Friday, April 30, 2010

Grandbaby is now 11 Months old!!!

It seems like yesterday when I posted on my blog that our precious little grandbaby had here we are, 11 months later and she is just growing like a weed! We have been busy planning her first birthday party for later in May which will be held at a local outdoor park. This will be a big party with around 45-50 guests!

Baby G isn't walking on her own just yet...but let me tell you, she is great at walking with holding onto things and now loves to investigate and get into everything!

I just love spending time with her and I am really enjoying taking her on walks with me twice a week, she seems to love being outdoors!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! Spring Has Sprung!

Okay...almost Wordless! LOL Spring has Sprung in PA. I took this photo of my apple tree which was in full bloom 3 days ago.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mini Weekend Trip to Lancaster PA

My hubby has worked like a dog all of last week (over 33+ hours of OT) and was just feeling stressed out and exhausted. On top of that, he has a bad sinus infection. Anyway...I have now been home from the hospital for 3 weeks and we haven't spent any good quality time together.

The bee came home at lunchtime on Friday and surprised me with a little mini weekend getaway to Lancaster Amish Country. Back in the late 80's we had lived in Lancaster, PA for 2 years and since then, we like to travel down to Lancaster once or twice a year to visit.

So...we headed out the door around lunch time on Saturday and got into Lancaster about 45 minutes later. After checking in to our hotel...we hit the Tanger and Rockvale Square Outlet Malls and did some shopping. I am happy to report, I got a lot of fabulous deals!

After that...we went out to dinner and then back to the hotel. Since we were both exhausted and not feeling well, we both were in bed and sleeping by 11pm LOL

It was nice to get away...even if it was only for one night. I am looking forward to our vacation to the Jersey Shore in June and in the count down begins!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maintaining Bone Health By Eating Spinach

Spinach has been popular in cooking for hundreds of years and can be traced back to the 16th Century and most likely originated from India.

Why is Spinach so popular?

1. It's a good source of: iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.

Eating spinach is essential to maintaining good bone health since it is high in vitamin K. As we age, our bones become brittle, it's just part of the natural aging process. You can slow down this process by incorporating foods that are high in vitamin k, vitamin D and calcium into your daily diet.

2. Spinach is readily available out in the market place and it's easily grown at home.

Spinach can be found: canned, frozen or fresh and in a variety of package sizes.

Now that we know that spinach is good for us, what can you make with spinach?

Here are a few of my favorite spinach recipes.

Party Dip Recipe1 packet Ranch salad dressing mix
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen spinach
1 c. mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped green onions

Let spinach thaw. Remove cream cheese from refrigerator and let it set at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well blended. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. You can serve this dip with crackers, raw vegetables, chips or party breads.

Healthy Fresh Salad Recipe1 lb. fresh spinach
1 sm. red onion, sliced into rings
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Remove stems from spinach, wash leaves and pat dry. Tear or chop into bite-size pieces. Combine fresh spinach with sliced onions, eggs and crumbled bacon. Top with the following dressing.


1 sm. onion, chopped
1 c. olive oil
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all of the above ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Mix until well blended. Use this dressing on top of your spinach salad.

Creamy Soup Recipe1 (10 ounce) bag frozen spinach
1 c. milk (I use 2% milk)
1 can cream of chicken soup
optional: shredded cheddar cheese

Thaw out your frozen spinach by letting it sit in a colander so that the liquid drains. In a large saucepan combine your milk, cream of chicken soup and your drained frozen spinach. Simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring often and then serve. Do not use high heat or you will scorch the milk. If you like cheese, you can sprinkle a little cheese on top.

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys cooking and baking. You can visit Shelly's popular online foodie blog called Shakin 'N Bakin in the kitchen at for free menu ideas, cooking tips and free recipes.

Treat Yourself To A Homemade Natural Facial Beauty Mask

When it comes to beauty, I think natural is best. I have tried many of the chemical facial masks out in the marketplace, but find them too harsh for my delicate skin.

To solve that problem, I started making my own freshly made masks with natural ingredients. They are just as good, if not better, than store bought facial masks.

