Sunday, December 30, 2012

Strawberry Orange Mango Sparklers Gelatin Recipe

Today I am sharing with all of you one of my favorite dessert recipes from the great folks over at Sparkling ICE. Everytime I make this recipe, my family gobbles it up! Here is some information about Sparkling ICE.

Sparkling ICE is a naturally-flavored sparkling water that contains zero calories, zero carbs, is gluten-free, and lightly carbonated. An excellent soda alternative, Sparkling ICE contains B-Vitamins, Vitamin D and antioxidants, along with a caffeine-free Green Tea Extract that is known to have powerful levels of antioxidants.

Strawberry Orange Mango Sparklers Recipe

1 bottle Orange Mango Sparkling ICE
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 envelopes plain Knox gelatin
Fresh Strawberries to garnish

Pour juice and sugar into small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and let it bloom for a few minutes. Heat over low heat and stir gently until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in Sparkling ICE. Pour into 2 oz. plastic cups and refrigerate. If using strawberries, clean and slice the berries. After the jell-o snacks have chilled for 30 minutes, add the berries. This way they'll be slightly suspended in the mixture

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mom's Homemade Shrimp Creole Recipe

My mom is a really good cook, especially when it comes to seafood and fish. Over the years, she has treated us to some really creative and unique seafood dishes, so today, I thought I would share with all of you her homemade shrimp creole recipe. This is a semi-spicy dish, so I don't think really young children would like it.

Mom's Homemade Shrimp Creole Recipe

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup water
2 cups canned tomatoes
2 cups canned peas
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 cups cooked medium-sized shrimp
4 cups cooked white rice

In a large saucepan, saute the chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, celery and minced garlic in melted butter until tender. (about 6 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat). Stir in the all-purpose flour, salt, granulated sugar, ground chili powder and water. Simmer mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in the canned tomatoes, peas and vinegar. Simmer over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the cook shrimp (shells removed) and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove and serve immediately over white rice.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mom's Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe

During the fall baking season, I bet my mom and I bake at least 25 pies if not more! When we bake our pies we always use her "Never Fail" pie crust recipe. Today, I thought I would share that recipe with all of you.

Mom's Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 lb. shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons white vinegar

In a large bowl, cream together the all-purpose flour, shortening and salt. Beat the large egg in a glass measuring cup using a wire egg beater. Add in the vinegar and enough water to make 1 full cup of liquid. Pour liquid mixture into the flour and shortening mixture. Blended until well combined.

You can now roll out your pie doughs onto a lightly floured surface. This recipe makes about 6 pie crusts so I store the dough in my refrigerator over a 2 day period of time until I get my pies all baked.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

20 Minute Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

My daughter loves tuna noodle casserole and has loved it since she was a little girl. When we make tuna noodle casserole, we like making it with cream of mushroom soup and white cheddar cheese. How do you like making it? Here is the recipe that we enjoy using.

20 Minute Tuna Noodle Casserole

8 ounces of rotini pasta
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
12 ounces of white albacore tuna in water
3 cups of shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup of bread crumbs

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pasta according to the box directions. While it's boiling, mix together the soup, tuna, and 2 cups of cheese. Drain pasta and pour into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Add the tuna mixture and blend with the pasta. Cover with the rest of the cheese and top with the breadcrumbs. Slide into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with buttery crackers.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How We Spent Thanksgiving at the Assisted Living Center

Every year for the past 25 years I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner here at my home. There have only been 2 times that I didn't and both of those times were while I was in the hospital recovering from illness or surgery. This year we decided to do something different for the holiday and here is how we spent it!

Back in May of 2012 we had to admit my beloved great auntie who is like my grandmother to an assisted living facility. She is to the point that she can no longer live alone and it broke our hearts to force her into an assisted living facility. She doesn't like it there at all, but it is in her best interest to be there.

We go in often to visit with her and to see her. She was feeling down and blue lately, so we decided to spend Thanksgiving Day with her and the other residents at the facility. I baked up a slew of homemade quick breads, muffins and cookies and took them in for Thanksgiving breakfast. We served them to her lady friends with some coffee and tea.

Then around lunch time we joined her and the other residents in the dining room and enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with them. My husband and mother had the turkey dinner and auntie and I enjoy the ham dinner. I have to admit, the dinner that they served was absolutely delicious!After dinner, we took auntie back to her apartment and spent another 2 hours just chatting and enjoying each others company.

Just recently my auntie was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (cancer) and will be undergoing surgery on December 10th. Her cancer is pretty far progressed and we won't know the total outcome of this until after her surgery. For now, we want to spend as much time with her that we can.

We had a great time doing this and perhaps we will do it again next year for Easter and Thanksgiving. The residents at the Assisted Living Center really enjoyed having us and you can tell that it really cheered them up to have us there. If you live near a center yourself, I highly recommend spending some time with the elders as it is a very rewarding experience!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Great Homemade Juice Recipes by Omega Juicers

Here are some quick homemade juice recipes from Omega Juicers and Blenders to help keep you healthy, hydrated and energized.

Papaya Paradise Recipe

1/2 Papaya (no seeds or skin)
1 Pint fresh red raspberries
Fresh Lime juice and Water till glass reaches 32 oz.
Scoop out the papaya flesh. Add the raspberries and water, and blend and in an Omega Blender.

Blueberry Bash Recipe

1 Cup skim milk
1 Cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 Tbsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)

Place milk and frozen unsweetened blueberries in Omega blender and blend for 1 minute. Transfer to glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Refinished an Old Cement Bird Bath - Home Remodeling Project

For the past few months I have been blogging about all of the home remodeling projects that we have been working on. To refresh your memory, we purchased a 60 year old home 2 years ago and was renting it out. Well, this past May our tenant moved out and we decided to remodel the home and move in.Since that time, we have been over at the house every weekend working on various remodeling projects. We are hoping to move into the home later this month or early in December.

Anyway, there was an old bird bath in the backyard and I just didn't have the heart to trash it. I imagine 35 years ago that it was a beautiful looking thing, but over the years it has been neglected and looking well...ugly! Frankly, it was an "eye-sore" to say the least. However, I still couldn't trash it as I am a total bird lover!

