Blessings to all of you for being so loyal to my blog!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well-Spoken Wednesday--Hot Wheels and High Wheels Book Review

From good reads:
Trophy wife Darcy McDaniel has just discovered that, thanks to her embezzling husband, her posh, upper-class life is gone for good. Now she's trading her suburban palace for a trailer park and her weekly salon appointments for a job. Darcy needs a new man--fast--one who'll keep her in the manner she darn well deserves. Problem is, the hottest prospect around is the my-way-or-the-highway hunk who's making off with her beloved Mercedes!
Ex-cop turned repo man John Stark is sure that hiring the furious blonde in his headlights is a colossal mistake. He knows Darcy's high-maintenance, designer-labels-only type--after all, he's used to taking their cars. But he never expected this hellion to have the smarts and the spunk to go from receptionist to repo agent in record time...or to drive him insane with desire. She's the last thing this tall, dark, and dangerous loner needs...and everything he never knew he wanted.

Hot Wheels and High HeelsHot Wheels and High Heels by Jane Graves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, this would not be my typical book to read.  I had a friend offer to send me two books from her stash.  This is a modern romance all the way, and it is filled with unrealistic, enjoyable romance!

Secondly, I enjoyed this book even more than I thought I would.  I will warn any reader of this book that there are some steamy sex scenes and they unfortunately occur between two unmarried people, but I suppose I did kind of overlook that portion of the book because it was so romantic!  I loved the hero and heroine, and I also enjoyed the fact that it took place in Plano, Texas.  I used to live near there, and I was familiar with the areas the author spoke about.

I truly enjoyed the fact that the two main characters were around 40 years old.  I also enjoyed seeing the strength of the main character.  Although this was a typical romance, the authoress is a gifted storyteller.  There were a few minor twists and turns, and I read this very quickly.  Once I was halfway through, I couldn't put it down.

There were a few "language" issues, but I will say it was minimal compared to some books I have read.  I suppose the book held my interest because I wished that life were as simple as this.  I didn't have to do a lot of thinking during the book--I was just able to enjoy it!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Twilight Tuesday--I Have Come to the Realization

This is one of the books I am currently reading for review.  I have to admit that I really wasn't too into the reading of this book, and even as I crawled into bed last night, I was only reading it to fall asleep.

I guess God had other ideas.  I plan to fully review the book once I am done reading it, but God really left me speechless last night as I read (pretty hard for me to be rendered speechless).  In order to explain last night,  I have to go back in time a couple years.

When I still lived in Texas, Martin's and my relationship was truly blossoming and growing.  We had become physical.  We had discussed marriage.  I think we had even had our big blow up at this point that almost ended things between us for good.  I am not sure.

I can remember one very specific night when I was really feeling down about things.  In fact, I think I told God it just wasn't worth waiting for Martin to be saved.  He never was going to be saved, and loving Martin was just too hard.  I think I asked God if I could be released from loving Martin.

I did receive a response.  God told me that I was free to let Martin go.  I didn't have to keep loving him.  I could go on with my life.  God also said that if I did that, I would have to accept the consequences of my actions.  The consequences would be a true loss of the friendship, and the loss would be irreversible.  I had a serious decision to make.

I remember being tempted to walk away and leave it all, but after so many years and all that had happened between us, I really struggled to do that.  In the end, I made the right decision.  I can remember God reminding me of my decision and even giving me the same offer at a later time.

Fast forward a couple years.  Currently, things are not quite that great between us.  He is uptight, mad, and frustrated.  I can remember the same thoughts crossing my mind.  Was it worth it to wait?  Should I go on with my life?  Maybe I should stop hoping and praying.

As I read this book last night, I read about relationships suffering difficult times.  We so often think that if our relationships come to rocky times that we chose the wrong person or it was never meant to be.  We weren't really "in love" with that person after all.  God came to me and said that I no longer had a choice.  Okay, I suppose if I wanted to go contrary to God's will, I could walk away, but the choice God gave me two years ago was no longer valid.  And I couldn't be happier.

Yes, I am a single mother.  My daughter has an absent father.  My dad is in poor health and makes my life more difficult than most people could imagine.  I am only a month or two away from not being able to make a   mortgage payment on my home.  I am not married, not dating, and I have no prospects.  I have no full-time job, and  there are no prospects.  No woman in her right mind would continue waiting on a guy like Martin.

