Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick and Easy Christmas Cookbook Giveaway with Gooseberry Patch

Quick & Easy Christmas
Hey cookbook fans!  I have a new cookbook, yet to be released from Gooseberry Patch.  It is set to be released mid June.  I will be doing a giveaway and reviewing some of the tasty recipes over the next two weeks! 

I need your help!  There are 6 chapters in the book and 224 yummy pages. The top 3 chapters that you tell me you want to know more about is where I will cook from! 

Here are the chapters:
#1 Breakfast & Brunch
#2 Snacks & Appetizers
#3 Soups, Sides & Salads
#4 Mains
#5 Desserts
#6 Slow Cooker

If you participate in the voting, I will give you bonus entries into the actually giveaway.  Just leave a comment below on your top 3 choices. 

Thank you!! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

U Follow Me I Follow U Friday Blog Hop & Giveaway

Welcome to Follow Friday! My hop is very easy!  Follow Me, leave a comment on how you are following me and I will follow back!  Leave your link to anything you want- your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Favorite post, Giveaway,etc.  Up to you! Either way I'll come visit!  If you want the button it is down at the bottom of my blog so feel free to use it on your blog.

This week I'm going to pick a random blog that linked up to co-host with me next week.  So link, follow and comment! That simple!

While you are here check out my newest favorite Avon Consultant, Helen's Habitat !  She is a fun & energetic and wants to offer one of my readers lipstick!  I'm a huge lipstick wearer and Avon has a Healthy makeup line.  I tried the line for lips that comes with a lip conditioner.  The Healthy Make up line has "beauty with benefits" which include extra moisture, smoothness and radiance. The lipstick has vitamin A, E & B Complex and SPF 15.

You can get the Healthy Make up lipstick in tube form or  lip cream that comes in lip gloss form.  I personally love wearing both types of lipstick.  For my review, I tried the lipstick tube.  It is a very smooth, soft lipstick. I love the medium coverage and no feathering.  Perfect for me!  How about you? Which would you choose?
GIVEAWAY-quick Mother's Day special
Pick your stick! Ends TUESDAY May 3rd
USA

Mandatory Entry: Look at the two pictures above and tell me which color and style you want. This will be what Helen will order for you!  Leave your email address with this entry.  (You just might get more with this giveaway...it is a surprise by Helen)

Bonus Entries:
1) Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter or Networked blogs. All ways to follow are on right side bar.  2 entries for each follow and leave separate entries for each one!

2) Go check out Helen's Habitat blog, it is new, and leave a comment on one of her post.  Come back here and let me know where you left your comment.  This is unlimited and you get 2 entries per comment.

3) Link up in the below U FOLLOW ME FOLLOW U link up for an extra bonus entry! Leave a comment so that I know you linked up!
The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email at the close of the giveaway to receive it by Mother's Day. 

LINK UP

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prince William and Catherine Middleton Wedding and 15 wedding planning tips

 Sound the trumpets! After eight long years, Prince William and Catherine ("Waitie Katie") Middleton will walk down the aisle Friday in a fairytale wedding. Contrary to all the pomp and circumstance, the happy couple actually lead a very modest life in a $1,200-a-month farmhouse in Angsley, Wales. If William wasn't heir to the throne, one gets the feeling they might plan a more intimate and reasonably priced affair. That doesn't mean they'd have to forgo all the bells and whistles, however.

If you're planning a wedding and would like to exchange vows in a more royal fashion on a limited budget, read on for 15 tips to help you tie the knot in style without sacrificing your savings.

1. The Proposal
Prince William took Kate all the way to Kenya to propose over a champagne dinner. While you can't replicate the location, you could pop for champagne and cook your own dinner. If you're looking for something a bit more romantic, try Michael Scott's incredibly romantic, candle-laden proposal on "The Office."

2. Princely Invitations
The royal invite is a relatively simple 8-inch-by-6-inch card that says the Lord Chamberlain has been "commanded by the Queen" to invite the holder to the wedding. Eliminating all the extra envelopes, tissue paper and fuss of traditional invites is both very modern and much less expensive. To save even more, opt to create the invite on your home computer or visit sites like PrintRunner.com which offer easy-to-follow directions on custom wedding invitation cards.

3. Pre-marital Counseling
Once the question has been popped, it's wise to seek a bit of advice. The royal couple will meet with both the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but you can turn to your own spiritual adviser or check with your county mental-health center for a recommendation to a counselor who charges on a sliding scale.

4. Wedding Rings
The royal couple will exchange wedding rings made with gold from Wales' Clogau Mine. William is also having Kate's ring engraved inside, a sentiment common couples can easily duplicate. For an excellent price on rings, check out pawnshops and discount jewelry merchants, like Amazon. Watch for promo codes for even more savings on jewelry.

5. Teeth Whitening
Want to know a secret? Kate donned invisible braces and had her teeth whitened for the wedding. (She also lost weight, but that's another topic.) One of the cheapest ways to purchase a teeth-whitening session is via one of the group-buying services, such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Otherwise, try a more affordable drugstore product like Crest White Strips to make your smile dazzle on the big day

6. Flowers
Catherine's floral selection is easy to duplicate as she's planned a white pallet reminiscent of an English garden. While hot-house flowers are nice, it's much less expensive if you ask a variety of friends to share the bounty of their backyard gardens. Or you might use silk flowers, which can be repurposed to decorate your happy new home.

7. Bouquets
Queen Victoria created a tradition when she included a bit of myrtle in her bouquet to symbolize "constancy in affection and duty." Her highness later planted the sprig so future brides could share a piece of her bouquet. Not only is this an inexpensive and lovely idea but planting the sprig is very eco-friendly.

8. Tuxes
An all-tuxedo ensemble at the altar has become rather passe. Follow Prince William's lead and wear your military uniform, or go your own way with a simple suit. Don't have a suit? Thrift shops have some surprisingly good deals on quality jackets, pants and two-piecers.

9. Dresses
Lucky Catherine has her choice of gowns, from Vera Wang to J. Crew, and she can wear what she likes as there's no protocol on bridal wear. Everyday brides, however, can save by renting, borrowing or hitting second-hand shops. For those looking for a gown online or in-store, plan to buy discount gift cards before checking out to help lower the cost by up to 30-percent off.