I decided to go to Lowe's and look for some paint and give it an update. I found some really cool indoor/outdoor spray paint by Valspar which gives your items a "stone" finish. Matter of fact, it's called Valspar Stone Spray Paint. Anyway, I purchased two cans of it at $9.99 a can and took them over to the house to work on the bird bath.

I selected the "Ancient Ruins" finish/color and I am pretty happy with that choice. I read the instructions, shook up my cans and got busy spray painting my old, ugly bird bath. I had thought about sanding it to remove all of the chipping paint but then decided to just leave it as I thought it added some "old world" charm and texture to the piece.

It took one entire can to spray the entire "bowl" part of the bird bath and then another can to do the entire pedestal. I got a nice even coat by using just two cans but I have now decided to go back next weekend and get a third can. I want to lay the new stone finish on a little thicker than what I currently have it.

While the bird bath still doesn't look 100% perfect, it does look a whole lot better than what it did. The neighbors came over to check it out and now they want to spray the stone paint onto their bird baths too! hahaha! I guess it's true what they say, Gotta keep up with the Jones'.

Anyway, I am really pleased with how it all turned out and next weekend, the bird bath will be getting another coat of the Valspar Stone Spray Paint which will make it look even prettier than it did before. I am really glad that I decided to save the bird bath and not trash it! Yeah!!!

Well there you have it, my little home remodeling update for this week! Next week I will share some before/after photos of the new master bathroom and hubby is about 1/2 way done with the kitchen remodeling project. I will get some photos of that too!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Spaghetti and Shrimp Salad Recipe

I love making a wide variety of salads during the hot summer months and this Spaghetti and Shrimp Salad is one of my family's favorite salads.

Spaghetti and Shrimp Salad Recipe

2 (5 ounce) pkgs. frozen baby shrimp, thawed and drained
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 lb. thin spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 envelopes George Washington Golden Broth
3 tablespoons vinegar
3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

In a large mixing bowl toss together the baby shrimp, chopped green pepper, chopped onion and spaghetti noodles. In a separate bowl combine together the granulated sugar, golden broth, vinegar and reduced-fat mayonnaise until well blended. Pour this dressing over the top of the pasta ingredients and toss lightly to combine everything together. Cover bowl and place it into the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Slim and Sparkling Orange Mango Martini Recipe

I love a good cocktail or two and this cocktail recipe that was provided to us by Sparkling ICE looks delicious! I think I will whip up a few of them when my girlfriends come over next weekend for a scrapbooking and card making date. Yummy!

Slim and Sparkling Orange Mango Martini Recipe

1 oz Tequila
1 oz Orange flavored vodka
3 oz Orange Mango Sparkling ICE
Juice of 1 lime


1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
2. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
3. Garnish with orange peel.

Disclosure: You must be age 21 years or older to consume alcoholic beverages. Please drink responsibly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch - Almost Wordless Wednesday

My almost Wordless Wednesday photo and post for this week is a photograph that I snapped when we took our little 3 1/2 year old grand daughter to a local Pumpkin Patch a few weeks ago. We spent almost 2 hours at the Pumpkin Patch while she searched for the perfect pumpkins.

While on the hunt, her daddy and her pappy helped her to select 4 gorgeous pumpkins which we brought home and carved into Jack-o-lanterns and into jackie-lanterns. I must say, Princess Gia had a blast at the Pumpkin Patch and we will be taking her again next year. Perhaps, a new family tradition in the making!

After we carved them up...we roasted their seeds in the oven and chowed down! We love roasted pumpkin seeds! Anyway, that is our "Almost" Wordless Wednesday post for this week :)

Gold and Silver Fever Infographic

Do any of you collect gold and/or silver coins? What about gold and/or silver jewelry? Well, today I found this really cool infographic on Gold and Silver Fever and wanted to share it with all of you. It has some really educating and interesting facts on it like:

* For every person on the Earth, there is 24.75 grams of gold.
* Every hour there is more steel poured than the entire amount of gold ever mined. Wow!
* During the Gold Rush, San Francisco grew from 200 residents to over 36,000 in only 6 years! Talk about a population boom!
* Silver is the most reflective of all of the metals.
* Silver was more valuable than gold in ancient Egypt.
* The 14 year Gold Rush last until 1893.

Plus many more interesting and educating facts! Check out the infographic below to learn more! It's an eye-opener! If you have any problems viewing the infographic in it's entirety, scroll to the bottom of this post & click on the hyperlink to open it up in a new window.

Gold and Silver Fever |
Presented By visit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Banana Nut Bread Recipe

I love making homemade banana bread and I enjoy making it a variety of different ways. Sometimes I will toss in some shredded zucchini, strawberries, chopped nuts or whatever I have on hand. Today, I wanted to share with you a banana nut bread recipe that I like to use. With the addition of the applesauce, you are cutting down on fat and the applesauce makes it a very moist bread.

Homemade Banana Nut Bread Recipe

4 ripe bananas
1 cup of sugar
¾ cup of applesauce
2 eggs
2 cups of bread flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan. In a large bowl, slice the bananas and use an electric mixer to mash. Add the sugar and blend. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes. Add applesauce and eggs and mix well. Blend in the remaining ingredients. Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand again for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chicken and Waffles with Sweet and Spicy Mayo Recipe

The great folks over at KRUPS sent over their Chicken and Waffles with Sweet & Spicy Mayo recipe for me to share with all of my readers. I am a HUGE fan of homemade waffles and these waffles, look delicious! Don't you agree? Wow! Thanks KRUPS!

KRUPS Signature Waffles Recipe

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips** (for dessert recipe)

Preheat KRUPS F654 Waffle Iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth. Brush oil on preheated waffle iron. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.
Chicken and Waffles with Sweet and Spicy Mayo Recipe

• 4 eggs
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper plus 1 teaspoon for mayo sauce
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 quart peanut oil for frying
• 8 chicken tenders
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1 teaspoons prepared horseradish
• ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

Whisk together the eggs, cream, cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. In a paper bag, shake together the flour, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon salt. Dip the chicken into the beaten egg mixture, then place into the flour mixture and shake to coat. Place the breaded chicken onto a wire rack; do not stack. Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes to allow the coating to set. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In small batches, fry chicken 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown. Remove chicken, and drain on paper towels. Set aside or keep warm in a low oven.

