Friday, July 25, 2008

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Happy Friday everyone. Wow, it is hard to believe it is the end of the month already. Where did July go? Even though we've been experiencing hot temps, summer is still my favorite time. I'm afraid it is going to fly by now and soon we will be pulling out the warmer clothes. Yuck.
I have to admit I've been having a hard time lately concentrating on what items to bring you for my Fabulous Favorite Friday picks. It has been hard to focus on this since I feel like my attention has been pulled in different directions. But, I'm hoping that over the next few days I'll be getting some r&r and that will do the trick.

I'm taking time off from the blog next week and won't post until Thursday. One of my good friends has invited my son and I to go to the beach and my doctor has cleared me to go. I am so excited!! I didn't think we would be able to go to the beach this year with being a high risk pregnancy, so to have this opportunity is a dream. I LOVE the beach and couldn't imagine not going. So, a nice chair under an umbrellas and some sandcastles are in my near future. I can't wait to see what pictures and scrapbooking opportunities this trip will provide.
Fabulous Favorite Friday Pick #1
And speaking of scrapbooking, that leads me to my first Fabulous Favorite Friday pick, the Xyron X. Even if you don't scrapbook, this is still a cool product for you to consider because it works great for kid's school projects. What it does is you put a cut out letter or whatever you want into the left side of the X and then it pulls through. Then when you take it out your item is "wedged" between a clear piece of what looks like tape on top and then a white backing. You can take a popsicle stick or a bone (which is something you use to fold paper, another awesome tool) and you rub on the top of the item where the clear is. Then you pull both the clear and white backing off and then you'll have your adhesive on the back of your item. This is what I use to adhere letter titles to my scrapbook pages. Like I said, this is a handy item for making school posters or any other projects your kids might have for school. They sell them at Michael's (use a 50% off coupon if you can) or Target or Walmart. It comes with an initial thing of adhesive and I think runs around $10. It is very inexpensive. If you are interested in seeing how this works and the directions above aren't making sense (I'm a visual person too), send me an email and I'll post a video showing you how to use the X.
Fabulous Favorite Friday Pick #2
Ok, so I decided that I needed to try and do two picks this week. The second item I don't have a picture for you. Frankly, I'm up at the crack of dawn today writing this post and I don't feel like lugging out the digital camera to take a picture. But if you need one, email me and I'll take one and post for you. My second pick for today is a carpet cleaner. I have the best luck with using this carpet cleaner for spot treating. It has taken up stains that have been set in for a while. The key is to spray it on and let it sit. Sometimes you may have to reapply, but overall we've had great results. And the best part is it is cheap. I've bought at Wal Mart their el cheapo Great Value brand of Foaming Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner. It comes in a red can and costs around a $1. My husband has been amazed at how well this stuff has worked. So, if you are looking for a carpet cleaner for spot treating, this may be something that would work for you.

And finally, I got sent an email this morning from Pillsbury with some interesting looking recipes and thought I'd share this one with you. I want to make this because I purchased the Pampered Chef tart pans a while ago and have yet to use them to make a tart. And, this looks so super easy. I've been on a fresh fruit kick this summer, so this is right up my alley. Also, I'm all about desserts.

So, I hope this is something you'll find tempting. I'd love for you to drop me a line if you end up making it.
Strawberry-Kiwi Tart


1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box
1 1/2
cups vanilla low-fat yogurt
container (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
box (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
tablespoons orange marmalade
cup halved fresh strawberries
kiwifruit, peeled, thinly sliced
tablespoons orange marmalade
Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In medium bowl, mix filling ingredients with wire whisk until well blended. Pour into cooled baked shell. Arrange strawberries and kiwifruit on filling.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave marmalade uncovered on High 5 to 10 seconds or until melted. Brush over fruit. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining tart.
Well gentle blog readers, I'm going back to bed to try and catch a few winks before my little guy wakes up for the morning and I start packing for our trip. I'll try to get a post up next Thursday If I don't make Thursday then there will definitley be a Fabulous Favorite Friday post next week. I'll fill you in on all our beach trip adventures. Have a great weekend in your neck of the woods.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Thursday

Well, as you can see I haven't felt much like blogging in the last fews days. Between the heat and being just plain busy, there hasn't been time. The good news is that we are now at 24 weeks in my pregnancy and so far so good. I had a check up yesterday with the ob. This is about the time I had problems before, so I'm glad that things are calm.