10. Tiaras
Not everyone wants to wear a tiara, but it would be hard to forgo this headwear if, like Kate, you could chose from 80 stunning tiaras in the royal family collection. Brides who want to look more like a princess than a pauper might check out costume shops for realistic-looking tiaras at rock-bottom prices.

11. Music
Princess Diana rode to her wedding in a glass carriage. Trumpets sounded upon her arrival and three choirs serenaded her walk down the aisle. While that might be overdoing it just a touch for your wedding, there's no reason you can't replicate the sound with recorded music. For a more personal touch, ask a friend to play and sing.

12. Location
Commoners might find it difficult to fill St. Paul's Cathedral, but you don't want to overlook the many low-budget locations open to you. A nice backyard, local church, public park, community garden, historical building on your local university campus...there's no end to low-cost locations if you begin to think outside the box.

13. After Parties
Queen Elizabeth is hosting an intimate luncheon for 700 at Buckingham Palace, then the oldsters will clear out and 400 of the younger guests will enjoy an evening of dining and dancing. While you might need to scale down the numbers, you can follow the same blueprint. Hold a small champagne reception directly after the wedding for the senior crowd and, if you'd like to go really low cost, a potluck dinner followed by dancing to your favorite iTunes.

14. Honeymoon
Princess Diana and Prince Charles spent their honeymoon in Hampshire, England, but it looks like Kate and William will head to equally chilly Canada. Not all of us have a former colony to tour, but we can get away for a nice hiking weekend or time at a friend's cottage. If your budget has been destroyed by the wedding itself, there's always the option of a staycation. Turn off the phones and computers and turn your home into a spa, movie theater or whatever suits your fancy. Just don't tell anyone where you are.

15. Trousseau
Despite having a millionaire's bank book, Kate is an economical clothes shopper, which can't be easy when you have to wear all those hats. The soon-to-be-princess also doubles her wardrobe by sharing with her sister. You can follow Kate's tips or hit thrift shops, second-hand stores and the big boxes for your trousseau. Target, in particular, has a comparatively upscale clothing selection at very reasonable prices.

The article was provided by Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch.  She is available to share "How to Throw a Royal Wedding on a Pauper's Budget" with your audience for an in-studio, satellite or skype interview. Andrea has been featured on NBC's Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ABC News NOW and many more as a media expert source. To view recent interviews or find more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com. No compensation was provided.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Recipe Round up! Join in with Gooseberry Patch

Have a favorite CHICKEN recipe?
Link up with today's Recipe Round-Up!
Here's one to inspire you from Almost Homemade...
it's our Cookbook of the Week!
Cornbread-Stuffed Roast Chicken
Shared by Nancy Wise from Little Rock, Arkansas, this recipe makes such a flavorful dish for your family and it's special enough for company too...they'll never know how easy it really is!

Almosthomemade 2 c. sliced mushrooms
4 T. butter, divided
1-1/2 c. water
4 T. Dijon mustard, divided
1-1/4 t. dried thyme, divided
6-oz. pkg. cornbread stuffing mix
3-1/2 lb. chicken

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in water, 3 tablespoons mustard and 1/4 teaspoon thyme; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in stuffing mix and spoon loosely into chicken. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Melt remaining butter in a small saucepan. Stir in remaining mustard and thyme; brush over chicken. Cover chicken loosely with aluminum foil and bake for one hour at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 6.
Link up YOUR chicken recipes below and,
if you're joining this hop, link back here
by using our handy button below.
GBPRecipeRoundUp

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! Come link up


Welcome to Feeding Four's Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!

  If you leave a comment to let me know how you are following me I will follow back! Thank you.

How to Participate:

Follow the hostesses located in the first and second spots - Feeding Four (click to visit and get the blog hop button) and SusieQTpies Scraps of Life Blog (This is ME!). If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know how you are following me and I will follow back. All my ways to follow are on my right side bar- Email, GFC, Facebook, Twitter and Networked Blogs.
  • If you want, create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar if you want to!
  • Enter your information into the linkup below.
  • Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!
(While you are here, I have giveaways in the upper right hand side bar and TASTY recipes in the tab labeled "SusieQTpies Personal Recipes" *IF YOU enter any of my giveaways today give yourself 5 "Friendly Wednesday" bonus entries!!!!) 

Playing in Grandma's Attic Book Review & First Wild Card Tour

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

David C. Cook (April 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Karen Davis, Assistant Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Arleta Richardson grew up in a Chicago hotel under her grandmother’s care. As they sat overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan, her grandmother shared memories of her childhood on a Michigan farm. These treasured family stories became the basis for the Grandma’s Attic Series.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Remember when you were a child, when the entire world was new, and the smallest object a thing of wonder? Arleta Richardson remembered: the funny wearable wire contraption hidden in the dusty attic, the century-old schoolchild’s slate that belonged to Grandma, an ancient trunk filled with quilt pieces—each with its own special story—and the button basket, a miracle of mysteries. But best of all she remembered her remarkable grandmother who made magic of all she touched, bringing the past alive as only a born storyteller could.

So step inside the attic of Richardson’s grandmother. These stories will keep you laughing while teaching you valuable lessons. These marvelous tales faithfully recalled for the delight of young and old alike are a touchstone to another day when life was simpler, perhaps richer, and when the treasures of family life and love were passed from generation to generation by a child’s questions and the legends that followed enlarged our faith. These timeless stories were originally released in 1974 and then revised in 1999. They are being re-released with new artwork that will appeal to a new generation of girls.


Product Details:

In Grandma's Attic:

List Price: $6.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781403790
ISBN-13: 978-0781403795

More Stories from Grandma's Attic:

List Price: $6.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 3 edition (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780781403801
ISBN-13: 978-0781403801
ASIN: 0781403804


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

In Grandma’s Attic – Chapter 1


Pride Goes Before a Fall

“Grandma, what is this?”


Grandma looked up from her work. “Good lands, child, where did you find that?”


“In the attic,” I replied. “What is it, Grandma?”


Grandma chuckled and answered, “That’s a hoop. The kind that ladies wore under their skirts when I was a little girl.”


“Did you ever wear one, Grandma?” I asked.


Grandma laughed. “Indeed I did,” she said. “In fact, I wore that very one.”


Here, I decided, must be a story. I pulled up the footstool and prepared to listen. Grandma looked at the old hoop fondly.


“I only wore it once,” she began. “But I kept it to remind me how painful pride can be.”