To make the mayo, combine mayonnaise, maple syrup, horseradish, cayenne pepper and mustard powder and whisk together until blended. Spoon over waffles and serve with chicken.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Potato Pancakes Recipe for Big Family Breakfasts

Do you have a big family? Struggling with recipes that will feed the entire family every morning? Well, this recipe will make 12 to 15 pancakes (depending on how large you make them) and is really easy to make. In addition, once cooked and cooled...these pancakes will freeze well for later use!

Homemade Potato Pancakes Recipe

1/4 cup milk
2 medium eggs
3 cups raw potatoes, diced very small
1/2 of a small onion, finely diced
3 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Dice up your raw potatoes and small onion. Place all ingredients in a large blender container in the order they are given in the recipe. Process on medium speed for about 20 seconds or until the potatoes are finely diced up. You do not want to over-process the mixture because the potatoes will liquify if blended up too much.

Prepare your griddle and get it nice and hot. Pour some pancake batter onto your hot griddle and grill on the first side until you see bubbles around the edges. Flip pancake over to the other side and continue grilling until golden brown. Serve pancakes with your favorite toppings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns :: Almost Wordless Wednesday

Two weeks ago we took Princess Gia to our local Pumpkin Patch so that she could pick out a few Halloween pumpkins. We spent 45 minutes at the pumpkin patch that afternoon and came home with 4 beautiful Halloween pumpkins.

She told her daddy that she wanted a "Princess" design on her pumpkin so her daddy did the best that he could in designing her a spooky princess pumpkin. After 30 minutes, he came up with Princess Jackie-Lantern! LOL My little 3 1/2 year old grand daughter is very proud of her new Halloween pumpkin and every evening she turns on the battery operated candle that sits inside Jackie.

So there you have it, my Almost Wordless Wednesday post for October 17th, 2012. Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Orange Mango Creamsicle Sparkling Punch Recipe

Sparkling ICE, the 2012 winner of the Food & Beverage “Rising Star” award from Symphony IRI Group, has created a recipe for Orange Mango Creamsicle Sparkling Punch - a simple, sparkling summer snack that is perfect to serve to friends and family of all ages. Oranges are naturally low in calories and high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. Sparkling ICE also contains vitamins and antioxidants to create tasty, lightly-carbonated, refreshments in assorted thirst-quenching flavors.

Orange Mango Creamsicle Sparkling Punch Recipe

1 qt. Vanilla Ice Cream
1 qt. Sherbet
8-12 (17oz) Chilled bottles Orange Mango Sparkling ICE

Mix all ingredients together in large punch bowl. Let ice cream soften a little before serving.


Sparkling ICE is the perfect beverage for people of all ages. Crisp and refreshing, Sparkling ICE can be enjoyed alone or as a mixer for yummy low-calorie cocktails. Delicious, zero calories and refreshing, Sparkling ICE combines fresh spring water, natural fruit juices and vitamins and antioxidants to create tasty, lightly-carbonated, refreshments in assorted thirst-quenching flavors. A great alternative to soft drinks, appealing to all age groups, diabetics and the health-conscious, Sparkling ICE is available in eight distinct, delicious flavors sweetened with Splenda, all of which are caffeine-free, Kosher U and free of sodium and carbohydrates.

Curbside Chaos Yard Makeover Results and Fall Gardening!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Fall is in the air and it's time to work on our Fall gardening to get things ready for Spring 2013. Most people think about planting flower bulbs and flowers in early Spring but if you want flowers to be blooming at the start of Spring, you need to plant your flower bulbs now!
Now that Fall is here, we have been planning out all of the things that we need to do now so that our garden looks beautiful come Springtime. I found a great web site online called Curbside Chaos that is helping us to learn everything that we need to know about gardening.
On their site they had a big sweepstakes a few months ago and one lucky winner won a yard makeover plus a visit from Taniya Nayak. I watched the YouTube video on that and was really impressed with how that backyard makeover turned out. Absolutely gorgeous! I love that the home owner chose some lillies and gladiolas for her backyard which are always pretty. You need to check out the video at If I would ever win a $5,000 yard makeover, I could get a pretty solar bird bath and put it into the center of a beautiful flower garden. I like bright and colorful flowers in yellows, pinks and purples.
They are also doing a special fundraisers where if you send a Tweet on Twitter they will donated $1.00 to Rebuilding Together, the nations leading non-profit organization that works to preserve affordable home ownership & to revitalize older communities. You can Tweet using the hashtag #CurbsideChaos.
Anyway, back to my Fall gardening plans! I am a big lover of Spring blooming flowers and I live in the North East. I used their Garden Guru Tool (bottom left side of the page on their site) to find my country, state and planting zone. I learned that Daffodils and Crocus' are good flowers for me to plant right now for blooming come early Spring. They also gave me planting instructions too! Yeah!

Are any of you planting anything this Fall? I would love to invite you to go over there and try out their Garden Guru Tool to see what you could be planting right now so that you will have a pretty garden come Springtime too! What kind of flowers do you like?
I also learned a great gardening tip while I was over there too! Did you know that flower bulbs are not just for outdoor gardening? You can plant them in planters and place those planters indoors! Isn't that cool? In addition, you can give potted flowers (containing potted flower bulbs) as gifts too! I like to give those types of gifts around Easter and Mother's Day.

I was over there looking at their Garden Ladies too and found one lady named Evelyn that I really identified with. She has a wild animal problem making a mess of her garden and I learned that there are flowers that you can plant to help keep pesky critters away! Yeah, that is way cool! I need to do that for our groundhog and deer problem.
Make sure you visit to learn more about Fall gardening and the yard makeover! Happy Planting!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WW - A Visit to the Local Pumpkin Patch

My almost Wordless Wednesday photo for this week is one I took of my little 3 1/2 year old grand daughter last weekend when we took her to the local Pumpkin Patch for the very first time. At first, she didn't understand what a Pumpkin Patch was....but once we got there and she got to run through the farmer's field looking at pumpkins, well, she was all for it!