Well, here is what I say.  God's plans are always better than my own.  And I will say this.  My relationship with Martin is probably better than most fo the marriages in this world!

Thanks for listening to my ramblings tonight.  It really has helped me!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Monday--Challenge Week #8

Well, it has been a busy music week.  I actually listened to about 3 or 4 CD's, but I am going to listen to some again because I do not feel I would do them justice.  So I will review 2 albums this week.

This is the first album I am reviewing, and I got it from the library.  I will not be purchasing this album.  I am what I call a "closet" Brad Paisley fan.  Martin can't stand him, but I have heard a few good songs by him.  And this album has just that--a few good songs.  The rest of the songs are really far beneath him.

American Saturday Night is not a bad song, but I just don't feel that there is a lot of substance to it.  While I don't hate it like I once did, it is a somewhat clever song but just not all that great.

Everybody's Here is okay, and Welcome to the Future has some cool parts to it, but then comes the first Brad Paisley song I ever liked.  I had always found that Paisley's songs were kind of dumb.  I was first intrigued by him when I saw him on the CMA Awards ( I think, I sometimes get confused) as a co-host with Carie Underwood.  Taylor Swift won entertainer of the year that year, and Brad Paisley was so nice to her about it.  He congratulated her, but Carrie Underwood made some remark about how well everyone had done and did not even acknowledge Taylor Swift.  From that point, I began to look at Brad Paisley a little differently.  My favorite Brad Paisley song is Then.  This is one of the sweetest love songs out there, as far as I'm  concerned.

Next is his song Water.  It was not until I saw the video that I liked this song, but I think it is more a theme song for his summer tour of last year.  And I have to say that he really did a lot to help the floods in Nashville.   It is unbelievable that his tour still went off in spite of everything that happened.

Nothing exciting from She's Her Own Woman nor Welcome to the Future (Reprise).  I think the only neat thing about the latter is that he tells the story of how he met and married the love of his life through music.  It is worthwhile looking up the story of how he met his wife.

Anything Like Me is probably a neater song for Paisley himself rather than me.  I don't care for You Do the Math nor Catch All the Fish, but the song in the middle caught my attention--No.  I remember hearing Paisley sing In the Garden.  Now I don't know where he is as far as God goes, but when he sings a spiritually-inspired song, I think he is quite exceptional.  This song is one of those.  I highly recommend it and wish he would do more of those!

Nothing spectacular in the last four songs on the album.  I really don't like The Pants.  I'm sure Paisley does!  Now if you're a Paisley fan, this is an album worth having, for sure.  I think it has 5 singles of his.  But otherwise, it is not an exceptional album.

The second album to review this week is this one.  I have been an ABBA fan for quite some time--thanks to Martin.  I think this was their final or one of their final albums.  It has some great hits and some songs that are not that well-known.

It begins with a big hit Super Trouper.  Oh, I love the beat of this song!  Very likable and catchy.  It is indeed a great opening song to their album.

Next is probably their most heart-rending song ever--The Winner Takes It All.  I think this song is quite poignant in light of the fact that I believe the two marriages within the group were in the process of breaking up or they already were broken up.   It is the perfect break-up song.

Next is a fun little song called On And On And On.  I think it is one of those songs you don't really have to think about.  Just listen to, dance, and sing along if you like.

Then we come to a song that did not make it as a hit,  but it a beautiful love-making song--Andante, Andante.  As you listen to the song, you can imagine the two lovers involved being lost in one another and going very slowly so they miss nothing.  The music, as usual, fits the words to a tee.

Then there is a little song called Me And I.  I think we can all relate to this song.  How many of us act in ways and say things that just don't seem like us?  We step out of character, and this puts that idea into song.

One of the few songs that talk about New Year--Happy New Year.  It should be a happy song, but listen to the words, and you notice that it may not be.  After all, these four individuals were entering the new decade without each other personally and professionally.  ABBA was coming to an end.

Our Last Summer is a nice song, and it was a hit for them.  However, I like The Piper.  Martin never remembered hearing the song before yesterday, and he is a big ABBA fan.  I like the little "piper" part in the song.  Cute, little ditty.

Lay All Your Love On Me was a big hit for them, and The Way Old Friends Do was also a pretty big hit for them.  They are both solid, nice songs.

Then we come to the bonus tracks.  Neither one are big deals, but they are typical ABBA songs--Elaine and Put On Your White Sombrero.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Solution Sunday--Weekly Challenge Update

Goodness, I was in the car most of the day!  I should have taken this with me!  Oh well, I still have time to get caught up.  I will!!