I was about eight years old when that hoop came into my life. For months I had been begging Ma to let me have a hoopskirt like the big girls wore. Of course that was out of the question. What would a little girl, not even out of calicoes, be doing with a hoopskirt? Nevertheless, I could envision myself walking haughtily to school with the hoopskirt and all the girls watching enviously as I took my seat in the front of the room.


This dream was shared by my best friend and seatmate, Sarah Jane. Together we spent many hours picturing ourselves as fashionable young ladies in ruffles and petticoats. But try as we would, we could not come up with a single plan for getting a hoopskirt of our very own.


Finally, one day in early spring, Sarah Jane met me at the school grounds with exciting news. An older cousin had come to their house to visit, and she had two old hoops that she didn’t want any longer. Sarah Jane and I could have them to play with, she said. Play with, indeed! Little did that cousin know that we didn’t want to play with them. Here was the answer to our dreams. All day, under cover of our books, Sarah Jane and I planned how we would wear those hoops to church on Sunday.


There was a small problem: How would I get that hoop into the house without Ma knowing about it? And how could either of us get out of the house with them on without anyone seeing us? It was finally decided that I would stop by Sarah Jane’s house on Sunday morning. We would have some excuse for walking to church, and after her family had left, we would put on our hoops and prepare to make a grand entrance at the church.


“Be sure to wear your fullest skirt,” Sarah Jane reminded me. “And be here early. They’re all sure to look at us this Sunday!”


If we had only known how true that would be! But of course, we were happily unaware of the disaster that lay ahead.


Sunday morning came at last, and I astonished my family by the speed with which I finished my chores and was ready to leave for church.


“I’m going with Sarah Jane this morning,” I announced, and set out quickly before anyone could protest.


All went according to plan. Sarah Jane’s family went on in the buggy, cautioning us to hurry and not be late for service. We did have a bit of trouble fastening the hoops around our waists and getting our skirts pulled down to cover them. But when we were finally ready, we agreed that there could not be two finer-looking young ladies in the county than us.


Quickly we set out for church, our hoopskirts swinging as we walked. Everyone had gone in when we arrived, so we were assured the grand entry we desired. Proudly, with small noses tipped up, we sauntered to the front of the church and took our seats.


Alas! No one had ever told us the hazards of sitting down in a hoopskirt without careful practice! The gasps we heard were not of admiration as we had anticipated—far from it! For when we sat down, those dreadful hoops flew straight up in the air! Our skirts covered our faces, and the startled minister was treated to the sight of two pairs of white pantalets and flying petticoats.


Sarah Jane and I were too startled to know how to disentangle ourselves, but our mothers were not. Ma quickly snatched me from the seat and marched me out the door.


The trip home was a silent one. My dread grew with each step. What terrible punishment would I receive at the hands of an embarrassed and upset parent? Although I didn’t dare look at her, I knew she was upset because she was shaking. It was to be many years before I learned that Ma was shaking from laughter, and not from anger!


Nevertheless, punishment was in order. My Sunday afternoon was spent with the big Bible and Pa’s concordance. My task was to copy each verse I could find that had to do with being proud. That day I was a sorry little girl who learned a lesson about pride going before a fall.


“And you were never proud again, Grandma?” I asked after she finished the story.


Grandma thought soberly for a moment. “Yes,” she replied. “I was proud again. Many times. It was not until I was a young lady and the Lord saved me that I had the pride taken from my heart. But many times when I am tempted to be proud, I remember that horrid hoopskirt and decide that a proud heart is an abomination to the Lord!”


***************************************

More Stories From Grandma’s Attic

Chapter 1


The Nuisance in Ma’s Kitchen

When Grandma called from the backyard, I knew I was in for it. She was using her would-you-look-at-this voice, which usually meant I was responsible for something.


“What, Grandma?” I asked once I reached the spot where she was hanging up the washing.


“Would you look at this?” she asked. “I just went into the kitchen for more clothespins and came back out to find this.”


I looked where she was pointing. One of my kittens had crawled into the clothes basket and lay sound asleep on a clean sheet.


“If you’re going to have kittens around the house, you’ll have to keep an eye on them. Otherwise leave them in the barn where they belong. It’s hard enough to wash sheets once without doing them over again.”


Grandma headed toward the house with the soiled sheet, and I took the kitten back to the barn. But I didn’t agree that it belonged there. I would much rather have had the whole family of kittens in the house with me. Later I mentioned this to Grandma.


“I know,” she said. “I felt the same way when I was your age. If it had been up to me, I would have moved every animal on the place into the house every time it rained or snowed.”


“Didn’t your folks let any pets in the house?” I asked.


“Most of our animals weren’t pets,” Grandma admitted. “But there were a few times when they were allowed in. If an animal needed special care, it stayed in the kitchen. I really enjoyed those times, especially if it was one I could help with.”


“Tell me about one,” I said, encouraging her to tell me another story about her childhood.


“I remember one cold spring,” she began, “when Pa came in from the barn carrying a tiny goat.”


“I’m not sure we can save this one.” Pa held the baby goat up for us to see. “The nanny had twins last night, and she’ll only let one come near her. I’m afraid this one’s almost gone.”


Ma agreed and hurried to find an old blanket and a box for a bed. She opened the oven door, put the box on it, and gently took the little goat and laid it on the blanket. It didn’t move at all. It just lay there, barely breathing.


“Oh, Ma,” I said. “Do you think it will live? Shouldn’t we give it something to eat?”


“It’s too weak to eat right now,” Ma replied. “Let it rest and get warm. Then we’ll try to feed it.”


Fortunately it was Saturday, and I didn’t have to go to school. I sat on the floor next to the oven and watched the goat. Sometimes it seemed as though it had stopped breathing, and I would call Ma to look.


“It’s still alive,” she assured me. “It just isn’t strong enough to move yet. You wait there and watch if you want to, but don’t call me again unless it opens its eyes.”


When Pa and my brothers came in for dinner, Reuben stopped and looked down at the tiny animal. “Doesn’t look like much, does it?”


I burst into tears. “It does so!” I howled. “It looks just fine! Ma says it’s going to open its eyes. Don’t discourage it!”


Reuben backed off in surprise, and Pa came over to comfort me. “Now, Reuben wasn’t trying to harm that goat. He just meant that it doesn’t … look like a whole lot.”


I started to cry again, and Ma tried to soothe me. “Crying isn’t going to help that goat one bit,” she said. “When it gets stronger, it will want something to eat. I’ll put some milk on to heat while we have dinner.”


