House Party Party Susieq's Fresch from the Silver Screen … powered by House Party

Yay! I've been selected to host a Silver Screen House Party!

I think we'll make this my DD's #12 birthday party, too! So fun!

Have you hosted a House Party? They are fun!

House Party Party Susieq's Fresch from the Silver Screen … powered by House Party

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough TLC Book Tour Review

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough 
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough
• Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (January 4, 2011)

Synopsis: Joanie’s ex-husband is having a baby with his new girlfriend. Joanie won’t be having more babies, since she’s decided never to have sex again.

But she still has her teenaged daughter Caroline to care for. And thanks to the recession, her elderly mother Ivy as well. Her daughter can’t seem to exist without texting, and her mother brags about “goggling,”-while Joanie, back in the workforce, is still trying to figure out her office computer. And how to fend off the advances of her coworker Bruce.

Joanie, Caroline, and Ivy are stuck under the same roof, and it isn’t easy. But sometimes they surprise each other-and themselves. And through their differences they learn that it is possible to undo the mistakes of the past.

My Take on the Book:  What a juicy hormone  packed book!  Put three women in one home, no man to buffer, and you get hormones of all sorts of levels flying all the time.  From laughing, fighting, ignoring, crying, yelling and on and on!  Half way into the book, I knew that I couldn't put the book down because I really needed to see where the author was taking these 3 generations.

I was skeptical that the ending would turn out for the good.  I was guessing someone was going to die, either by accident or on purpose. I was creating the ending in my head, which sadly I do all the time when I read.  I thought that a death would truly get the women that were left behind on the same hormone level for awhile.

Well I'm not going to tell you if someone died because that would giveaway entirely too much of this work of fiction!  I will tell you that if you don't read this book you will miss out on a witty, fun-filled multi-generational book that will take you to a new level on understanding of yourself and the other women that you live with or might have to live with in the future!

I recommend this book for older YA readers all the way to those who are grandmothers!  This little gem would make a great gift from any woman to another woman!  This book brings to light the relationships between mother and daughter, no matter your age, you will be able to related to it and identify your own strength and weaknesses in those relationships.  I don't have a mother but I am a mother to 3 daughters (1 tween and 2 teens).  The book stimulated me to think about our current relationship and what is to come in the future. 

If you are in a book club, this would be a great book for that, too!  I've been contemplating starting an online book club with some of my like-minded friends and this book would really be a great one to start it off.  I'm a HUGE fan of books that include a readers guide, and of course, this one does!

One last note on this book.  I love the illustration on the cover.  It is of 3 birds on a wire.  Once I read the book, it all made sense and gave me a huge chuckle! 

Check out the video of the author!  She will tell you more about the 3 main characters!

About Ruth Pennebaker
Ruth Pennebaker writes about women’s issues, families, marriage, aging, politics, and anything else that interests her at her popular The Fabulous Geezersisters blog.

She’s also the Urban Cowgirl columnist at the Texas Observer, an occasional commentator at KUT public radio in Austin, and the author of three acclaimed young adult novels. Her work has appeared in nationwide publications, including The New York Times, McCall’s, Redbook and other newspapers and magazines. She lives in Austin with her mad scientist husband, their cat, Lefty, and the accumulation of stuff from their two emerging-adult children.
 Thanks to TLC Book Tours for proving a book for me to be included in this Book Tour!


Mini Chocolate Chip Zucchini Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

If you love baking with zucchini then you must try this Zucchini Chocolate Chip recipe! This is made using the Amish Friendship Bread Starter (click to get recipe) which adds extra something special to this recipe. Currently this is my most requested amish friendship bread variation to bake. It is perfect for summer because of all the zucchini.

Here are some photos and the recipe!  Enjoy! In case you just got here and haven't been following along, I have 10 days worth of Amish Friendship Bread Starter and Recipes, here!

Zucchini Mini Chocolate Chip Friendship Bread 

Yields two loaves

- 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup grated zucchini, excess liquid removed
- 1 cup chocolate chips (we use mini chips)
- 1-2 boxes instant pudding dry mix (any flavor and we used vanilla)


1. Preheat over to 325° F.
2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Mix well.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. Mix well.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly fold in the wet ingredients, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
5. Add the chocolate chips.
6. Bake for one hour in a well greased pan or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.  