Right off the bat, I did not do what I said I would do.  I have put my magazine basket clean-out off until next week.  So this week, what did I do?  I did something really cool.  I cleaned out my inbox!  Okay, maybe that is not earth-shattering, but since this summer, I have had between 4000 and 8000 e-mails in my inbox--no kidding!  I couldn't keep up with all my blogs.  I was not disciplined at all when it came to putting e-mails in folders.  I did it though!  On Friday night or Saturday morning--don't remember when--my inbox said something I haven't seen in months "You have no e-mails!"  Okay, maybe without the exclamation point.  

So this week--definitely the magazines in the basket!


No new books to add to this.


Nothing new here.


I finished my first book for this challenge.  
I will link the review after it posts on Wednesday.


Reading one book for this challenge right now.


I believe I will begin my first book for this challenge this week.


Nothing new.


Nothing new.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Satisfied Saturday--Only One Recipe This Week

All right, it has been a busy, tiring week, and my leg has had it moments of pain.  I am honestly doing pretty well, but I only have one recipe, and  I made it tonight.  I highly recommend this recipe.  I happened upon it either last night or this morning--this morning, I think--and I happened to have everything for it except mushrooms.  Everyone liked it, and it was healthy and pretty easy to make.  It is Asian Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Pork.  I used ground turkey, and mine wasn't that spicy.  I also used no cilantro nor scallions.  I used chives instead. This recipe comes from a book I would love to get but have not been able to review or look through as of yet.
Anyone know anything about this book?  Maybe the library will get it in time.  I didn't realize it is a series, so I might  need to take a  look at the other books in the series.

Also, I have a giveaway ending tomorrow night.  And indeed more to come.  I even got a couple books for the book giveaway hops I will be doing in April and May, I believe.

And one last thing.  I went to Safeway today, and I got some fantastic deals.  They are running some great specials through Monday.  I won't detail them here.  Other bloggers do a better job of that than me.  But be sure to look them out.  And if your store has a place towards the back of the store where they mark down certain items that may be slightly damaged or they have products that are marked down because the items are nearly out of date, be sure to check those out.  I found a lot today!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Free-Wheeling Friday--Upcoming Giveaways

Well, I have been cleared to do 3 giveaways.  I now have to get on the ball and get them posted.  You'll recognize the company,  but I won't say anything now.  I should have at least one up and running by next weekend.  Maybe all 3!  Wouldn't that be nice?  I have another lead or two on giveaways, and I am getting bolder.  I am at a point right now where I feel I can ask companies to do giveaways.  We'll see what happens there.

So have a good evening!

Giveaway Promotion at Footprints in the Butter

My friend, Debra, over at Footprints in the Butter has two great giveaways going on right now.  Be sure to check them out!

Progresso Souper You Giveaway (Ends 2/21)

Life Ready Woman Giveaway (ends 2/26)

Best of wishes to everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--Teecino Review

Well, I missed last night.  I know you have gotten used to me missing one post a week.  And under the circumstances, I think you can understand.  It was exactly a week ago today that I was just finishing up my time in the emergency room after my horrible attack.  I haven't been in the mood for a lot of things lately.

But I felt it was time for another review.  On Saturday, my big recuperation day, all I wanted was liquids.  I guess because I had lost so much blood and other liquids.  I craved herbal tea.  My order from had arrived the day before, and my herbal coffee had arrived.  I had read good things about it.  It is called Teecino.  Maybe you have heard of it before.  I first discovered it on, and I was considering buying the kind you use in your coffee maker.  But it was a little pricey, and I wasn't sure I would like it.  So I opted for the following:

I was still uncertain about it.  I read the ingredients--carob, chile powder (?)--would it be any good?

I had my morning coffee, and about mid-morning, I was ready to try it.  I was somewhat uncertain.  There was no caffeine in it.  I made it, and I added some fat free milk and a splenda packet.  My first drink was fantastic!  It tasted like hot chocolate, but better.  I had at least one more that day, and after that I was hooked.  I drink at least one per day.  I can hardly wait to try the other flavors.

There is a lot of good information on the site.  I hadn't thought about it, but it is safe for pregnant women to drink.  It has natural energy.  I would love to try the kind for the coffee maker, and I just may do that next time.  But for now, I am content to use the tee bags, as they are called.