I wanted to post a recipe I found on the Internet this week that I made for dinner on Tuesday. Even though it is hot, I was looking for something different and easy to make this week and I decided to make a Quiche Lorraine. The great thing about this is that my son has not wanted to try eggs. Every time I've given them to him he has spit them out. I completely understand because I hate scrambled, poached, sunny side up, etc. eggs. But, something about quiche is comforting and just doesn't scream eggs. He loved this quiche and kept asking for more. So, we will definitley be having this again.

I was thinking that closer to the time the baby is due, I will make this to freeze since that is listed as an option in the recipe.

I am going to try to have a Fabulous Favorite Friday post tomorrow. I hope y'all are having a great week!

Quiche Lorraine
1 1/2 cups grated natural swiss cheese
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked ham
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
Combine the cheese and flour and sprinkle into the pie shell.
Spread the ham evenly over this.
Combine the eggs, milk, salt and mustard.
Beat until smooth and pour evenly over the cheese and ham.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the custard is set.
Serve warm, garnished with chopped parsley.
To freeze: Prepare recipe through step 4. Wrap well with saran wrap and then foil. Freeze.
To serve: Thaw in fridge overnight. Bake as directed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Happy Friday everyone. Today is going to be a busy day for us. Dh's grandmother's funeral is this afternoon so we will be with his family. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. They are having a grave side service and it is supposed to be in the 90's. Also, this is falling right at my little guy's nap time and dh wants him to go to the funeral, so that will be a challenge. I am just hoping everything goes well.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a coconut pie recipe that dh's granny loved. I've made this recipe to take to dh's aunt and uncles for after the funeral. Not only did dh's granny love this pie, but the rest of his family likes it a lot too. I thought I'd share it with y'all. I got this recipe from a dear neighbor who lived right behind us when I was growing up. She was like a grandmother to my sister and I. She has always been a great cook and I've gotten some great recipes from her over the years.
Anne's Coconut Pie
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 unbaked deep dish pie shells
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup margarine (1/2 stick)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspooons vanilla
1 small can or a bag of shredded coconut
Mix flour & sugar. Stir in margarine. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, & coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until brown on top. (I baked mine for about 40 minutes). These pies are great when you need to make something quick and easy and they are always a hit.
Today's Fabulous Friday pick is the show Last Comic Standing. It comes on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on NBC. After a long week, I enjoy watching this show and laughing a little bit. I've watched this show every summer for the last few years. I find it interesting to watch how creative some of the comics are with the different challenges they are presented. I appreciate comics who have clever humor as opposed to those that go straight for the crewd and lewd jokes. As of right now, I'm not quite sure which one will end up in the finale. But, with summer being a slow tv time, this is one show that helps pass away the summer.
I hope y'all have a great weekend. Hopefully next week will be a better week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don't feel much like blogging

I don't feel like blogging, but thought I should go ahead and do an update. One blessing I have is that yesterday I made it to 23 weeks with this pregnancy and so far, knock on wood, things are going well. I think we will feel a lot better when we get through the next two weeks.

In some sad news and the reason I didn't feel like blogging is, dh's grandmother passed away yesterday. She went in the hospital last Tuesday and unfortunatley got a massive infection and they weren't able to save her. We all knew the end was near on Sunday and it has been so hard waiting. I am glad she is not suffering now. The family is making arrangements now, so we will have a funeral to attend later this week.

I am so sad that this little baby inside me won't get to meet his great grandmother. I'm glad Sawyer had the opportunity. She loved seeing him and enjoyed him so much. At least she got a chance to know about this second little guy that is on the way. So, I am glad for that.

I have a recipe for coconut pie that I made a number of times and his granny loved. I'll try to post it later this week.

I didn't want this post to be all sad, so I did see something interesting to share. I was laying down yesterday watching the Food Network and caught an episode of Tyler's Ultimate. I mostly didn't like the things he was making on that episode, but there was one recipe that sounded interesting. He made a Watermelon Gazpacho which sounded interesting for me. If you've never heard of or had a Gazpacho, it is a cold soup. I personally wouldn't use the serrano chile peppers because I don't like spicy stuff, or if I did I'd make sure to take out the seeds and ribs. Those are supposed to be the spiciest part of the pepper.

So, if any of y'all decide to make this let me know how it turns out.