Kitchen Note:  EXTRA STEP: If you want a smooth top bread don't add anything to the top before baking.  If you want a crackly top, sprinkle on a light layer of sugar before baking.  Since this makes two loaves, I did one with and one without sugar!


Drinking Closer to Home Review with TLC Book Tours

 Drinking Closer to Home: A Novel (P.S.)About Drinking Closer to Home

• Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (January 18, 2011)

Synopsis from the back of the book:  There is nothing like ten days with one's family to stir up child hood memories.  When Anna, Portia, and Emery's mother, Louise, suffers a massive heart attack, the three grown children return to Santa Barbara as they wait for Louise to either recover or die.
Anna can't stop thinking about sex with strangers, though in junior high she was terrifyingly certain that her free-loving parents had syphilis.  Portia's beach-bunny teen years feel far away as she struggles in an unfaithful husband who has left her feeling boneless and unsure.  And though Emery's greatest childhood fear was that The Law would catch up with their parents for any one of their numerous  transgressions, now his only worry is that he won't be able to create his own family, a newer, better version that will trump the chaos that ruled his childhood.

But time together also brings to the surface some painful, often heartbreaking secrets that will shake the foundations of everything the siblings know about themselves and their family- secrets that may, perhaps, change the way they view the past as well as the future.
My Take on the Book:  Can you say dysfunctional? This book took me on a secret journey into the lives of this family.  I say secret because there were so many secrets exposed that one would need a shrink on staff to deal with.  I was amazed at the work the author did to weave such a heartbreaking tale of the lives of these characters. 
This book is not a light read.  It is for adults as it contained adult behaviors and situations that would not been appropriate, in my opinion of course, for YA to read.  I say this because my YA are always looking for new reads.  
The abuse and dysfunction was almost unbearable at times but in the end, as in any traumatic situation, you can come out a stronger person.  I personally grew up in dysfunction so some of this book hit home for me and I could relate to the abuse, shock and discovery.  So my perspective on the book might be different from someone who had never encounter such dysfunction.  

The book made me cry and laugh and cheer and made me angry at times. I never wanted to stop reading because I had to see where the author was taking the family.  This type of book has to be written by someone who really has some first hand experience into some of the secrets exposed.   As a survivor I can say that I loved the book and I hope you will grab a copy and join in and see what you will discover with this family.


About Jessica Anya Blau

Jessica Anya Blau is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she received her Masters in fiction. Currently, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Goucher College in Maryland. She has been awarded scholarships from Bread Loaf and The Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and fellowships from Johns Hopkins University and Sewanee. Her stories have won numerous awards and have appeared in notable magazines and anthologies, as well as the textbook The Prose Reader, Essays for Thinking. Jessica’s first novel, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, was selected as a Best Summer Reading Book by the Today Show, the New York Post and New York Magazine. The San Francisco Chronicle, along with other major newspapers, chose The Summer of Naked Swim Parties as a Best Book of 2008.
Find out more about Jessica at her website, and follow her on Facebook!

Stop in and see what others are saying about Jessica’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

 Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a book for me to read so that I could participate in this book tour! 

Amish Friendship Bread Starter and Day 10 with Recipes

Thanks to all who have been following along the 10 days of Amish Friendship Bread Starter !  I hope that you have enjoyed the experiment.  I really enjoyed taking daily photos of the starter.  I was amazed to see that every day it looked a little bit different! Now it is time to finish up and bake with your Amish Friendship Bread Starter.

Day 10 is, by far, the most anticipated day ever because you get to bake!  This bread is the easiest, tastiest sweet bread around. There are a gazillion different variation and this has been passed down, around and back & forth for 50 plus years. Some say that the Girl Scouts started this but no one really knows.

Ten Days of Starter!

Day 1 Receive Starter or click to get the recipe to make your own! 
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - stir Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar and milk (or do it on Day 6 either is fine)
Day 6 -stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir
Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and a recipe for baking the bread. 

I always hear comments like, "oh my mom use to make that when I was a kid" or even, "my grandma always had a starter going so she could share bread with those who visited her during the week," and the funniest comment I've heard, "please don't share your starter with me!" This of course means, I'm trying to diet and if I get started on the bread I won't be able to stop! 

Pop on over to the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Box and find something to bake with your new starter. Make sure that you you share my blog address with those new starters, too, so your family and friends can come here and get all these variations.