Did it replace my coffee?  Not at all!  But it is a fantastic pick-me-up after work.  It is much nicer to drink one of these rather than a strong coffee.  It is very rejuvenating, and while it does not give you the caffeine fix, it does give you a little bit of energy.  I look forward to trying the rest of the flavors!

Now, just so you know, I did not get paid for this review--teecino doesn't even know I am reviewing their product.  (They will shortly because I am going to tell them.)  All  of the opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Twilight Tuesday--I Stopped Reading My Second Book...

I don't know about you, but I sometimes really get excited about a book, I wait to read it, and then, sometimes it is a great disappointment.

I remember reading this book.  It was a hard read, and I would not have persevered had it not been for the fact that I felt I needed to read it to understand my students. I once taught a student whose father killed his mother.  He was in foster care, and he had all sorts of trouble.  Unfortunately, this has become something that too many kids face in today's society.  I will never regret that I read this book.  It was one of my first reviews on this blog.

The other books I did not finish.  This was the first of those.  I was on a very long waiting list to read this, and when it arrived, I was ready to stop all my other reading and just devour this book.  Imagine my surprise when I was on page 70 and I couldn't get into it.  I was so disappointed, and I decided that I would not read it.  After all, with a classic book, I say it usually takes about 50 pages to get into it.  I gave this book till page 70, and I have enough interesting books to read that I didn't have time to invest in a book that I didn't enjoy.

Today I met the second book in recent times that I just couldn't get into.  I had started this book last week, and the premise was intriguing.  And it fit in with one of my challenges.  I will say that I enjoyed the two main characters, but I got tired of the senseless profanity and the other characters in the book.  I was around page 80, and I decided to set it aside.

Now, if I was reading these books for a publisher review or something like that, I would have persevered.  But what is the point of reading a book you don't like just to be reading it?  There are enough books in this world to read that I think setting a few aside that I don't like is not shameless.

I begin this book tonight.  Here's hoping it will be better!

One Lovely Blog Award Again

I want to thank KERO of for this lovely blog award she gave me.  The following are the rules for accepting it.  It's a nice surprise, and I am grateful to receive it.

What to do when receiving this award:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the blogs to whom I will be bestowing this award:

If you are one of my followers or readers, be sure to check out one of these blogs.  You may find a neat, new blog to follow!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Music Monday--Challenge Week #7

Today, we are going with probably the greatest Tejano musician that ever lived--Selena!  I first became interested in Selena a few years ago.  I began to do a musician of the week power point in my music classes, and I followed the musician birthday calendar.  It just so happened that Selena's birthday was in January.  I had heard of her, but I knew nothing about her.  I hadn't even seen Jennifer Lopez's film about her.  I began to research her life and music, I was quite intrigued.  Not only was her music quite entertaining, but the story of her short life and murder were certain to capture my student's interest.  And I had a lot of Hispanic students in my class anyway.

It was about that time that I bought this CD.  It featured some songs of hers that I knew and enjoyed, and there were many I did not.  It had been a while since I had listened to this CD, and it was fun to listen to!

The CD begins with the upbeat Como la Flor.  Most of these songs are in Spanish, but it is interesting to note that her first language was English, not Spanish.  In fact, she only perfected her Spanish once her music career was really going.  You can see a funny clip about this in the Selena film.  La Carcacha is also a fun song.  Until you get to track #9, nothing stands out for me very much.  The songs are fun good, but I am not as familiar with them as a true Selena fan would be.

Track #9 is one of my favorites--Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.  I am reminded of what one of my students said once.  "What does Bidi Bidi Bom Bom mean in Spanish?"  My Spanish-speaking students and I always found this humorous.  It is clear that they are just nonsense words!  This is one of my favorite videos of Selena.

Nothing special for me until you get to track #13 I Could Fall in Love.  I have to say that in many ways, I prefer her English songs.  Yes, I know, I don't speak good Spanish, but I feel that she enjoys the English songs better.  Sometimes her voice becomes rather harsh on the Spanish songs--probably a stylistic thing, but I do notice it.  Especially in her later songs.   I love Dreaming of You also.  What a shame that these songs didn't make it to the market before her tragic death.

The final song on this CD is probably my favorite Selena song, however.  Bailla Esta Cumbia.  I have loved this song from the moment I heard it.  After her death, her brother's group, the Kumbia Kings, did a remake of this song as a tribute to her memory.  I'm going to end this post with this song.  Enjoy!

