Thursday, July 29, 2010

How twins are made!


One of life's great mysteries solved.
(20 years ago, no one would have understood this joke!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cooking Thursday


The lovely Sandra is again hosting Cooking Thursday. Stop over at her place and see what good things people have recipes for today!


This is one I used to make a lot when the kids had to bring snacks for Youth Group or were asked to bring something to pass. Both kids and adults like them! (and it makes a bunch!)

M & M Squares
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup oleo
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups M & M's

Beat together peanut butter, oleo and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix flour, oatmeal, soda and salt. Add to oleo mixture. Mix in 1 cup M & M's. Press into jelly roll pan. Sprinkle remaining M & M's over dough. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Enjoy!

*Stop over at my photo blog for a giveaway that ends Thursday evening.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

Today's tip is about blogging. I like to do posts in advance. I often get my posts ready and using the option button, schedule them to post automatically. I like to have them all set for the week, by Sunday evening. If something comes up and I want to post something else, I can just go to edit posts and change it to a draft.
Speaking of drafts - I often have quite a few of them in progress too. If I see or hear something that I think would be a good thing to post, I'll start one and save it as a draft to finish later.
This works much better for me that trying to think of something, to post right away. My brain doesn't function well under pressure!
For more tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Good mail day!

I came home from work today to find a box sitting outside our garage door. Our mailman had dropped it off, and it looked much more promising than the usual junk mail or bills!
When I opened it, this is what I found!

It's a prize from Kayren of Everything's Coming up Daisies. She recently opened an Etsy shop, which you may have seen earlier on my blog. Pictured above are a small blue zippered pouch, a tote bag, and a reusable covered notebook. I have the pouch and the tote pulled open so you can see the matching fabric it's lined with.
I think the notebook is so cute! There is a ruffled band across the front and a button to close it with.

Here is the notebook opened, to show you the cute pockets. This pocket is stitched so pens and pencils would fit in it. On the back cover is a full pocket.
Kayren is talented and her products are very well made! To see more of her things, visit her Etsy shop.
Thanks Kayren!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Priceless Quotes

Priceless Quotes

Here's some quotes to start your week off with a smile!

Mark Twain
"Last week I stated that this woman was the ugliest woman I've ever seen. I've since been visited by her sister and wish to withdraw that statement."

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a migraine."








Jimmy Durante
"My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to take a breath."









Lillian Carter
"Sometimes when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin'."










Socrates
"By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."









Eleanor Roosevelt
"I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall'."








Will Rogers
"We could certainly slow the aging process down, if it had to work it's way through Congress."









W.C. Fields
"I never drink water because of the disgusting things fish do in it..."









Phyllis Diller
"Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty... but everything else starts to wear out, fall out or spread out."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Good Old Days


I got this in an e-mail from my sister-in law and thought it was so good I had to share it.

If you are 30, or older, you might think this is hilarious! If you are younger than 30, brace yourself.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways… yadda, yadda, yada

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of stuff like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in an Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our butts! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3s or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless.


We didn't have fancy stuff like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". Think of the horror.--. not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent.--. you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play.--. all day long. Oh, no -- no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were luckily, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!


Regards,
The Over 30 Crowd

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cooking Thursday


It's time for Cooking Thursday. Sandra will have more recipes over at her blog, so stop over and check out what others are sharing.

This is such an easy dessert to make and perfect for summer. It really fills up the pan so I cut it into slices instead of the typical square.

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert
.
2 boxes ice cream sandwiches
12 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
2 bags Heath Toffee Bits
Open sandwiches from one box and place in 9 x 13 pan, positioning to cover bottom of pan. Spread half of Cool Whip over ice cream sandwiches. Sprinkle 1 bag of the Heath bits over Cool Whip. Repeat layers and freeze.
This recipe fills a 9 x 13 to the top of the pan, so it makes a lot. When I make this for just my family, I half the recipe; still using a 9 x 13 pan and the pieces are just not as tall.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Works for me Wednesday



Wednesday means it's time for Works for me Wednesday with Kristen. To see more tips visit her blog at We are THAT Family.


I found a new pre-treater for my laundry! Oxy Clean Max Force Gel stick was on sale and I decided to try it. I can honestly say it works better that any pre-treatment I've used in the past. It's a gel so it really sticks to the clothing, and it has little nubs on top which work well for rubbing it in. Heather had some uniforms that had grease stains in, which had gone through the wash and dryer and it took them out! It's worked really well on other everyday spots too, saving a few things I thought were ruined. Try it out - it works for me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amazing LEGO Creation

I bet most of you have made a few LEGO houses at some point. I've made a few myself. They were always quite simple; 4 walls, a door, a few windows and a roof if I was doing well.
Here is a Lego church that is incredible! Here are a few facts about it:

How long to build? 1 1/2 years of planning, building and photographing.
How may LEGO pieces are in it? Over 75,000!
How big is it? 7 feet by 5 1/2 feet by 30 inches.
How many people are in it? 1,372

It features a balcony, a narthex, stairs to the balcony, a restroom, coat room, several mosaics, a cross, a baptismal, a pulpit and an elaborate pipe organ.