Amish Friendship Bread Starter and Day 9 with Recipes

Welcome to day 9 of the Amish Friendship Bread Starter!  I hope your starter is looking as pretty and bubbly as mine!  Let me know if it isn't! Today is the last day of letting it sit and then tomorrow is baking day. Congrats on making it this far. I hope that you have found this as a very easy project. For us the most difficult part is waiting the full 10 days before baking! 

Have you decide which recipe you plan on baking? Click below for the recipe box with some of our family favorites. 

Once you have the starter establish you do not need to make the starter with yeast on day 1. With your starter you can now bake every 10 days or so. If you find that you aren't going to bake at least every 2 week you can freezer the starter in the 1 cup portions.

Ten Days of Starter!

Day 1 Receive Starter or click to get the recipe to make your own! 
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - stir Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar and milk (or do it on Day 6 either is fine)
Day 6 -stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir
Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and a recipe for baking the bread. 

Click over to check out all the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Variations in my Recipe Box. Happy Baking, friend!

Bamboo Tea Chest Review & Giveaway

Full disclosure here and now! I can not tell a lie! I am a coffee fan and I usually do coffee reviews on my blog.  I mean, really, I have a problem with coffee! I have to drink it every day.  So why am I doing a tea review? Well I'm not a 100% coffee snob! I personally enjoy other drinks like, tea, water, juice, fun drinks with cute umbrellas and the like! Everyone else in my home are tea drinkers with the occasional coffee.

I was thrilled to get a chance, as a family, to review tea from two leaves and a bud.  You must go and check out their website! It is awesome!  It is very easy to manage and everything is clean, sharp and well designed. 

Here are some of our favorites teas.  I love the smell of each and every tea I opened. 

 *Organic Mountain High Chai- spiced black tea
 *Organic Earl Grey
 *Alpine Berry- Herbal tea with no caffeine 
 *Organic White Peony- white tea with light caffeine
 *Jasmine Tea- Green tea scented with jasmine 
 *Organic Better Rest Blend-Herbal tea with no caffeine
 *Organic Better Belly Blend-Herbal tea with no caffeine 
 *Tropical Goji Green- Green tea, light caffeine, goji berries and tropical flavors
 *Organic Gen Mai Cha- Green tea, light caffeine with roasted rice 

Each tea packet has the recommended tea steep time and caffeine level.  The website also has a tea by caffeine tab which I absolutely love! The tea sachet and sleeve is biodegradable.  

I love all the teaware, gifts and goodies, too! This site is perfect for tea drinkers and for those needing to purchase gifts for tea drinkers!  Here is something I found and it is now is on my wish list to buy! Click to see more about it: 
Ok are you ready for a giveaway?  How would you like to win a Fully stocked bamboo tea chest ($89.95 value)???


1 Fully stocked bamboo tea chest
Ends 2/1/2011

To enter giveaway: Follow my blog via Facebook or GFC (both on right sidebar).  Do one or both for 1 entry each and leave your email addy with this entry.  If you do not want to post it on the comment page then please email me at cafescrapper@gmail.com  

BONUS ENTRIES: (leave separate comments for each entry you earn)

1) Go to two leaves and a bud and check out  “Who We Are”.
Come back and tell me something you read for 10 bonus entries 

2) Follow me on Networked blogs, RSS feed and Twitter (right side bar) 2 entries each leave comment and follow name

3) Follow two leaves and a bud on Facebook and Twitter 2 entries each & leave comment and follow name

4) Leave a comment on any of my blog post or enter any giveaways 2 entries each & leave comment

5) Tweet "I'm in to win a loaded Bamboo Tea Chest ($89.95) at Scraps of Life "

Disclosure: The sponsor sent tea samples for my family to review. I chose to post a review using my own tasty words. They will mail out the giveaway item to the winner.

The Death Instinct TLC Book Tours Review

About The Death Instinct

• Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (January 20, 2011)

A spellbinding story of war and love, revenge and terror, and the darkest secrets of the human soul, by the author of the million-copy bestseller The Interpretation of Murder.