I couldn’t leave my post long enough to go to the table, so Ma let me hold my plate in my lap. I ate dinner watching the goat. Suddenly it quivered and opened its mouth. “It’s moving, Ma!” I shouted. “You’d better bring the milk!”


Ma soaked a rag in the milk, and I held it while the little goat sucked it greedily. By the time it had fallen asleep again, I was convinced that it would be just fine.


And it was! By evening the little goat was standing on its wobbly legs and began to baa loudly for more to eat. “Pa, maybe you’d better bring its box into my room,” I suggested at bedtime.


“Whatever for?” Pa asked. “It will keep warm right here by the stove. We’ll look after it during the night. Don’t worry.”


“And we aren’t bringing your bed out here,” Ma added, anticipating my next suggestion. “You’ll have enough to do, watching that goat during the day.”


Of course Ma was right. As the goat got stronger, he began to look for things to do. At first he was content to grab anything within reach and pull it. Dish towels, apron strings, and tablecloth corners all fascinated him. I kept busy trying to move things out of his way.


From the beginning the little goat took a special liking to Ma, but she was not flattered. “I can’t move six inches in this kitchen without stumbling over that animal,” she sputtered. “He can be sound asleep in his box one minute and sitting on my feet the next. I don’t know how much longer I can tolerate him in here.”


As it turned out, it wasn’t much longer. The next Monday, Ma prepared to do the washing in the washtub Pa had placed on two chairs near the woodpile. Ma always soaked the clothes in cold water first, then transferred them to the boiler on the stove.


I was in my room when I heard her shouting, “Now you put that down! Come back here!”


I ran to the kitchen door and watched as the goat circled the table with one of Pa’s shirts in his mouth. Ma was right behind him, but he managed to stay a few feet ahead of her.


“Step on the shirt, Ma!” I shouted as I ran into the room. “Then he’ll have to stop!”


I started around the table the other way, hoping to head him off. But the goat seemed to realize that he was outnumbered, for he suddenly turned and ran toward the chairs that held the washtub.


“Oh, no!” Ma cried. “Not that way!”


But it was too late! Tub, water, and clothes splashed to the floor. The goat danced stiff-legged through the soggy mess with a surprised look on his face.


“That’s enough!” Ma said. “I’ve had all I need of that goat. Take him out and tie him in the yard, Mabel. Then bring me the mop, please.”


I knew better than to say anything, but I was worried about what would happen to the goat. If he couldn’t come back in the kitchen, where would he sleep?


Pa had the answer to that. “He’ll go to the barn tonight.”


“But, Pa,” I protested, “he’s too little to sleep in the barn. Besides, he’ll think we don’t like him anymore!”


“He’ll think right,” Ma said. “He’s a menace, and he’s not staying in my kitchen another day.”


“But I like him,” I replied. “I feel sorry for him out there alone. If he has to sleep in the barn, let me go out and sleep with him!”


My two brothers looked at me in amazement.


“You?” Roy exclaimed. “You won’t even walk past the barn after dark, let alone go in!”


Everyone knew he was right. I had never been very brave about going outside after dark. But I was more concerned about the little goat than I was about myself.


“I don’t care,” I said stubbornly. “He’ll be scared out there, and he’s littler than I am.”


Ma didn’t say anything, probably because she thought I’d change my mind before dark. But I didn’t. When Pa started for the barn that evening, I was ready to go with him. Ma saw that I was determined, so she brought me a blanket.


“You’d better wrap up in this,” she said. “The hay is warm, but it’s pretty scratchy.”


I took the blanket and followed Pa and the goat out to the barn. The more I thought about the long, dark night, the less it seemed like a good idea, but I wasn’t going to give in or admit that I was afraid.


Pa found a good place for me to sleep. “This is nice and soft and out of the draft. You’ll be fine here.”


I rolled up in the blanket, hugging the goat close to me as I watched Pa check the animals. The light from the lantern cast long, scary shadows through the barn, and I thought about asking Pa if he would stay with me. I knew better, though, and all too soon he was ready to leave.


“Good night, Mabel. Sleep well,” he said as he closed the barn door behind him. I doubted that I would sleep at all. If it hadn’t been for the goat and my brothers who would laugh at me, I would have returned to the house at once. Instead I closed my eyes tightly and began to say my prayers. In a few moments the barn door opened, and Reuben’s voice called to me.


“Mabel,” he said, “it’s just me.” He came over to where I lay, and I saw that he had a blanket under his arm. “I thought I’d sleep out here tonight too. I haven’t slept in the barn for a long time. You don’t mind, do you?”


“Oh, no. That’s fine.” I turned over and fell asleep at once.


When I awoke in the morning, the goat and Reuben were both gone. Soon I found the goat curled up by his mother.


“Will you be sleeping in the barn again tonight?” Ma asked me at breakfast.


“No, I don’t think so,” I said. “I’ll take care of the goat during the day, but I guess his mother can watch him at night.”


Grandma laughed at the memory. “After I grew up, I told Reuben how grateful I was that he came out to stay with me. I wonder how my family ever put up with all my foolishness.”


Grandma went back into the house, and I wandered out to the barn to see the little kittens. I decided I wouldn’t be brave enough to spend the night there even if I had a big brother to keep me company!

On a personal note from The Scraps of Life Book Club, we loved the books.  I didn't realize until I was writing the review that these books came out in the 1970s. I grew up in the '70s so I think that is why I loved the books!
Arleta is a cute and lovable little girl who gets caught up into what her grandma did as a little kid.  I love the message and morals in the book for little kids.  These are easy books to pick up and read a few chapters at a time.  These books would make great gifts for new parents and up to middle elementary kids.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crooked or Straight? Do you want something to SMILE about?

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see a crooked or a straight smile? If your smile is crooked how does it interfere with your daily smile quota?

I've never had crooked teeth but my daughter did and all her smiles were closed mouth smiles. During her dental check ups, the dentist said that she didn't "need" braces. This meant that her crooked teeth were livable and no major mouth structure issues.  It was obvious to us that she never smiled with her teeth as you can see in the above photo.  So her issue wasn't structural but more emotional. 

As a family, we were unsure at how much it would cost to put braces on our daughter.  It seemed like this cost was coming right about the time we needed to add another car because two teens started driving!  We finally bit the bullet last summer and took her in for a consultation with the Orthodontist.  He could tell right away that her problem wasn't major and that she could have a beautiful smile with the help of braces.