We spent about 45 minutes at the Pumpkin Patch and left her pick 4 huge pumpkins! Two of the pumpkins are sitting on my front porch as part of my Fall outdoor decorations and the other two pumpkins are at her house. Her daddy is going to carve them into Jack-o-lanterns for her later tonight. She is super excited about that!

Happy Wordless or Almost Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Pineapple Pie Recipe

Looking for a great pie recipe that utilizes canned pineapple? If so, you have got to try my mother's homemade pineapple pie recipe! We love making this pie for our family, especially in the summertime but you can make it all year long!

Homemade Pineapple Pie Recipe

2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple
1 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tbsp. lemon juice
8" pie shell (unbaked)(one or two, see below)

In a large saucepan combine together the cornstarch, sugar, salt and the crushed pineapples. Simmer over medium heat and cook until it thickens up. Stir in the butter and lemon juice and simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Pour pineapple pie filling into an 8" unbaked pie shell. Cover with lattice strips or another unbaked pie shell to make a double crust pie. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.

Shopping for Prescription Glasses Online

I have been wearing eye glasses for the past 10 years and every year when I go to get my eyes re-examined, I find out that my prescription has changed. Sigh, it seems to be a vicious merry-go-round every year. I guess as we age, our eye sight gets worse. Last year I paid close to $700 for my eye glasses at a local eye wear store and this year, I am determined to save money.

I decided to shop for my prescription glasses online and have them delivered to my home. I got on the web and did some browsing and found a store that has all of the latest and greatest eye glass frames. They have so many stylish choices, that it was hard to make up my mind on the pair that I wanted. Hence, I asked my hubby for his opinion and now he wants to get a new pair too!

It is really amazing at how far technology has come and that you can now purchase your eye glasses and contacts online. In doing so, you save a lot of money because our local stores charge at least 50% more. I love that I don't have to "tramp" into a local store and spend hours of my time trying on frames. I can now do it all from the comfort of my home and when it is convenient for me to do so. Isn't that pretty cool? I think so!

All I have to do is get a copy of my newest prescription and type that prescription in on the ordering form. Some places require you to mail it in or fax it in...but this one particular store you can simply type your prescription information in on the screen. Quick and Easy...just the way I like it!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know about the cool prescription eye glass store that I found online and if you need a new pair of prescription glasses, you should check them out too! Happy Shopping!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Our New Coastal Design Area Rug by Mohawk

Well, we are now 5 months into our home remodeling project and coming down the home stretch now. We are about 70% completed with the projects we want to complete before we move into the house. We are stepping up the pace and will be moving into the house around Thanksgiving. We are super excited about that!

Anyway, I have been looking around for some Coastal Theme'd Area Rugs and have been having a hard time locating one to go into my master bedroom. The master bedroom and master bathroom are being done in a sandy beach and coastal ocean theme. I needed a rug that was gender neutral but in a coastal theme and I finally found one!

The photo shows our new area rug sitting in our living room because the guys are still laying down the hardwood floor in the master bedroom. Once the flooring is done, this gorgeous area rug by Mohawk will be going into the bedroom!

I think it's absolutely GORGEOUS and it's ONLY available right now at Lowe's for $68.00 which is a bargain for this high-quality area rug. Check out the Mohawk Home Abstract Sea Multi 60-in x 84-in Rectangular Multicolor Transitional Area Rug and you will see for gorgeous it is!

Once the master bedroom is done, I will move the area rug into that room and update this blog post with a new photo. I think it's going to go perfectly with my sandy beach coastal decor. Yeah!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Orange Mango ICE Cocktail Recipe

I love Mango and any cocktail drinks that contain the mango flavor are definitly for me! Seriously, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mango! Do you enjoy mango too? Well anyway, I got a great cocktail recipe to share with all of you from the folks over at Sparkling ICE. Have any of you tried any of the cocktails yet that are made with Sparkling ICE products?

* Recipe and Photo is courtesy of Sparkling ICE.

Orange Mango ICE Cocktail Recipe

1 oz Herradura Silver Tequila
1 oz Triple Sec
Lime wedge muddled
Topped with Orange Mango Sparkling ICE

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Disclaimer: You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol in the United States. Please drink responsibly and NEVER drink & drive.

Fashionable Boot Styles for Fall

Fall has officially arrived and many women are hitting the stores looking for the latest hot looks in women's footwear. One of this season's fashionable "must-haves" is the boot! You can find boots with 5" high-heels or you can find comfortable boots for women that you can wear all day long!

No matter what your boot style is, you can definitely find something that you will love this Fall season! You can pair your boots up with denim jeans and leggings for a casual look or pair them up with trousers, skirts and dresses for a more dressier look.

The "Tall Shaft Boot" looks great worn with dresses, skirts, leggings, jeggings and even with your favorite pair of jeans. You can find them with high-heels, kitten-heels, chunky-block heels or with flat soles. When selecting a Tall Shaft Boot, it's best to stick with the traditional colors of black or chocolate brown as they will go with most anything in your wardrobe.

The "Mid Shaft Boot" looks great worn with jeans, dresses, trousers and long or short skirts. When shopping for a Mid Shaft Boot, look for boots with a chunkier style heel to give you stability as you walk. You can find this style of boot in a wide variety of colors this year and you can really "jazz" up your fashion look by selecting a pair in red, navy blue or forest green. If you are a classics girl, stick with the basic black or chocolate brown.

The "Ankle Boot" is a real classic and most women love wearing them! When you purchase an Ankle Boot you won't have to worry about calf-size at all. If you are a big-calf type of woman, the Ankle Boot is your best option and they can be worn with just about everything in your Fall wardrobe.

The "Hiker or Trail Boot" is a style of boot that every woman should own, if you live in a part of the country where the weather can get nasty. This style of boot is comfortable to wear outside in the pouring rain, inches of snow or even on an icy sidewalk.  Often times we overlook this purchase when updating our Fall wardrobe but, it's an important one to remember if you live in the North or North East part of the country.

Now that Fall is definitely here, it is time to update your Fall wardrobe with at least one new pair of boots. If you are like me, consider getting 2 or 3 pairs to really update your wardrobe this Fall. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Anise Drop Cookies Recipe

During the fall I really get into the mood for cookie baking. I got this recipe about 20 years ago from a friend and every year, I look forward to making these Anise Drop Cookies.