Book Description (provided):  New York, 1920. World War I is over. But the Roaring Twenties have not yet arrived. Factories are closing, families are losing their homes. Jobless men are forbidden to drink by the new Prohibition laws. The streets of Manhattan teem with seething resentments and inarticulate passions. Wall Street … explodes. It is the most destructive and deadly terrorist attack ever committed on United States soil. 
Caught in the blast are war veteran Stratham Younger, police detective Jimmy Littlemore, and the beautiful but secretive Colette Rousseau. A mysterious trail of evidence, together with a series of inexplicable attacks on Colette and a secret buried deep in her past, lead the three on a harrowing but thrilling journey from Paris to Prague, from the roof of the world’s tallest skyscraper to the secret underground vaults of the U.S. Treasury, from the Vienna home of Sigmund Freud to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.  As the frightening, seemingly disjointed pieces of the puzzle come together, Younger and Littlemore unravel Colette’s secret – and the shocking truth behind the terror in Wall Street.

Set against the backdrop of the devastating Wall Street bombing of September, 1920 – a real historical event that remains unsolved to this day – The Death Instinct expertly blends fact and fiction, killing and passion, suspense and adventure in a page-turning thriller about the hidden depths of our most savage instincts.

My Take on the book:  WOW what a book!  This book was really intense.  I love a good mystery and even a bigger fan of historical fiction with a twist of mystery.  I knew very little about this 1920's event and was blown away by all the provided background information.  I didn't realize that the bombers were never identified.   The author did his research on this one!

The three main characters were very well defined and drew me into their mysterious trail.   The author used historical knowledge, fictional twist and turns as well as the use of  Sigmund Freud,  Madame Curry and the end of WW1 to weave a terrific tale of pure international historical fiction.

If you are looking for light reading, this is not the book for you, in my opinion, of course!  I underestimated the book from the beginning. I was taking it as a light read and after about page 30 or around Chapter 3 I had to put the book down for a few days until I had more time to concentrate on book fully.  I usually read several books at once but this one required all of my attention.   I know that I'm leaving you with very little information on the book but it is so deep and full of historical, literary goodness that I know that I could not do the book justice by telling you anymore than you have already read!  Don't ya love a mystery???

I have never read his other novel, the international bestseller, The Interpretation of Murder. Have you?   It is now on my to-read list! 
Jed Rubenfeld is the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder. He is a professor at Yale University Law School and is one of the country’s foremost experts on constitutional law. He wrote his undergraduate thesis at Princeton University on Sigmund Freud. He lives in Connecticut with his family.

Disclosure: Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing me a copy of the book with my participation in the book tour.  Click to check out what other bloggers are saying about this book! I hope that they give you more content!


Who wants a $100 CSN Store Giveaway? ME!!!

I'm a huge fan of CSN Stores!  They have over 200 stores, hassle free returns and free shipping on most items! You can find anything from a laptop messenger bag to Rachael Ray's cookware.    I love hosting giveaways for my blog readers for CSN Stores. 

I"m always amazed at what items you can find to purchase through CSN Stores.  Before doing this post, I didn't even realize that they carried laptop messenger bags!  Over the past 6 months I have purchased cookware, wall art decals, a cast iron pan and more! 

Have you ever ordered from CSN stores? If so what did you order?  Go check out CSN stores and start looking around for what you would spend $100 on if you won!  I'll post the giveaway on Friday!!! 

Grounds for Change Coffee Review

Coffee Coffee and more Coffee!  Yummy! 

I was sent a 3-Pack coffee gifts Sampler from Grounds for Change coffee to Review!  Grounds for Change is a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest. They roast their 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that their customers receive the freshest coffee possible.

The three coffee's in my sampler included:

1) Peru "Cafe Femenino":  Dark roast, chocolate aroma and grown by women! I loved the clean, low acidity of this darker roast coffee. It was my favorite of all that I sampled! I'm a huge dark roast fan so this one was rockin' sweet in my coffee cup!

2) Agate Pass Blend: Medium-Dark roast, rich full body with a syrupy finish.  This coffee has caramel, almond and chocolate notes.  It is a smooth,  anytime coffee.  I like to drink this one after dinner when I'm needing something extra after a fine meal.

3) Mexico "Cafe Femenino":  Medium roast, bright and clean, nutty flavor and grown by women!  I enjoyed this coffee in the morning.  

Click to read more about the women coffee growers! Very fascinating! If you are a coffee drinker or buy gifts for coffee lovers, their site is for YOU!  They have coffee, coffee gifts, coffee of the month club and more! Go check them out!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Gamewright Games Press Release

My family loves playing games!  We are always being asked to list our favorite games.  This is difficult to do because we like most of our  games for different reasons!  Certain games are played depending on our mood, time and the people playing!   Do you have favorites? 