Our orthodontist gave us our anticipated treatment fees, payment options and insurance benefits during that first meeting.  From that point we then had time to decide if it was something that we could do for our daughter.  Check out the below photo!  This is how she is now smiling.....

We have been amazed at how well she is doing with her braces. Braces have taught her to be more responsible.  She has to watch what she eats and works to clean and care for them as instructed by the orthodontist.   In a few months she will have her braces off and she will keep on giving us a toothy smile!  Now that is SOMETHING worth smiling about! 

Are you in the same situation for yourself or for one of your children?  I strongly suggest that you set up a consultation with your local Orthodontist and just see what can be done.  We found that the problem wasn't as bad as we thought and that our insurance did cover some of the cost.

Right now you can go to braces.org  and download a free coupon for a consultation to participating AAO orthodontist.  What a great deal!  This will give you a little bit of an incentive get that appointment scheduled.  While you are there printing off the consultation coupon, check out their informative website.  You can get the scoop on why you straighten teeth, scheduling an orthodontist appointment before age 7, when to call as well as myth & facts about braces.


So what are you waiting for?  Don't you need something to smile about?  Who needs a consultation in your family?


Thanks to the American Association of Orthodontists blogger outreach program for sponsoring this post with a $100 Amex gift card.  It in no way influenced my thoughts or words.  We are thrilled at how well our daughter is doing with braces!  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

21st Century Skills: Learning For Life in Our Times by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel

21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times

Product Description:  (From Amazon)

The new building blocks for learning in a complex world. This important resource introduces a framework for 21st Century learning that maps out the skills needed to survive and thrive in a complex and connected world. 21st Century content includes the basic core subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic-but also emphasizes global awareness, financial/economic literacy, and health issues. The skills fall into three categories: learning and innovations skills; digital literacy skills; and life and career skills. This book is filled with vignettes, international examples, and classroom samples that help illustrate the framework and provide an exciting view of what twenty-first century teaching and learning can achieve.
A vital resource that outlines the skills needed for students to excel in the twenty-first century
  • Explores the three main categories of 21st Century Skills: learning and innovations skills; digital literacy skills; and life and career skills
  • Addresses timely issues such as the rapid advance of technology and increased economic competition
  • Based on a framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21)
  • Includes a DVD with video clips of classroom teaching
Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.
For more information on book visit www.21stcenturyskillsbook.com/ 
 Scraps of Life Book Club review:

21st Century Skills: Learning For Life in Our Times by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel is a tutorial designed to help teachers in today's world teach children to function successfully in our modern society with all of its varied media communication options.

In the beginning of the book, the authors explain that children continue to be taught today in the same ways they were when the United States was an agrarian society. Children are taught a basic curriculum, tested to see if the information was absorbed, and then never taught to actually use this learning in an effective way in the modern world. The authors believe the ability to use information in conjunction with technology is as important as learning basic skills in math and phonics.

Using this method, children are taught to articulate ideas effectively using all forms of communication, listen attentively to decipher meaning, and determine the proper use of media technologies to share the information. This method also speaks to the needs children have in our more modern world to collaborate
with others and work respectfully in a team.

As a home school educator, I find the ideas proposed in this book to be very interesting. I can specifically appreciate their ideas regarding children learning to collaborate with others to complete a project with a specific end goal, and the importance of a challenging learning environment. After all, the simple fact is that we teach children in order to help them become adults who are contributing members of society, not to have a series of learning objectives checked off of a list.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to think outside the box, educationally, and also to anyone who is struggling to understand why they can't seem to apply their very real employment skills to a job in 2011.
 
This book was provided by the sponsor in return for a blog post written with our own thoughts and words which is what we did. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Cowboy's Touch Author Denise Hunter interview

A Cowboy's Touch (A Big Sky Romance)

We reviewed this book last week.  Click HERE to read the review. Below you will find an interview with the author, Denise Hunter.  Enjoy! 

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?  When did you first begin to write?

 I’ve always been an avid reader, but I didn’t start dreaming about writing a novel until I was in my early twenties.  By then I was married and busy pursuing a degree.  I put writing on the back burner until my grandfather became fatally ill.  While I was visiting him in the hospital, I was struck by the brevity of life and felt God pressing on my heart to take the first step.  I started my first novel a couple weeks later.  I had two small children by this time, so I wrote while they napped.  I wrote my first four books that way.  Even if you can only write a page a day, by the end of a year you’ll have a complete manuscript!

Q: Are you a small town or a city girl?  What inspired you to write a book about the life of a cowboy?

I’m a little of both.  We live in a country setting just outside the city.  It’s the best of both worlds.  There’s something very earthy and organic about a cowboy’s life.  I was drawn by the idea of living off the land.  I think it takes us to a simpler time and place—even though the life of a cowboy is not necessarily simple!  And Montana is such a beautiful state.  I thought my readers might like to journey there with me through story.

Q: Can you tell us a little about what you have learned about the cowboy lifestyle while doing research for this book?

I learned a lot of fascinating details about the workings of a ranch: branding, breeding, cattle disease, etc.  But what I came away with is a great respect for cowboys and their families.  Those who choose this way of life do it because they love it.  It’s not easy, and it’s not for the faint of heart. 

Q: Abigail’s title at her job is “the Truthseeker.”  What is the significance of this title, and what do you think a real truthseeker does?

I thought it would be interesting to write about a protagonist whose job was to seek the truth and have her find out that she was missing the real Truth the whole time.  Since Jesus is the Truth, a real truthseeker follows Him.

Q: Forgiveness seems to be a recurring theme in your books.  Why do you feel it is so important?  Your main characters both dealt with forgiving their past mistakes.  Do you think that it is just as important to forgive ourselves as it is to forgive the mistakes of others?

With sin rampant in all of us, this is something we need to get good at!  Eventually, someone’s going to do something you struggle to forgive.  I think this is partly because forgiveness is easily misunderstood.  It’s not saying that what they did is okay.  It’s saying that you’re not going to hold it over them anymore.  I do think it’s just as important to forgive ourselves as it is to forgive others.  Oftentimes, it’s even harder. 

Q: Abigail and Wade both threw themselves into their work in order to escape their pasts.  Do you believe it is easy to find an escape in work in order to hide from our problems?