Guest Blogger--Kate from Mommy Monologues

Hello & Happy Valentine's Day! My name is Kate, I'm wife to Todd, mother to Lboy, 20 months old, dog mommy to Giorgio, my 6 lb Yorkie who thinks he's a 100 lb beast, & blog author at Mommy Monologues. It's a blog all about my four passions, my faith, my marriage, motherhood, & my family (I'm from a "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" kind of family, minus the Greek. :) You will find a lot of humor & some serious stuff, but mostly a lot of fun (and too many exclamation marks!)

Ruth and I swapped blog posts today. I asked her to answer 3 questions & I thought that I would answer the same questions over here!

1. What's your favorite "I must read this blog everyday" blog? 

There are several blogs that I stop by everyday (or try to.) Two of my favorites would be The SITS Girls. If you have never visited there, GO NOW! They are amazing! It's a blog dedicated to women bloggers, networking & getting to know each other & offering support.

I also love Theta Mom. Heather is an amazing mother, a talented writer, & all about gathering mothers together in the social media world in order to support each other through the crazy, awesomeness that is motherhood!  

2. The best blogging tip you ever got & swear by.

I think the best tip that I got has been recently. I used to spend a lot of time focusing on my Google Follower Connect number growing & I never took the time to really get to know the people who followed.

Lately, I make sure that I cherish each person who commented, whether I get 15 comments or 2. I really want to engage with people over there & make sure that I make friends in this awesome place we call the blogosphere!

The other thing I try to do when blogging is to Have Fun & Be Myself! When I'm myself, I have more fun, & people enjoy my posts more! 

3. A link to your favorite post that you have ever written.

Okay, so I have a few links to a few blog posts that I've written.  

I love it whe Lboy helps me flash people
This post is about when I took my toddler shopping with me & he opened up the dressing room door for God & country to see EVERYTHING that I consider private! Modesty went right out the door! 

This post is about how there are so many amazing things in this world that I'm in awe of & I hope I get to see. But right now, the most amazing sight in the world is right in front of me everyday.  

The only constant in life is change...
This post is probably one of the most special. It is about my great-grandmother & my grandmother. They are two amazing ladies!

Thank you so much to Ruth for having me over here today! And again, Happy V-day, & I hope you have a great week!!! I hope you will make a stop by my place & I look forward to "meeting" you!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Solution Sunday--Weekly Update on My Challenges

In spite of my issues this week, I am linking up my challenges because I accomplished a lot this week!

While I am behind in this challenge, I am posting for weeks 3 and 4.  I read week 3 on time, but I forgot to post.  And I just finished week 4 today.  So here goes.

Week 3 was about taking care of ourselves physically, and I can relate to that this week.  When I was attacked by a dog, I thought of everyone but myself.  I didn't bother to consider my pain.  Even yesterday, I found myself almost overdoing it.  I have tried to do better, but it is hard.  I even  apologized in the emergency room for complaining when I was cold or it was painful.  It is true that I often have to be told in no uncertain ters that I must take care of myself.  One time when I was very young, I made it a point to not go to the doctor since I didn't have insurance.  I learned from that, but I still have a tendency not to put my health first.  At least I got myself on a diet regimen and lost 50 pounds.  In fact, my concern with the dog bite is that I will put weight back on, but I refuse to let that happen!

Week 4 was about taking time for your spiritual life.  I absolutely love that she says it is better to spend 5 or even 3 minutes with God than none at all.  I used to be absolutely fantastic at spending time in Bible study.  Then Martha came along.  Since that time, I will admit that I have struggled.  I appreciate that she says essentially that it is quality, not quantity.  And my favorite line?  If you have time to go the bathroom, you certainly have time to spend with the Lord!

I'll try to get more caught up next week on this challenge!

Okay, I also have no pictures this week.  I often forget to do it.  But I accomplished my goal for this week.  I  purged clothes.  Mainly, it was my daughter's clothes, and she helped me.  I am so glad that I didn't have too much to do because my dog bite did slow me down.  Up next is to purge my magazines.  The magazines in my basket in my room, that is.  I have an overflowing basket, and it is high time that I go through them.  I will try to remember to take a picture. 

I think my mind set has changed too.  I have discovered that I now try to keep up with the areas I have already organized.  Where I purged magazines a couple weeks ago it beginning to fill again, and I will not let that happen.  I find that I have a goal each week, and I somehow want to do it.  I am holding myself accountable.  I may not get everything done the way I want it, but I am pretty excited to get the task done each week.  It feels so good!  I looked at my bookshelf just today, and it was with great pride that I looked at it!  I don't want to mess it up again.