Anise Drop Cookies Recipe

3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Anise seed

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the large eggs with the granulated sugar; gradually beat in the all-purpose flour and the Anise seed. Drop by the spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet and allow them to stand on the sheet for 6 hours or until a crust forms.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove and let cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Italian Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe

Last weekend we went to my sister's house for dinner and she made this wonderful Italian Bow Tie Pasta Salad and I just had to get the recipe. It is really simple to prepare and it tastes so good!

Italian Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe

16 oz. bag bow tie pasta
2 cucumbers, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 tbsp. Salad Supreme Seasoning
16 oz. bottle Italian Salad Dressing

Cook the pasta, rinse and drain. Place pasta in a large salad bowl and then gently stir in the chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes and onions. Stir in the Salad Supreme Seasoning and the Italian Salad Dressing until all ingredients are well combined. Place a lid on top of the bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

Looking Into Naturopathic Healthcare

Back in the early 1990's I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Porphyria. Since that time, I have endured over 35+ surgeries, over 200+ hospitalizations, repeated rounds of home nursing care and still...I found myself in chronic pain, every day!

A friend of mine's mother suffers with a similar ailment and lives in Canada. She was telling me about a naturopath Toronto who specializes in Naturopathic Healthcare who has been helping her mother, who also suffers with quite a bit of chronic pain and various other health ailments.

She told me that a naturopathic doctor will evaluate a patient and do tests. Once the evaluation and tests have been completed, the naturopathic doctor will make suggestions and recommendations to the patient that consist of the most current and recommended natural therapies.

These natural treatments and therapies can include:

* Botanical Medicine
* Diet Changes
* Lifestyle Changes
* Nutritional Supplements
* Nutritional Injections
* Acupuncture
* Traditional Chinese Medicine
* Naturopathic Spinal Manipulation
* Hydrotherapy
* and more!

In the past I have tried both acupuncture and spinal manipulation. I had some good results with acupuncture in the past but I couldn't handle the spinal manipulation due to my severe osteoporosis. I would love to visit a licensed naturopathic doctor now and perhaps try some botanical medicine, nutritional supplements and perhaps some hydrotherapy.

I would love to know if any of my blog readers have tried naturopathic healthcare before and if so, how was your experience with it? Please leave your feedback below in my blog's comment form. I would love to hear your thoughts and about your experience. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Applesauce Cherry Squares Recipe

I love making bar style cookies as it really saves me a lot of time. Don't get me wrong, I love making drop cookies too...but on busy weekends, I am all about bar style cookies!

Applesauce Cherry Squares Recipe

2 cups sweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pkgs. cherry gelatin mix
1 cup chopped nuts
confectioner's sugar

In a large saucepan, heat up the applesauce to a boiling, add in the lemon juice. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes or until the applesauce has thickened. Stir in the gelatin mix and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped nuts. Pour mixture into an 8" by 8" pan which has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 6 hours so that they firm up. Remove from refrigerator and cut into squares. Dust the tops of each square with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Beauty Doesn't Have to Cost a Fortune Infographic

I just turned 45 back in June of this year and even though I am getting older, I still like to look good! I buy a lot of skin care products, beauty products, bath & body products and of course, cosmetics.

When I was younger, I had no problem blowing an entire paycheck on the beauty & skin care products that I wanted. Now that I am older, more mature and definitely more frugal, I realized how much money I wasted years ago by purchasing the high-priced beauty products that I wanted.

Seriously, I get the same results by purchasing affordable beauty products as compared to those over-priced products that seem to lure you in with a bunch of promises.

Here is a nice inforgraphic that I wanted to share with all of you today about high-end beauty treatments, celebrities and how you can get the celebrity-look at a reasonable price!

Thank you Bh Cosmetics for sharing this information with all of my blog readers!

inspired beauty infographic,
Presented By Bh Cosmetics

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Caramel Nut Café Recipe by KRUPS

Fall is just around the corner and it's time to start thinking about all of those yummy hot beverages that we all like to drink once the weather gets chillier outside. Well today, the great folks over at KRUPS is sharing their delicious looking Caramel Nut Café Recipe with all of my blog readers. YUMMY!

* Recipe and Image is courtesty of KRUPS.

Caramel Nut Café Recipe by KRUPS

· 1 teaspoon coffee liqueur
· 1 teaspoon almond extract
· 1 cup hot coffee
· Cream

Directions: Mix coffee, liqueur, and almond extract in a pot. Serve with cream.

Note: I made the recipe a few days ago and I used the whipped cream that comes in a can and it was absolutely delicious! Matter of fact, hubby and I have made the recipe at least 6 times in the past week! Delicious!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Chewy Peppermint Candies Recipe

If you are tired of purchasing peppermint candies and tired of how hard they are, well, give this Chewy Peppermint Candies recipe a try. You only need 3 ingredients to make them! My sister calls them peppermint cookies but I consider them more of a candy.

Chewy Peppermint Candies Recipe

2 lbs. confectioner's sugar
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

In a large mixing bowl combined together all 3 of the ingredients in the order they are given in the recipe. I find it best to use an electric mixer set on low speed. Roll out the candy dough onto wax paper. Cut the candy into your desired shapes and place them onto a baking sheet. Place sheet in the refrigerator so they harden up. Once harden remove them and place into an airtight container.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Installed the New Pocket Door Latch - Door Knob

Our home remodeling and home improvement projects are moving along nicely! My hubby is just about done with the 3/4 bathroom that he built and added onto the house. This bathroom features an eco-friendly low-flush new toilet, new pedestle sink and he built us a new super large 2-person shower with those fancy rain forest shower heads that come down from the ceiling. Super cool.

He needs to finish tiling some of the walls, paint them, hang the medicine cabinet, mirror and a few other minor things and that bathroom will finally be done. He has been working on it for 3 months!

Anyway, to save on space, he installed a pocket door as the entry door into the new 3/4 master bathroom. We needed a nickel finish pocket door latch with security lock and he got one from

It took him about 20 minutes to cut a hole into the door and to install the new pocket door latch. It was one of the easiest things he had to do with this new bathroom that he built. We are super pleased with how the master bathroom is coming along and as soon as the entire bathroom has been completed, I will post before and after photos here on my blog.