No one likes to hurt, so I think the tendency is to avoid it however we can.  Throwing ourselves into our work is certainly one way of doing so.  But these things have a way of bubbling up to the surface eventually, no matter how hard we try to avoid them.  

Q: What would you like your readers to take away after reading A Cowboy’s Touch?

Abigail was essentially trying to work off her guilt.  She thought if she could just keep exposing other peoples’ wrongs, it would appease her own guilt.  I’d like readers to see that only God can redeem us.

A Cowboy’s Touch by Denise Hunter

Thomas Nelson/March 29, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59554-801-6/320 pages/paperback/$14.99

Thursday, April 21, 2011

PAAS Easter egg decorating kits

Easter always means PAAS Easter Egg decorating kits in our household. How about yours?

My 12 year old learned "How to Boil an egg" this year.  She already knew "how" to boil an egg from watching & helping me in the kitchen but I wanted her to actually know how to do it on her own.  I opened up Joy of Cooking and had her read all about boiling an egg.
She boiled her eggs and then decorated them using the PAAS Egg decorating kits.  They are so easy to use and you don't need hot water or vinegar to dye them.   We found out that they had a lot of new kits this Easter Season.  The kits come in a wide variety of "creativity levels."  If you want simple, they have simple. If you want a kit with paint and glitter, well they have that one, too!

Here are the three that we used:
 Pirate Princess: Packed with 90 stickers, color tablets, egg stands and more, this kit will inspire little pirates and princesses to dress up eggs with buried treasure, skulls and crossbones, tall ships and more.
Fun Eggspressions: A great way to unleash creativity and “egg-spress” the artist within, this kit contains sand for color and texture, paint, stickers and more.
Easter Traditions: Featuring some of our classic designs, this kit includes the traditional symbols of the Easter season.

Here are some of the cool creations!  These are some tasty eggs! 
The PAAS Kits are available at major grocery, drug store and mass merchandiser chains nationwide with a suggested retail price of $2.99.  Go find some fun and do a little Kitchen 101 with your kids!

Do you have any Easter ideas, recipes, photos, etc on your blog?  Link up and we can come see what you are doing.  If you can, link back to my blog post so others can get ideas, too!  Thanks you! Hoppy Easter :)

These kits were provided for us to review. It in no way reflects our opinions expressed here!  We love these kits and use them every year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Recipe Link up with Gooseberry Patch

Yum Yum! How I love using my Crock Pot, Slow Cooker, etc.  Either way, or whatever you choose to call it there are zillions of tasty recipes for you to find and use.  Here is the Gooseberry Patch Link up for the week!  Link up your recipes and/or find some new ones!

(ALL THIS IS FROM the GOOSEBERRY PATCH BLOG- Thanks for sharing! I have their 101 Slow-Cooker Recipes cookbook and I LOVE IT.)

PralineAppleCrisp
Here's one to inspire you from 101 Slow-Cooker Recipes...
it's our Cookbook of the Week this week!
Praline Apple Crisp
Shared by Katie Majeske of Denver, Pennsylvania. She writes, "What’s more comforting than warm apple crisp? I often make this for work, church, potlucks or family."


6 Granny Smith or Braeburn apples,
    cored, peeled and sliced

1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. chilled butter, diced
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. toffee baking bits
Optional: whipped topping
Toss together apples and cinnamon. Place in a slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray; set aside. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour and butter; mix with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Stir in pecans and toffee bits; sprinkle over apples. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Top with whipped topping, if desired. Makes 10 servings.

I linked up Beer Chicken and it ROCKS, Pizza Soup, Italian Sausage & Peppers and my hubby's Middle Eastern Spicy Lentil Soup.

Home-Ec 101 by Healther Solos book review

Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living - Cook it, Clean it, Fix it, Wash it
 My name is Susie and I am known as a Susie Homemaker.  I prefer being called that over being called "Lazy-Susan" which you all know is the turn-table-spinney-thing that gets placed in the center of tables.  I really do like being called Susie Homemaker because I love my family, my home and playing house.  I LOVED Home- Ec class in Jr. High.  I even wanted to take it in Sr. High but I couldn't squeeze it in my "college prep" studies, yeah right, whatever.

So where am I going with this? Well I had the opportunity to review the hot little dish of a book, Home-Ec 101:  Skills For Everyday Living by Heather Solos.  I knew by the cover (yes, sorry I do judge a book by its cover) that I had to read this book.  I love the 50s look of the cover and I have taken the era quiz and I am a 50s lady.  When I read the bio on the author, I really felt as though she was my long lost twin.  I've never bumped into her but after this review I'm going to start stalking her online (haha.)   Really, at least I'm honest, right?

This book is broken into Sections.  Here are the sections and a few of my favorite parts within each section:

Section 1:  Clean It- Here you will learn about what tools you need an the chemistry of cleaning, making a schedule (I'm accused at times that I'm Mz. Organized, but really I am not. I just don't let people see me sweat- most of the time.) floors, kitchen grease & grime, bathrooms, windows, bedrooms and dust mites which is creepy.

Section 2:  Wash It- Happy help on stains & odors and how rolling down a window is not always an option, garment repairs (beyond dental floss & staples) and the thankless chore of laundry (which btw my girls all do their own laundry...yes by 6th grade.)

Section 3:  Fix-It- The bare minimum handyman guide, good appliances & avoid minor meltdowns, plumbing (which I do not care to ever do but I will gladly clean the bathroom) throw rug & walls and repairs.

Section 4: Cook-it- Burned water, kitchen set up, recipe rundown & deciphering, pantry principles & the Zombie Apocalypse which I never knew went hand-in-hand, meal planning (so good to know I'm not a FREAK) and substitutions.


I loved the entire book.  I really thought that the book would be too basic but it wasn't.  Ms. Solos (my long lost twin) supplied a lot of basic information which, even Susie Homemaker appreciated.  I already told my girls, 12, 16 and 16 that this is this new school book as I am their Home-Ec teacher.  The book easily shows me what to teach them and how to go about doing it. 

I loved the "Make It Manageable: Flexible Scheduling" which is something that I tried one time and then gave it up.  I don't see me ever following it but it would be great for someone who needs discipline.  The Appendix includes Homemade Cleaning Solutions, Dangerous Chemical  Combination's,  Emergency Preparedness Checklist ( I needed this even though I have been in many hurricanes and storms) and Measurements Conversion Charts.  I find these type of charts very helpful.