I have finished two books for this challenge,  but I have to wait till the end of the month to post them.  I'll link the reviews here.


Nothing new here.


I am currently reading the following book for this challenge.


One of the books I read for the Historical Fiction Challenge works for this one, too.


Nothing new here.  Maybe by next month.

I will be updating this in a moment with links to the two books from this week.


Nothing new this week.


Well, that should do it for this week.  Till next week on the challenges.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sporadic Saturday--Just Briefly

I want to apologize for not doing a recipe post this week, but in light of my last post, I think you can understand. I will be sending out all 4 prize packs from the Handmade With Love Giveaway.  I still have a giveaway going on, so be sure to check it out here.  And there will be a guest post coming up on Monday.

All the food I made this week was good, and I will not have any regular reviews of the recipes.  I will hopefully be listing some more giveaways before too long.  I know I have  some blog hops coming up in March and April, so that will be something to look forward to.

I want to thank each of you for being such fantastic followers and readers.  I certainly want to find more tangible ways to celebrate you.  So hopefully within the next couple weeks as I heal and recover, I will be able to get some good stuff together on here.  Feel free to leave any suggestions!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Harrowing Experience

Well, last night was an ordeal I hope never to live through again.  I may be a little behind in getting prizes posted, but I should have it done by Monday.  I still am awaiting the response of one person from the Handmade with Love giveaway since my original person did not respond.

Last night, I was attacked by a dog.  It is not your usual dog attack story.  We were fostering to adopt what was called an Australian Shepherd mix.  This was on Monday.  Okay, I was not too keen on it, but he seemed to be a nice dog and well-trained.  And it wasn't my place to say.  I remember saying that he didn't like me.  But even yesterday, he seemed to be more accepting of me.  He didn't bother our cats.  He played well with our dog.

Last night, I was in the middle of cooking dinner, and I was getting in some exercise on the Wii Fit Plus.  My daughter had been in the living room with me just minutes before and had stopped for a snack.  She went to her room.  I was anxiously watching the time hoping I would be done in time to complete dinner.

I saw that my mom and Martin were coming in, and in came the new dog.  I turned my face to him, but my back was too him.  He charged at me, and clamped his mouth onto my calf.  Martin and my mom immediately responded.  I know I was screaming from the pain, and I had been knocked off balance.  I remember that it seemed I was beginning to get free, but he just repositioned and bared down harder.  I didn't know that it took Martin hitting the dog's head very hard to get him free.  I remember the intense pain, but I also remember thinking that this dog was going to continue up my leg.  The pain subsided.  The dog was out of control, but Martin had restrained him.  That dog definitely would have been going for more had Martin not restrained him.  Thankfully, our other dog, Sandy, was not in at the time.  My mom looked at my bite, and she said I had to go the hospital.  Can you believe that I walked to my room, got my coat and purse and put on my shoes, fully intending to go to the hospital.  I had not idea how badly I had been hurt.

Martin was able to put the dog outside--we have a fenced in yard, and this way he couldn't get any of us.  They told me to lie down and elevate my foot.  Unfortunately, my daughter saw part of the attack, and she was in hysterics.  All I could think about was could I work on Friday, turn the oven off, and I wish I could comfort Martha.  My mom called for an ambulance--she was concerned I would go into shock.  For the record, I never did.  I was fully conscious and coherent the entire time.  Martin wrapped it.  He then went out and shot the dog twice.  I will never forget the sound of the dog howling.  It even had the gall to run up on our porch.

So I got my first ambulance ride.  It was a fantastic hospital.  And Martin was able to get Martha calmed down.  I had not idea how bad things were with my leg till I saw it at the hospital--12 cm laceration.  Stitches, crutches--but everything was going to be fine.

We were sure the dog was dead, but to our shock, the dog survived the 2 shots and was on our porch this morning.  That was rather scary.  Animal control picked him up and will test him for rabies and then euthanize him.  They don't think that rabies will be a possibility--no cases in 10 years.

This is what I say--God is very good.  I am the healthiest person in my family, so if it had to happen to someone, I'm glad it was me.  I also am glad that Martin was here and that Martha was not working out with me at the time.

So that is the abridged story.  My wounds are already healing.  Thank God!
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