Can you imagine putting this together? The details are amazing. I noticed there are even chandeliers!


* Be sure to stop by my recipe blog to sign up for the $50 CSN giveaway. I'll be drawing a winner on Tuesday night!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Happy Heart


I was in my car recently when something on the radio caught my attention. The disc jockeys were reading cute things that kids had said. One of them was about a little 4 year old boy, who was talking to his Mom. She was telling him how much she loved him and asked him if he knew what that meant. He said he thought he did and said he loved her too, because when she was home, it made his heart happy!
I thought that was a pretty cute explanation, but it also made me think about the way we make the people around us feel. Do we make their hearts happy with the way we act? Does the way we do our jobs bring a smile to our co-workers faces? Do we add joy to the lives of our families or do we take away their smiles? And - does our own happy heart show on our face?

"A joyful heart makes a cheerful face." Proverbs 15:13

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Daisy Shop!

My Friend Kayren from Everything's Coming Up Daisies is opening an Etsy shop. She is using the cutest facrics and making tote bags, fabric covered notebooks, notecards, zippered pouches and magnets. Stop over at her shop here, and stop at her blog to register for a giveaway. Check it out - you'll love her stuff!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Transformer Owl

My son recently posted this video on his Facebook, and I laughed out loud while watching it. I've never seen anything like this! This is only a little over two minutes long and I dare you to watch it without laughing!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cooking Thursday


Sandra, from Diary of a SAHM is hosting Cooking Thursday again.
I have one of the easiest chicken recipes ever! I can come home from work and have this in the oven in about 5 minutes! The chicken is moist and tasty, and on top of that, it's healthy!


Salsa Chicken

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breast (5 or 6)
1 jar salsa - any type
shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place chicken breasts in shallow baking pan. Pour salsa over and around the chicken.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Take out, remove foil and sprinkle cheese over chicken.
Place back into oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

*Stop at my recipe blog to sign up for a $50 CSN stores, gift certificate giveaway!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

After several weeks of not doing Works for Me Wednesday due to vacation and vacation posts, I've come back with another tip. It's something new I tried because of our vacation!

We were getting ready for our little trip to Pennsylvania, and were booking things online. In an attempt to keep the costs down, we decided to try using Priceline; choose your own price. Neither Cheri or I had used it before, because you have to commit before you know exactly what hotel you are getting.
When you use Priceline, you choose the dates you want, an area you want to stay in, what star hotel you want to stay in and you give a price you are willing to pay. You then put your credit card info in and see what comes up.
We decided we would put in a really low number, and if it was accepted we were just hoping it was a good place. We chose the highest star available, which included Marriot, Holiday Inn, Indigo...
Well - it accepted our price! We quickly checked to see what Hotel it was and found it was the Lancaster Marriott Convention Center.
Here is what it looked like:

We were on the 17th floor.


This is the lobby.


More of the lobby - it was huge! There were 3 different convention halls in this area.


This was our room, it was very nice, with a huge bathroom.


How do you like this pool? There was also a spa!


This was the view from our room at night.

If we had booked this room on line, it would have cost us $165 a night. We got it through Priceline for $65 a night! This really saved us some money and I'll be using it again!
For more tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Product review - CSN Stores

Any of you who regularly read blogs, have to have heard of CSN Stores. One click and you are connected to over 200 stores, where you can find most anything you need. They have furniture, housewares, office equipment and even specific needs like LED lighting!


Here is an example of the lighting...


and some bakeware...


There are even things for your pets!

The good people at CSN have asked me to do a review of one of their products. Be watching for the product I choose and what I have to say about it!
They are also offering a giveaway for the readers of my recipe and my photo blog. Be sure to watch both of those spots this week, so you can sign up!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A day at the Campground

My sister Terri was camping last week and invited me to come spend my day off with her.
This campground is on the beach of Lake Michigan between Holland and Grand Haven. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Heather had the day off and came with me. Here are a few pictures of our walk to the beach.

This area overlooks the beach. On the day we were there, they were setting up chairs and an arch for a wedding that would be happening that night. It's such a beautiful setting for a wedding!



I took this from the big deck at the top of the hill. Blue water, blue sky and sunshine!



I took this from the stairs going down to the beach. Love that dune grass!