Disclosure: We received a complimentary product to conduct a review. All opinions, thoughts & ideas on this product are 100% unbiased and true to the best of my knowledge. We did not receive any monetary compensation and were not required to published a favorable review.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Home Improvement Project - Magnetic Mailbox Wraps

It's now the start of September which marks the beginning of the 4th month of our various home remodeling projects. We have been gutting and remodeling this old home for 3 solid months now. We were "thinking" that it would ONLY take 3 months to complete the projects and that we would be moving into the house this month...but, we were wrong!

We only get to do the "major" work on the house during the weekends and then go over 2 evenings a week to do some "minor" work. This is taking a lot LONGER than we anticipated and is costing us a small fortune!

We have a very ugly mailbox that needs to be replaced and instead of replacing it right now (will do that in early spring), we decided to purchase one of those decorative magnetic mailbox wraps.

Since our landscaping is being done in a coastal theme, we went with a coastal themed mailbox wrap. It only cost us $8.00 (including the tax) so we felt this was a great affordable option for us right now.

It took us ONLY 30 seconds to transform our ugly old white mailbox with rust spots into something that looks a HECK OF A LOT better! Don't ya think? Some of the old house number stickers are sticking out under the wrap on the front so hubby is going to scrape those off tomorrow and it will then look even better!

Now that I have one magnetic mailbox wrap, I want more! I think it would be fun to change them up as the seasons change. What do you think? We love it!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moist Chocolate Cake Brownies Recipe

I love to make brownies and sometimes I will make fudgy brownies and at other times I will make cake brownies. All of this is in regards to the brownies texture and moistness. Today I am sharing with all of you one of my favorite cake-like chocolate brownie recipes.

Chocolate Cake Brownies Recipe

1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or peanuts

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Melt the chocolate in a bowl and stir in the butter. Beat in the granulated sugar and large eggs, beat well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until all ingredients are combined. Add in the light cream and vanilla extract, beat again. Stir in the chopped nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour brownie batter into an 8" square baking dish and bake in a preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until done. Let cool or serve warm.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bean and Tuna Salad Recipe

For the past couple of years my mother has been making this delicious bean and tuna salad and I finally got her to sit down and write out the recipe for me. It is really easy to prepare and once you have it made, you will need to chill it for 2 to 4 hours before serving it.

Bean and Tuna Salad Recipe

1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 tsp. lemon rind, grated
2 tbsp. basil
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 (15 ounce) cans cannelloni beans, rinsed & drained
1 (12 ounce) can chunk white tuna, drained & flaked

In a large mixing bowl combine together the first 6 ingredients, stirring well. Add in the cherry tomatoes, beans and tuna. Toss to gently mix everything together. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

Looking for Quality Accounting Jobs

My sister just completed a year's worth of classes and finally got her accounting degree. I am really proud of her because she worked part time and went to school full time to get her degree! Congrats Crystal!

She was visiting me yesterday and we hopped online so that she could look for some accounting jobs online. She found 3 or 4 that she was interested in and will be applying for those on Monday. Are any of you in the accounting field? How long did it take for you to find a job in this particular career field?

Crystal has always been great at math and keeping records, so I think this was a great career move for her. Now that she is done, my brother-in-law, (her husband) wants to go back to school and take the same courses that she took. I think that is great, perhaps some day they can open a business together once they get some experience under their belts.

While she is out job hunting, I will get to babysit her two kids. My nephews are really fun to be around and they always crack me up. It's nice that I get to spend so much time with them.

Anyway, if you have any job hunting tips for me to share with my sister, please feel free to leave them below in my blog's comment form. Thanks & have a great Sunday evening!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stroganoff Pork Chops Recipe

Tired of the same old pork chop recipe? Looking for a new one that is a little different but yet, still very easy to prepare? If so, this particular pork chop recipe has been a hit in my family for several years! The adults and the kids equally enjoy it!

Stroganoff Pork Chops Recipe

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
6 lean-cut pork chops
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1 pkg. brown gravy mix
1 medium onion, sliced
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine the all-purpose flour, seasoned salt, and ground paprika; coat pork chops. Brown chops in a lightly greased skillet and drain. Combine gravy mix and water as called for on pkg. Pour over pork chops. Add the sliced onions; simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 15 more mins. Remove pork chops to serving platter. Add mushrooms and sour cream to gravy, combine. Heat and pour over pork chops.

My Husband is a Licensed HVAC Tech and Service Manager

I often don't talk about my husband here on my blog but today, I am going to tell you all a little bit about him and what he does for his profession. My husband is 51 years old and is a licensed HVAC technician, plumber, electrician and service manager for a very large 600+ unit apartment complex and townhouse community here in Pennsylvania. He has been in this career field since he was 19 years of age.

Right now he has assigned me the task of purchasing him some new clothing for work. He goes through a lot of clothing when working out in the field fixing air conditioners, furnaces, appliances, hanging drywall, doing electrical wiring, etc. Every night...he comes home filthy dirty unless he got dressed up for work meetings that day.

I have been on the hunt the past few days trying to find a good pair of wing shoes with the safety toe, more specifically, steel toe boots. He would like them in dark brown or black and to come above the ankle, so that he has good ankle support. He needs the boots to be light, flexible and waterproof too!

Once I get him new boots, I will need to get him some new cargo pants, 5 or 6 pairs of those because he lost weight and his other pairs are now too big on him. He loves work pants with a ton of cargo pockets which he can stash his tools and other gear inside the pockets.

Since fall and winter are coming, I will need to get him some long sleeve thermal shirts and some flannel shirts too. He works outdoors a lot in the winter elements and I want him to be warm and cozy this winter season while working.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you all a little bit about my husband today and what he does for a living. He is a super hard worker and I am very proud of him and his career accomplishments.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Jeeter and Arod - My Pet Turtles

I love animals and about 4 years ago I got my first red-earred slider turtle. At the time I was a big Yankees fan so I decided to name him Jeeter. (he is the smaller one, but the older one). About 9 months later I received another red-earred slider turtle as a gift and decided to name this one Arod (he is the large one, but younger one).