I knew most everything in the Cook-It Section and read it several times just because I'm nerdy that way.  I really love how easy the book flows and I feel all "equipped" and ready to teach my daughters Home-Ec. This book would make a PERFECT present for a new mom, bridal shower, teenager, college student, nerdy housewives and even for a bachelor.  

I hope you will pick up this book and look through it.  It really is a wonderful.

Thanks to the author and One2One Network for providing a copy of this book for me to review.  My own tasty words & opinions are expressed here. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That's When I Talk to God book giveaway

That's When I Talk to God
 
That's When I Talk to God
Author: Dan & Alison Morrow
Book - Hardcover with jacket  
ISBN: 1434700186  
ISBN-13: 9781434700186 Item #: 106622
 
A little girl discovers that prayer is more than a bedtime ritual; she can talk to God anytime, in any place, and about any thing.

As a little girl says her bedtime prayers, her mother asks a simple question that sparks a powerful discovery: "You know we can pray to him any time we want to, right?" With that, the little girl suddenly finds things to talk to God about everywhere-in her garden, in a friend's backyard, and on the soccer field. The girl's prayer life will never be the same.

That's When I Talk to God is a sweet story that will deepen the prayer lives of children four to eight. This charmingly illustrated tale steps beyond explaining prayer and models constant communication with God.
 Scraps of Life Book Club:  What an adorable book!  The daughter is taught by the mother on how to pray.  The little girl was surprised to learn that you don't just talk/pray to God at dinner or bedtime.   She learned that you can call upon in Jesus name to ask for forgiveness, strength, courage and more. The Mom teaches the daughter that God teaches us thorough those in our life as well as His word in the Bible.

This book is perfect for 3-8 year olds. This book would make a great gift.  I loved that the book included The Lord's Prayer, which is the prayer to cover every single thing we need to say and do.  Since my girls are older, I want to give my copy of this book away to someone who would use it for their little ones.  Enter below
--------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY
1 copy of That's When I Talk to God
Ends 4/5/2011 USA

Mandatory Entry: Tell me who you want to read this book to and follow my blog via Google Friend Connect. This gives you two entries into the giveaway.  Leave an email address with this entry in the comments.

BONUS Entries: (these only count if you did the mandatory entry) Worth 1 each

*Follow my blog with Twitter, Facebook, Email subscription, RSS Feed or Networked blogs. Each worth one entry and leave a separate comment for each one that you do.

Thanks to The B & B  Media Group for the review copy.  The words expressed here are the Club's own words and opinions.  Read it for yourself to form your own opinions!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wrecker by Summer Wood Giveaway with the TLC Book Tour

Wrecker: A Novel

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (February 15, 2011)

Set amid the giant trees of northern California’s magical Lost Coast, Wrecker is the story of a nearly broken boy who unexpectedly finds a family.

After foster-parenting four young siblings a decade ago, Summer Wood tried to imagine a place where kids who are left alone or taken from their families would find the love and the family they deserve. For her, fiction was the tool to realize that world, and Wrecker, the central character in her second novel, is the abandoned child for whom life turns around in most unexpected ways.

It’s June of 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and Lisa Fay, Wrecker’s birth mother, is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single parent in a city she can barely manage to navigate on her own. Three years later, she’s in prison, and Wrecker is left to bounce around in the system before he’s shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County, California.

When he arrives he’s scared and angry, exploding at the least thing, and quick to flee. Wrecker is the story of this boy and the motley group of isolated eccentrics who come together to raise him and become a family along the way.
For readers taken with the special boy at the center of The Story of Edgar SawtelleWrecker will be a welcome companion.

Scraps of Life Book Club:  The first thing that I thought of when I heard the title of this book, Wrecker, was not that it was a name for a child.  I figured it was about something bigger, like a train wreck that changed everyone that was involved.  It turns out that this book was about a child named Wrecker who was a train wreck and he DID change the lives of those involved. 

This little guy was born to a young mother who delivered him in a public park of all places.  At that moment I thought, someone needs to adopt this little boy.  That did happen but not for several years later.  Wrecker lived his first year without a permanent name.  His mother finally named him Wrecker because he wrecked things.

His mother, Lisa, did the best  that she could with what she had.  She loved Wrecker and cared for him but in the end, her lack of parenting skills and resources took over and she got caught up with the wrong crowd that landed her in jail for a 15 year sentence.  This, of course, put Wrecker in the public system.  This little angry, untrained bundle of energy, lived up to his name.  He wrecked things and didn't have a stop button.  

The author, Summer Wood has the background of foster-parenting four young siblings.  She knew the system and that led to the writing of this book.  I loved her descriptive writing style of the characters and events throughout the novel.  She made everything so real.  Sad thing is, we all know kids that get caught in the system and have heard of kids like Wrecker.   Ms. Woods takes this little wrecker and puts him into a family that wasn't a family by conventional standards.  It was this type of family that he needed to get unconditional love and support.

I won't go into details and spoil the book but the boy was compared to the likes of a dog.  He attached himself to those who fed and showed him attention.   This really tore at my heart and I knew at that time that this hippie, unconventional family knew him and would be able to break and train him. 

photo credit: Miriam Berkley
About Summer Wood

Summer Wood is the author of WRECKER,  pub. date from Bloomsbury in February 2011.  Her first novel, Arroyo, was published in 2001 by Chronicle Books.  She lives in Taos, New Mexico, and writes a blog at www.thewhereofit.com.  Connect with Summer on her website, www.summerwoodwrites.com.
 _______________________________
GIVEAWAY
1 copy of Wrecker
USA/Canada
Ends 5/2

Mandatory Entry:  Please follow my blog with Google Friend Connect (right side bar) and leave your email address.

Bonus entries (all worth 1 extra entry each)
1) Follow my blog with Twitter, Facebook, Email subscription, RSS Feed or Networked blogs. Each with a entry and leave a separate comment for each one that you do.

2) Visit the author at www.thewhereofit.com and/or www.summerwoodwrites.com. Come back here and leave a comment on something you learned.  1 bonus entry for each comment that you leave.

 Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of the book for my participation in the Blog Tour as well as a giveaway copy to one of my readers.  Click, HERE, to see what others are saying about the book!  I'm the first on the tour.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy National Eggs Benedict Day with Recipes from The Motherboard

My husband loves Eggs Benedict and I can't remember the last time I made them for him. The calorie count is pretty high up there.  Thanks to The Motherboard, I have a new recipe to try out on him that is "guilt-free" because it uses yogurt instead of butter! How about you, do you ever make Eggs Benedict?
National Eggs Benedict Day is April 16 – Take this brunch fave to a whole new level…and make it a family and friend celebration at any meal on its own holiday!  Check out these two delicious recipes that put a twist on the traditional!  And don’t forget about Easter brunch!  The recipes below can be a perfect addition to your Easter menu as well!

Guilt-Free Eggs Benny
  • Ingredients: 
2 eggs; 1 light whole wheat English Muffin; 2 slices Canadian bacon; 1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt; 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard; Kosher salt and cayenne pepper, to taste; 1 tablespoon lemon zest, for garnish; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish; 1 tablespoon white vinegar, Non-fat cooking spray

  • Instructions: 
  • 1. In a large pan coated with non- stick cooking spray, brown the Canadian bacon over medium heat.  Remove from the pan and keep warm.  
  • 2. In a small saucepan, over very low heat, combine yogurt, dry mustard, and season with the salt and cayenne pepper, whisking continually until warm.  Be careful: if you overheat, your yogurt will curdle.  
  • 3. In a pot of boiling water, add the vinegar and reduce heat to a low simmer.  Crack one egg into a small bowl and very gently add it to the simmering water.  Repeat this for the second egg.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the egg is completely coagulated and the yolk looks slightly opaque.  
  • 4. In the meantime, toast the whole wheat English muffin.  Assemble by placing the toasted muffin on a plate.  Top with a piece of the Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and then top with the yogurt sauce.  Sprinkle lemon zest and chopped parsley over each egg.  Enjoy.
Seafood Frenzy Eggs Benedict
  • Ingredients: 
12 eggs; 1 to 2 tablespoons white vinegar; 6 English Muffins; unsalted butter, for spreading; 6 tablespoons Philadelphia Cream Cheese; 12 spears of asparagus, cut in half and steamed; 1 package of Knorr Hollandaise Sauce; 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced; 1 can lump crabmeat, divided into 12 portions; 12 large slices of smoked salmon; 12 cooked and completely peeled large shrimp; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste; 12 dill sprigs, about 2 inches long

  • Instructions: 
  • 1. In a small bowl, prepare the hollandaise according to the package instructions.  Add the fresh lemon juice. Reserve.  
  • 2. In a large pot of boiling water add the vinegar. Turn the heat down to a low simmer.  Crack the eggs one at a time, into a small bowl and add them one at a time very gently into the simmering water.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the egg is completely coagulated and the yolk looks slightly opaque. Remove from the water.  
  • 3. Meanwhile, toast the English Muffins and butter when warm.  Top the butter with a smear of cream cheese.  Top each with two pieces of asparagus. Top the asparagus with a scoop of crabmeat and a piece of smoked salmon.  Place the poached egg on top.  
  • 4. Top each with a shrimp and drizzle with the hollandaise. Season with the salt and pepper. Garnish with the dill and the lemon zest. (Serves 6)

Friday, April 15, 2011

#EasterBunny Photo Blog HOP & Giveaway Hop on over and enter to #win

(OVER) Hi blogger friends!  I'm hosting an Easter Bunny Photo Blog HOP Contest.  This is so easy! All you have to do is post a picture of any Easter bunny on your blog, add your name to the link below and link your post back to this contest post!!!! You can take the photo or find one on the internet!  *IF YOU already have a bunny posted on your blog, link up that post!!  It can be off food, toys, etc...anything bunny!
 THAT SIMPLE!  For everyone who does those 3 things I will be picking three winners!!
Each sponsored gift basket will be worth $25!!! (now that is sweet)
First winner with the CUTEST Bunny will get an Easter Basket of Candy and Books! 
Second Winner with the MOST UNIQUE Bunny will get an Easter Basket of Candy and CD's. 
Third and final Winner with SCARIEST Bunny will get an Easter Basket of Candy and Toys!
 Why am I doing this? Because I was out shopping with my daughter and we couldn't help comment on every single bunny we saw this year (she is 16.)  We saw TEXTER chocolate bunny and just knew that this needed to be a Contest! I know it is crazy but I HOP you join in the fun :)
Ends 4/24 USA/Canada.  The winners will be picked by my expert Chicks.
RULES again:
Do a quick blog post with a picture of an Easter Bunny.  I'm looking for Cutest, Most Unique and Scariest!
LINK up in the below linky to your blog post
Make sure you include a link back to the contest on your post!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yanni Truth of Touch Campaign Tour

Wow! Yanni has released an new album, Truth of Touch, and it is his first instrumental release of original compositions in over EIGHT years!  He has returned to the genre that he helped to create and advance!  This is the Yanni that I LOVE!  If you are a Yanni fan this is one CD that you want to go check out, now!  

I loved the CD!  I keep listening to it over and over.  The rhythms of some of the sounds are stuck in my head and I repeat them over and over! His website is wonderful.  I loved the page on all the Artist in his orchestra.  It is so cool to see all the people behind the vocals and instruments.  One of these days I hope to go hear Yanni in concert.  Have you ever been to one of his concerts??

“I work the rhythms in this album,” explains Yanni about the new material. “There is a beautiful complexity in these rhythms, a new sound design. I think the melodic content is very strong and very memorable. I was having fun with this album and that’s going to become apparent.”

Truth of Touch

Release Date: 2/8/2011

Album
  • 1. Truth of Touch
  • 2. Echo of a Dream
  • 3. Seasons
  • 4. Voyage
  • 5. Flash of Color
  • 6. Vertigo
  • 7. Nine
  • 8. Can't Wait
  • 9. Guilty Pleasure
  • 10. O Luce Che Brilla Nell'Oscurita
  • 11. I'm So
  • 12. Long Way Home
  • 13. Yanni & Arturo
  • 14. Mist of a Kiss
  • 15. Secret

**Yanni On Tour

Yanni and his orchestra is on a 40 date tour with several sell outs, already!  He will be touring Mexico, US and Canada!  In the fall he will be headed to China and then on to Latin American.  Click the Yanni on Tour to see where he will be and if he will be anywhere near you.  He also has a newsletter on his site! Sign up so you can keep abreast of all his up and coming events.

Thanks to One2One Network for providing an electronic download of the CD for me to review. This in no way influenced my review.  I would have purchased the CD if it wasn't for the review opportunity.
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