They have this fence in places along the dunes to stop erosion. This one has seen better days, but I love the weathered look.

Heather and Terri's daughters spent several hours on the beach, and Heather got quite burned in spite of putting sunscreen on. Terri and I sat in the shade and talked, so I got no tan, but I'm not burned either! It was a nice relaxing day - thanks Terri!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sphenopalatineganglioneuralgia



Sphenopalatineganglioneuralgia.

30 letters and it's one of the longest words in the English language. I bet you don't know what it means. (I didn't either!)
It means brain freeze, something I think we have all experienced. If you would like to have that feeling again, stop by your local 7 Eleven on July 11 and get a 7.11 ounce Slurpee. Slurpee turns 44 on that day and participating stores will be giving them away free, from 8am to 11 pm!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our friend, Alice

I've got no more pictures of our trip to share with you, but I have to share a few stories with you. When I've talked about this trip, I only told you that my sister Cheri and I went. I neglected to tell you about Alice. Yes - Alice came too. We thought she was our friend, but by the time we came home we weren't so sure. Alice spent a lot of time talking to us in the car, and sometimes we talked back. Who is Alice? Alice is what we named the GPS.



The first day of our trip was quite uneventful. Alice was on her best behavior, faithfully telling us to turn left, stay on the same path, etc. The first sign of trouble came that night as we looked for our hotel. We were in Pittsburgh and we gave the address to Alice. She started us toward the hotel, but then we ran into a closed road. Usually when you go off track, the GPS will redirect you. This time, even when we drove a distance away, she kept bringing us back to the same closed road. There weren't detour signs to follow and it was getting darker. We ended up in a part of town that didn't look to great, but finally made it to the hotel. We gave Alice a break that night because we figured the closed road wasn't her fault.
The next day she took us on a detour of her own. She had us turn down a road that we wondered about, but we followed her instructions. We found ourselves in a campground. As we followed the instructions she led us through the campground and back out, like it was her plan all along.
After this, other strange things started to happen. We would be driving, Alice would tell us to turn. Immediately upon turning we would hear that familiar chime, followed by Alice saying "recalculating route". We would end up turning around and starting again.
Alice really acted up on our last day. We had checked the time of our drive home using her the night before. It was supposed to be about 11 1/2 hours. We were out of our hotel by 6:15. Imagine our surprise when Alice told us we wouldn't be home until 8:30 pm. Considering Alice's recent behavior, we were wondering where she was taking us!
You may wonder, as my husband did "why didn't you look at the map?" Well - it was in the trunk, in my suitcase! Not smart, I know.
So - we were at Alice's mercy. We started home, taking very short breaks along the way. We would gain a little time, only to lose it in construction, or a rain storm.
When we got near Lansing Michigan, Alice was telling us it would be another 3 hours. We knew at that point that it should be more like 1 1/2 hours. As we got closer to home, we saw that Alice was going to have us drive past our exit, go to Grand Haven Michigan, and then come back to Allendale. We gave her a lesson on that one, and showed her the quick route to get home!
Our drive home still took us about 13 1/2 hours which included our stops. Who knows what crazy route Alice took us on?
We decided that Alice is getting older and perhaps she has developed some dementia. We may not take her along next time!
* I have to tell you that we spent a lot of time laughing! What else can you do?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Longwood Gardens Part 2

Today I'm going to show you a few (or maybe more) pictures from our visit to Longwood Gardens.

It seems that around every corner there is another beautiful sight!



This is the Italian Water Gardens.

One of the things on the map they gave us was a Conservatory. We thought this was going to be a quick stop, thinking it would just be full of plants. As soon as we stepped in the door, we knew we were wrong!
This is the view from the doorway. This picture is deceiving because it doesn't show the true size. This place was huge. We loved the way the grass worked like carpet, and the pillars were covered with vines.


This is another view from the entrance.


This is the elevator in the Conservatory. Pretty classy, don't you think?


Vines and flowers were everywhere.



This is an example of some of the details. Everything was finished beautifully.


Inside the Conservatory was a section devoted to kids.
Each nook and cranny was filled with fun things to discover.


There were lots of fun fountains.


This water feature was inside a tower.


This little boy was having a great time playing in the water.


After finishing in the Conservatory we followed a path, where we were supposed to find a Chime Tower. Imagine our surprise when we rounded a corner and saw this view.
This was such a beautiful site; looking at that old tower and hearing the water splash.



This is the entrance to the tower and the spiral stone staircase inside. We climbed the tower and found an exit door at the top.
This was the last stop at the Gardens. It was a hot day and we were ready to get into our air conditioned car, but we agreed it was well worth the time it took to get there and the heat we walked around in. If you are ever in the area, you really need to stop here!