Here are a few tips before you get started.

You will want to wash your face with a gentle face cleanser before applying your mask. If you have really sensitive skin, let mask on for 5 minutes to see how your skin reacts to it. These recipes are meant for one-time-use, please discard anything that is left.

Cucumber Facial Mask

1/2 cucumber
1 egg white
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon mint extract

Remove cucumber skin and cut into slices. Using an egg separator, collect your egg white and discard the yolk. Place cucumber slices, egg white, lemon juice and mint extract in a blender container. Purée the ingredients until well blended and then place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Apply the cucumber mixture to your face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm, then cool water. Blot face dry with a soft cotton towel.

Tip: This mask is great for tired looking skin.

Lemon Facial Mask

2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine all 3 ingredients with a wire whisk until blended. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Apply the mixture to your face. Leave on your face for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off. Blot face dry with a soft cotton towel.

Tip: This mask is great for tired looking and dry skin.

Banana Facial Mask

1 sliced banana, peel removed
1 cup olive oil
2 egg whites

Combine all 3 ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Apply mixture to your face. Leave on your face for 10 minutes, then wash it off. Blot face dry with a soft cotton towel.

Tip: This mask is great for dry skin or acne prone skin.

Shelly Hill has been making her own beauty treatments at home since 1993. She believes that natural beauty is best for delicate and sensitive skin. You can visit Shelly's Shakin 'N Bakin in the Kitchen Foodie Blog at for more free health and beauty recipes that are made from food items!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wins...and more Wins!!!

I recently was MIA for 6 weeks due to medical illness...90% of that time was spent in the hospital. Anyway...while I was MIA in the hospital, my hubby graciously accepted a slew of packages for me and stacked them in one of our guest rooms. I have now been home for 2 weeks and took my time opening them all. It was like CHRISTMAS for me LOL!

Here is the short list of some of the things I won:

2 Rainbow Brite Dolls
2 Shrinky Dink Craft Kits
My beautiful lavender pearl necklace
5 bangle bracelets
sterling silver ring engraved with baby G's name (gave to J)
2 (6-packs) of diet soda made with stevia (bee hates, my mom likes)
my $350 twin size comforter (for guest room)
3 pairs of shoes for baby G
2 umbrellas from Kidorable for baby G (she is too young yet)
2 onesies, 2 dresses and 4 t-shirts for baby G
2 wooden puzzles from Oompa Toys (G for christmas)
14kt gold and rose quartz earrings
sterling silver and turquoise watch
heart shaped cake pan
Wilton puzzle cake - cake pan
case of disgusting cookies from Say Yes To Cookies (trashed all 4 pkgs)
wooden dominoes game
3 cartoon videos
something Mr Fox DVD video
3 books
organic cotton pillow protectors
girlie girl wall plaque (for G's room)
a beaded bracelet
pink hoodie for myself from NY & Co
organic cotton sleep shirt
organic cotton Tshirt
Washington Redskins Fan Tie (gave to bee)
Peppermint Foot Pampering Kit
2 fabulous sets of Magna Pods (used them to organize my med cabinets)

As you can see....entering giveaways and taking the time to read the rules & guidelines and being consistent with entering them can really pay off. My family is really enjoying all of our new things!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Strawberry Shortcut Cake Recipe

Normally I share my favorite recipes over on my Shakin 'N Bakin cooking and recipe blog but thought I would share one of my favorite cake recipes today over here on my personal chit chat blog.

This strawberry shortcut cake recipe is one of our favorites and I got this recipe several years ago from my sister-in-law. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does! It does take some time to make but its well worth the results.

Strawberry Shortcut Cake Recipe

1 cup mini marshmallows
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 pkg. strawberry gelatin (jello)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Generously grease the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over the bottom of the pan. Thoroughly combine thawed strawberries and the dry strawberry gelatin mix together and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Blend at low speed with an electric mixture until ingredients are well moistened and combined, then beat at medium speed for an additional 3 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly over the marshmallows and then spoon the strawberry mixture on top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and tests done. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or with some whipped topping (cream).