Watermelon Gazpacho (from the Foodnetwork show Tyler's Ultimate)

1 large tomato, pureed 1/2 serrano chile 2 cups cubed fresh watermelon 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons minced red onion 1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a blender, puree the tomatoes, chile, and 1/2 of the watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta, and remaining watermelon. Serve.

I hope things are going well in your part of the world and I'll try to post some more later this week.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Well, we've made it through another week. And what a week it has been. Dh's grandmother is in the hospital and not doing great. So, we have kept her in our prayers. We aren't sure what will happen. Things are touch and go at this point. Then yesterday I had to go into ob's office because I had not been feeling well for a few days. They had me come in and did an ultrasound and hooked me up to a fetal monitor to make sure everything is ok and fortunately it is. I just need to get more rest than I've been getting. Now that we are through the 4th of July and Sawyer's birthday, hopefully things will settle down with our schedule.
I realized that I hadn't posted any pictures of Sawyer at our neighbor's annual the 4th of July parade. As you can see, we decorated his wagon. I love this parade every year. It is so cute to see all the kids go through the neighborhood. There are wagons, bikes, little motorized cars and even someone had a riding lawn mower decorated. And, people bring their dogs and have them in the parade too. We even have a police escort and the fire department comes with a fire truck. At first he didn't want to wear the hat, but then as dh pulled him in the wagon he kept it on. He was very serious looking when riding in the wagon and didn't crack a lot of smiles.

And now on to the Fabulous Favorite Friday pick which is something beautiful...

This week I've decided to share another favorite shade of OPI nail polish. This color is called "I'm Not Really a Waitress". This color has been around for a while, but I just love it. If you haven't discovered Ulta, then you've got to check it out. There is an Ulta store in my area and that is where I purchase my OPI polish. I recently got a special sample pack that had this color in it, along with 3 others plus a sample bottle of clear coat. This is color pack is an exclusive to Ulta and was only $5.95. I love having a few different colors to choose from. I've found that I get a number of applications out of these small bottles.
The great thing about Ulta is that they have a rewards program and you get points for your purchases. You can use them to redeem salon services or use the points to take different dollar amounts off your purchase. Here is a link to their website if you don't have a store in your area. Oh, and be sure to check out their coupons that you can print off and take to the store. A lot of times they have $3.50 off any purchase $10 and above. That could be a free lipstick or eyeshadow.
I hope y'all have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Watermelon Season

This week I bought a watermelon at the grocery store. I gave it a good thump and it sounded good, so I crossed my fingers and took it to the check out. I cut into it Tuesday night and boy was I rewarded. It is was of the tastiest watermelon's I've ever eaten.

When I was a little girl, a neighbor who lived near me had a huge garden. He used to put the strawberry patch at the end of the garden closest to our house and said we could come over and pick any time. He also planted watermelons, corn, butter beans, squash, zuccini. So many different vegetables and he was always very kind in sharing them. So, to me summer means strawberries and watermelon. There are times in the winter where I long for the taste of a ripe strawberry or watermelon.

Does anyone out there have a tried and true recipe for pickled watermelon rind? I've had it a couple of times and it tastes really good. If you do, please either post a comment with the recipe or shoot me an email. I'd love to get one that I know someone has actually tried, not just google one.

I read an article yesterday that said due to the tough times with the economy, more people are having home gardens this year. That doesn't surprise me at all. And, with the recent issues surrounding tomatos, I'm sure a lot of folks are glad they put plants in. In the area where I grew up and where I live now, summer gardens are a part of the landscape. It makes my heart happy when I drive by and see a small plot in someone's yard. I have such a respect for gardeners. You can either work really hard and have a great pay off, or work really hard and either have weather or plague affect the outcome. It is a roll of the dice.

When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to go to Russia as a foreign exchange student one summer. I remember seeing areas with small gardens with the cutest little "houses" put on them. I use the term house loosely because they really were no bigger than some sheds I've seen. The unique them about these buildings is that they were painted bright, cheerful colors. I remember someone telling our group that sometimes people who lived in the city would rent a small plot and have a summer garden on it. They'd actually use the small "house" as a weekend get away. I need to go back and look through my pictures to see if I can find a picture of one of these places. I think I took some and put them in an album.

Every summer I usually put out some tomato plants. This year I put one in a pot on my deck, but it is not doing so hot. I don't think it has gotten enough sun. When I found out I was pregnant, I decided that tending even a small garden would be too much this summer. But, I've got big plans for next summer especially since Sawyer will be old enough to help me with a garden. Come February, I guess I'll start checking out seeds to see what we can do.