These two turtles are much beloved here in our household and our grand-wee-one adores them too! They live in a beautiful 50 gallon aquarium that my hubby set up for them. They are extremely people friendly since we have owned them as babies and we socialize with them often.

When we got them...they were about the size of 1/2 dollars, they are now the size of grapefruits so trust me when I say, they eat a lot!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Refinished Old Wooden Bar Stools - Flea Market Bargain!

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to our local flea market and found 6 solid wood bar stools that were in great shape! They needed refinished but other than that, solid and sturdy! We purchased each one for only $2.50 each! What a bargain! (photo above shows one stool not sanded yet, and one stool completely sanded).

We brought them home and used our electric palm sander to sand off the old wood stain and varnish. This took us about 5 minutes per stool. Once done, we dusted off the dust with a damp cloth and left them sit for an hour to dry from the dusting.

We then used Thompson's Water Seal Outdoor Wood Stain that comes in a spray can in a pretty golden pine color. We lightly sprayed the wooden stool and then used a soft cotton cloth to wipe off the excess stain. We only needed to apply one coat since we sanded off all of the old crud.

We sat our stools out in the hot sun to dry (90 degree day) so it only took an hour for them to dry. Wow, what an improvement! One can of the Thompson's Water Seal spray did 3 stools! It only took 2 cans to do all 6 of the stools we were refinishing.

We used their outdoor wood stain spray as we entertain a lot outdoors and wanted these stools for primarily outdoor use on our patio & deck. I think they turned out beautifully!

Onto our next home remodeling project!

Disclosure: We received complimentary products from Thompson's Water Seal and were not required to write a positive review. All thoughts, opinions and ideas in this post are 100% mine and were not influenced by the company. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lamb Chops with Walnut Glaze Recipe

We don't eat lamb meat very often (just a few times a year) but when we do, my husband loves this very easy to prepare lamb chops with walnut glaze recipe. At times I have substituted the walnuts with finely chopped peanuts or cashews and it came up just as good!

Lamb Chops with Walnut Glaze

4 lamb chops
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the lamb chops on an unheated rack in a broiler pan. Broil 3" from heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Season with the salt and ground black pepper. Turn, broil for 5-6 minutes more. Combine honey and lemon juice, stir in the finely chopped walnuts and parsley. Spoon nut mixture over chops, broil for 1 additional minute. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Getting Married? The Wedding Planner Infographic

Are you a wedding planner and looking for some new resources for wedding supplies? If so, check out this super nice infographic supplied below. It's very informative and lays it all out for you nicely.

Sometimes finding wedding supplies for planners can be a difficult task. You want high-quality supplies, pretty supplies and you want them all at an affordable price. As a wedding planner, you want to help each couple have the wedding of their dreams and you want to do it in a low-stress way.

Do you know what the average cost per wedding is? I learned from the inforgraphic that it's $24,! I better get busy saving up a lot of money as my daughter is 27 and getting married in 2 short years! If the infographic is not displaying correctly for you, scroll to the bottom of this post and click on the link to open it in a new window.

Wedding Planner Infographic
Infographic Provided by EquipSupply

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting Crafty Creative with Astrobrights Papers #GoAstrobrights

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

For the past few weeks I have been blogging about all of our home remodeling projects and the things that we are doing over at our new house. We are hoping to get moved into our new house come late September. In the meantime, I have been fitting in some crafting time as I want to get better organized before we move and I wanted some new crafty items for the house.

I went on a hunt for some brightly colored papers for all of my new craft projects and discovered Astrobrights papers! Have any of you ever used them? These fun papers come in very vivid colors which really get all of your paper crafting projects noticed! With 23 bright paper colors available, you can really mix & match the colors until your little heart is content! These are high-quality papers that are great for paper crafts, business pamphlets, calendar making, recipe cards, school projects, scrapbooking, personalized paper gifts, etc. You can really do a lot with these papers!

I wanted to get all of my clipped recipes in order before we move so I sat down one day and typed them all into my computer. I then printed them out on the colored paper and trimmed them down to size. I used a different colored paper for each food category so that they are organized & easily recognizable. I then placed them all into a 3-ring binder for storage.

I needed a new calendar for my daughter's office so I found some free calendar templates online and printed out all of the calendar pages onto Astrobrights paper. I used a different color for each month and it looks super cute! I might just make one for myself.

As you all know, I am really big into scrapbooking and cardmaking. I needed to make a few handcrafted greeting cards and I used my left-over Astrobrights scrap paper as accents on some birthday cards, anniversary cards and baby shower cards that I needed to make. I love the bright colors and they really make my cards stand out. In addition, I have a plastic envelope template and used some of the papers along with a glue stick to make some colorful greeting card envelopes too! They are darling!

I wanted to tell you all about the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes that Astrobrights is currently sponsoring. You can enter the sweepstakes and support your local schools. If you are a sweepstakes winner you could win a really nice prize and the school of your choice would win $30,000 in much needed school supplies. We all know that schools need as much help as they can get, so I hope you take the time to enter today!!!

In addition to that, Astrobrights is sponsoring a family-friendly "Make Something Astrobright" design challenge where you and your family can unleash your creativity in style! Winners will be eligible to win some very cool prizes and you can grab the information from Astrobrights on Facebook. How fun is that? Totally fun! Are you going to participate and what do you think you will design for the challenge?

Are any of you paper crafters? If so, have you ever used Astrobrights papers in your crafting projects? I would love to hear how you all use the papers in your crafting projects which will help to spark some ideas for me! Thanks!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, August 10, 2012

The New Scion FR-S with Infographic

My husband and I finally paid off our truck a few months ago and now it's time to think about trading in our family car and getting something new. Our children are all grown up and we want a sporty looking car with a lot of hot-looking class.

We have been looking at what's new for 2012 and found the brand new Scion FR-S which is sleek, modern, sporty and definitely classy looking! This hot new car was just released in June of 2012 and isn't it beautiful? I think so! It is definitely at the top of our list for consideration. What do you think?