One of my favorite companies is Gamewright Games! They are releasing 8 new games!  Read their press release below on some of the new games!

Are you familiar with them?  I've posted reviews on two of their games; Forbidden Island  (Top 10 game) and Luck of the Draw.

Emily Giurleo
Marketing Coordinator
Ceaco & Gamewright

Subscribe to our blog: http://gamewright.wordpress.com

Gamewright's 2011 lineup (more to come shortly!). Our latest and greatest will be unveiled at NY Toy Fair next month. We'll have 8 new games, including Mermaid Beach, a kid-invented card game inspired by the ocean. These details and more can also be found on Gamewright’s new GameBlog.


Splish Splash!™
The Game That's Swimming With Fun!
2 – 4 players * Ages 4+
Jump right into this lively game that’s sure to make a splash! Roll the die and then drop the wooden pebble into the pond. Did any colorful shapes splash out? If so, match them up to your playing board. Be the first to fill up your board and then dry off with a win!
Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011
Mermaid Beach™
A Very Splashy Card Game
2 – 5 players * Ages 6+
Soak up the fun down at Mermaid Beach! Swim along with Swirly Shirley, Betsy Bubbles, Rip Rider, and a colorful cast of undersea characters as you try to collect the most seashell cards. Watch out for sneaky waves and icky seaweed along the way. Most of all - don’t get caught holding the sea monster at the end of the game!
Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011
City Square Off™
Plan to Win
2 players or teams * Ages 8+
Go head-to-head against your opponent in this tactical game of city planning. Draw a shape card and then simultaneously try to fit the matching tile into your city grids. Plot wisely, as you must always have space to play your next piece. Build your city without going over the limits and consider yourself the master planner!
Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011
The Switching, Swapping, and Swiping Card Game
2 - 5 players * Ages 8+
Flip out for this colorful card game of back-to-back excitement! Switch, swap, and flip cards in order to get at least four-of-a-kind in a row. Sounds easy, but the cards in your hand are not necessarily your own! Every card is double-sided, so anyone can take and use any card in sight. Collect the most cards and, no matter how you look at it, you win!
Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: PRE-ORDER NOW!
Knock Your Blocks Off™
The Game of Wall-to-Wall Fun
2 – 4 players * Ages 8+
Stack ‘em up … Knock ‘em down! First, race to build a structure by matching up the patterns on your blocks. Then use the demolition die to knock off your opponent's crown! Depending on your roll, you may get to attack with an avalanche of boulders, a wall-smashing ogre, or even a fire-breathing dragon! Rack up the most victory points and crown yourself king of the block.
Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011

Amish Friendship Bread Starter and Day 8 with Recipes

Welcome to day 8 of the Amish Friendship Bread Starter!  I hope that your starter is looking as pretty and bubbly as mine!  Let me know if it isn't! Amish Friendship bread is one of the easiest starters and bread recipes to make. It is perfect for both new bakers and seasoned bakers.

The starter is very forgiving so if you forget to squish the bag or stir daily it will still turn out alright! Relax and have fun with it! Soon you will have fresh bread to eat and share. 

Ten Days of Starter!

Day 1 Receive Starter or click to get the recipe to make your own! 
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - stir Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar and milk (or do it on Day 6 either is fine)
Day 6 -stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir
Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and a recipe for baking the bread.

Click over to check out all the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Variations in my Recipe Box. Happy Baking, friend!


Amish Friendship Bread Starter and Day 7 with Recipes

Today is Day 7 of the Amish Friendship Bread Starter!  Isn't it pretty??? Well really it looks pretty gross but after stirring it was back to normal. Most people store their starter in zip lock bags. I sometimes have mine in a glass or plastic container. The zip lock bag is easy and all you have to do is squish the bag. It does have to be watched because the bag traps in extra air and can pop open.

How is your starter? Is this the first one you made? Who are you going to pass your extra starters on to? This is the time to make sure that you have 1 gallon zip lock bags to pass on your starter on the 10th day. 

Ten Days of Starter!

Day 1 Receive Starter or click to get the recipe to make your own! 
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - stir Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar and milk (or do it on Day 6 either is fine)
Day 6 -stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir
Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and a recipe for baking the bread.

Click over to check out all the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Variations in my Recipe Box. Happy Baking, friend!

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