If any of you have a backyard garden, I'd love to hear about it or see pictures.

I hope you are having a great day where you are. And don't forget to try some watermelon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Monkey Mania

This past Saturday our little guy celebrated his 2nd birthday. It was another wonderful milestone to reach with him. For those who may be new to my blog, my son was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1 pound 12 ounces. He is such a little miracle to us and we feel so blessed that he is a healthy, happy, normal little guy. He has brought us so much joy.

With baby number 2 on the way, we decided to just have a family party this year. I still wanted to do a fun theme so I decided to do a Curious George theme. Crazy me decided to make his birthday cake this year. It wasn't too hard and it turned out ok. We have a Baker's supply store in our area and that is where I got the Curious George cake topper. I went to Michael's and the grocery stores, but they didn't have anything. I just made a regular sheet cake with confetti boxed cake mix. To make the green piping on the side, I used my Pampered Chef decorator. I used a pastry bag to do the lettering. I found it was easier to take a tooth pick and gently write a few letters and then go over that with the icing. Otherwise my letters would not have been close in size and I would have probably run out of room. As you'll see in the picture, I made two cakes to make sure we had enough for the family. For the chocolate iced one, I used canned frosting too, but it was whipped icing. I am going to buy that kind from now on. It was a lot easier to spread.

I had banana chips as one of the snacks on the table. I also did frozen bananas, but we never got to them. We had pizza, cake and ice cream.

I found a little Curious George outfit at Wal Mart that I thought would be cute for Sawyer to wear to the party.

The balloon sign on the door I bought at Dollar Tree and then used my Cricut Die cut machine to cut out the letters and added a picture of Sawyer on it to make it personalized. I also had a balloon with letters minus the picture on our mailbox to decorate it.

I found the glittery palm trees and the palm tree garland at Dollar Tree. The palm tree garland came 3 in a pack.

I made a pinata out of newspaper since dh's older cousins came over. The goal was to make it look like Curious George, but I ran out of time so dh used wrapping paper to cover it and put streamers on it. It was a great thing to have for the older kids and they loved it. I only made it out of 3 layers of newspaper and that was just the right amount so it didn't break immediatley, but it wasn't impossible to get it. Here I am trying to help Sawyer take a swing at the pinata.

So, here we are celebrating our little guy's big day.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Monday Everyone!

Wow, it is hard to believe that we have made it throught the 4th of July weekend and that it is Monday already. Saturday we had family over for Sawyer's 2nd birthday. We had a great time and thank goodness the rain held off so everyone was able to go outside for a little bit. We did a Curious George theme. I'll try to post some pictures later this week.

I wanted to give everyone a heads up about a new product I tried and hated. Softsoap has a new Grapefruit scented antibacterial soap. It was on sale so I figured I'd give it a try. We HATE this scent! DH said it smells like body odor! I did try the watermelon scent and that one is much better. So, a word to the wise and steer clear of the Grapefruit Softsoap. Since I'm always telling y'all about great things I find, I figured it was my duty to pass on about yucky products too. LOL

Here is a recipe that one of my friends, Christina sent me. Since everyone is probably burned out on hotdogs and hamburgers and other picinic food from the weekend, I thought this sounded like a nice change. What a great way to sneak those veggies into your family.

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
10 oz chopped broccoli
1 regular size can cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs
1 cup mayo
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli in microwave dish for 5 min
Combine cream of mushroom soup and mayo
Mix in the 2 eggs
Mix in broccoli
Last mix in cheese

Bake in a casserole dish 350 degrees for 45 min

Serving for 4-5 people depending on portion size

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! In honor of the holiday, I'm taking today off from posting a Fabulous Favorite Friday pick. But, I do have another wonderful recipe to share with you.

I am so excited because today at 10 a.m. our neighborhood has its annual 4th of July parade for the kids. Kids ride bikes, the little ones ride in motorized cars, some are pulled in wagons, and some are in strollers. They actually have a police escort from the main entrance of the neighborhood to the pool and the fire department brings a firetruck too. I have been busy decoraring Sawyer's wagon for him to ride. What a difference a year makes. Last year I was pushing him in his stroller. I'll be sure to take pictures to show. And our sweet Boston Terrier, Miss Zoe, will be walking in the parade. It is only fitting since she is one of the few true American breeds of dog. LOL

Saturday our family is all coming over to celebrate Sawyer's 2nd birthday. It is hard to believe our little guy is going to be 2. He is such a miracle and such a blessing to us. When he came 3 months early, we didn't know if he'd even be with us. I can't imagine my life without him.

Even though we are just having family, I decided to do a theme and we are having a Curious George theme. I've got some fun things planned and I'll be sure to post pictures to share next week.

Today's guest recipe is from my friend Nancy. She emailed me and said she is making this recipe to celebrate the holiday. She said it is a Southern Living recipe. Get a few of these in you and you'll see some fireworks. LOL

Texas White Sangria

1 1/3 cup water
½ cup sugar
4 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
1 cup fresh mint leaves, divided
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine
2 lemons, sliced
2 oranges, sliced
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled

Bring first 3 ingredients and ½ cup mint leaves to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool. Cover and let stand 8 hours, if desired. Remove cinnamon sticks and mint leaves with a slotted spoon.

Combine sugar mixture, remaining ½ cup mint leaves, wine, and next 3 ingredients in a large pitcher, chill overnight, if desired. Stir in club soda before serving. Serve over ice.

Prep: 15 minutesServings: 10 to 12

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Featured Guest Recipe #4

Wow, we are already to Thursday. This week is flying by. I'm so glad since we have such fun things planned for Friday and Saturday. I'd love to get some comments back to hear how you plan on spending your 4th of July. Do you have any fun 4th of July traditions in your area? Are you a fireworks fanatic? LOL

Today's featured guest recipe is from my friend Suzanne. This is a recipe she made up. You've gotta love a crafty cook! I am a huge cheeseball fan, so I can't wait to give this a try. She said the title of it is Betty's cheese ball because one of her friends always calls her Betty Crocker. So, if you are still searching for something quick and easy to take to a picinic this weekend, give this a try.

Betty's Cheese Ball

8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. finely shredded Cheddar cheese
3 T. chopped bacon ( I use the bottled kind of bacon pieces)
1/4 c. grated onion
8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained well
1/3 c. ground or finely chopped pecans

8 dried apricot and 1/4 c. dried cranberries: In bowl, pour 3 or 4 T. amaretto over this and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.

Mix all ingredients and shape into 2 cheese balls. Roll in additional chopped pecans. Serve with assorted crackers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Featured Guest Recipe #3

Happy Wednesday everyone! It is hard to believe that we are one day closer to the 4th of July. I love the 4th of July. The red, white, and blue decorations. Fireworks. I LOVE firewoorks! Although I think this year we will probably be skipping the fireworks. Between me being pregnant, heat, and our little guy turning 2 the next day, I think we will all have to get some rest.

I've already pulled out my decorations for the 4th. A few years ago I found some great patriotic ribbon and had bows made which I put out on my front porch. I've also got a cute patriotic door bucket on the front door that I just stuck fireworks in and some crazy sparkley garland. And of course we have flags out. I really want some buntings for the front porch, but I haven't bought any. I do have a really cool flag garland that goes across the front of the house that I bought at Lowe's a few years ago. We like to be festive here. If I get a chance, I'll post some pix of my deocrations.

Today's recipe is from my friend Lorrie. Her momma used to make it when she was growing up and she said it was always a hit at potlucks and family gatherings. So, if you are looking for something to take to a picinic tomorrow, then hopefully this will fit the bill for you.

Cornbread Salad

pkg. Mexican cornbread mix
1 pkg. Jiffy corn bread mix
3 boiled eggs, chopped
3 chopped green onions
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 small jar pimentos
6 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 can whole kernel corn with juice
1 cup Miracle Whip

Cook corn bread mixes (separate pans) and cool. Crumble in bowl. Add next 6 ingredients. Mix together and then add 1 cup of Miracle Whip. (This is enough Miracle Whip. – You really don’t need more.) This is best made the night before and refrigerated over night so that the flavors blend more.

Have a great day and be sure to check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Featured Guest Recipe #2

Welcome to day 2 of my Favorite Featured Recipes. I am very excited about today's recipe because it is a dessert and I am all about desserts. Yes, I have a big sweet tooth.

Today's recipe is from Jenn and she can be found blogging away at Thanks so much for sharing this sweet treat!

So-Easy Southern Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 12 oz. can of Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.
Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir.
Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Mmm, apples, cinnamon, and ice cream. What could be better?

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