It is available in 7 beautiful colors and the color we like the most is the "ultramarine" which is a beautiful shade of deep metallic blue! Gorgeous! I think everyone in our neighborhood would be envious of us if we selected this hot car! wootwoot! Please check out the infographic below to learn more!

The All new Scion FR-S
Brought to you by the all new Scion FR-S

Throw the Perfect Kids Party + Party Tips!

Throw the Perfect Kids Party
By Mersene Norbom, Conway Confidential

Kids’ parties can be a handful, but with a few cleverly constructed “play stations” your next kid’s party will be a breeze. Spread a few play stations out over your living room inside your home, or outside in the back yard, far enough apart so there’s no overflow and the kids can focus. These are play stations I’ve used for my kids – they were not only a huge hit but they made the parties kerfuffle free.

1. Cookie Decoration – Have a cookie decorating station with different color frostings and sprinkles. The kids will love giving the cookies that bling, then having them for a snack too.

2. Video Game Station – Having a video game station for the boys is a must. Put a play time of 15 or 20 minutes per couple of boys so that everyone gets a turn. Have some snacks at the station like Twizzlers and peanuts so they can munch while they destroy evil alien invadors.

3. Card Making – A card making station is so much fun because the kids can make a card for the birthday girl or boy if it’s a birthday party, or any celebration card. Have different colored markers, crayons, and even some glue with glitter so the kids can really create one-of-a-kinds.

4. Paper Airplanes – The simplicity of the paper airplane still remains a go-to activity to this day. Having a paper airplane station with markers so the kids can decorate their airplanes also gives them a nice token to bring home at the end of the party.

5. Flower Arranging – Kids love flowers as much as we do and arranging is an art they can enjoy at a party and also bring their arrangement home as a trophy to be enjoyed for days to come. Have several different types of flowers, cut and ready to be arranged in small vases. You can even be more creative and arrange the flowers in take-home mugs or tall glasses and they’ll have another party keepsake.

Mersene Norbom is a designer and the owner and founder of Indulge by Mersene. For more ideas, visit Indulge by Mersene.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Beach in Wildwood NJ :: Almost Wordless Wednesday

My "Almost Wordless Wednesday" post for today is a photo of me standing on the beach in North Wildwood New Jersey. I chose to share that photo today because in exactly one month, I will be down in North Wildwood enjoying my final one week vacation for this year!

I have been to a LOT of beaches up and down the eastern seaboard but the beach in North Wildwood (not Wildwood) is my absolute FAVORITE beach on the east coast! I love that it's a big, wide, sandy beach and it's free! Not only that, it's super clean and very roomy!

I can walk right out our condo and within 2 minutes be standing on the warm, soft sand. I am a total beach lover and I look forward to us moving down to North Wildwood once we retire.

Have any of you ever been to North Wildwood yet? If not, you really should check it out! We love it there!

Time to Get New Bathroom Accessories

Last week I published an updated blog post here on my blog about the big bathroom remodeling project we are working on over at the house we purchased. Well, both of the ugly bathrooms have now been gutted! Yeah!

We are now onto the fun part of the bathroom remodeling and that is shopping for high-quality bathroom accessories.

We are doing both the master bathroom and the guest bathroom in a relaxed coastal beach theme and going with brushed nickel bathroom fixtures. Above each bathroom sink we will be hanging some beautiful pendant lighting which will really add a lot of modern class to each bathroom.

The master bathroom got a new shower, sunken whirlpool tub, pedestle sink and toilet. The new flooring is going in first and then the accessories. I can't wait to see it once it is done! The guest bathroom got a new shower, sink and toilet. My hubby is laying the new floor down this weekend and then it will be decorated nice and pretty.

My photo above shows the ugly guest bathroom and in a few weeks I will blog again and show you the "after" photos. I assure you, they will be beautiful!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strawberry Summer Fun Smoothie Recipe

August 1st marks us more than halfway through our summer. With increased consumption of pool-side cocktails, sun damage and chlorine stripping your hair and skin, it’s time to give your body a boost!

Here are some quick tips and recipes from Omega Juicers and Blenders to help keep you healthy, hydrated and energized throughout the summer homestretch.

Strawberry Summer Fun Smoothie Recipe

· 5 Cut Strawberries
· Six Ounces of Vanilla Yogurt
· 2 Cups Orange Juice

Blend the ingredients in your Omega Blender.

Omega Skincare Tip: Your skin may currently have that healthy tan but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy underneath. The sun has had its fair share with it-but nothing papayas and raspberries can’t help fix! Papayas improve pore clarity to give your skin that healthy glow-minus the redness and raspberries are rich in anti-oxidants. So make this raspberry and papaya smoothie a staple either before or after the beach!

Tropical Joy Juicer Recipe

1/4 Pineapple, cubed
2 Triangle Slices of Watermelon, cubed
2 cups coconut water
10-15 frozen blueberries
1/2 Banana

Juice all of the ingredients through your Omega Juicer.

Omega Health Tip: At almost 13 g per serving, low-fat yogurt offers more than 1/4 of your daily protein needs. Protein improves hair quality and growth to counter all the damage its been put through from the sun and chlorine. Make yogurt smoothies by blending yogurt with antioxidant-rich orange juice and fruits such as blueberries, strawberries or bananas.

Back-to-School Deals with Famous Footwear BOGO + 15% Off Coupon

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's that time of year again, when parents are busy shopping and buying all of those back-to-school supplies that our children need! I don't know about all of you, but this year, I am looking to save as much money that I can! Yes folks, I am a bargain hunter!FF-BiggestVictory-GIF_300x250(1).jpg

Well today, I wanted to share some great news with all of you about the fabulous BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon that I found online! You can go right over to their web site and print it out NOW! It is valid from August 2nd, 2012 through August 18th, 2012. Plus, if you are a Famous Footwear Rewards Member, you can get an additional 5% off! Wow, what a deal!

I have been a Rewards member for several years and if you are not signed up yet, you really should! It's a FREE program and for every dollar you spend at Famous Footwear, you earn 1 point. Those points really add up quickly and you can save them up & cash them in to earn Famous Footwear gift certificates! Plus, members are notified of exclusive deals & promos when they announce them! How cool is that? Totally cool and it's a great way to save even more money!

I love shopping at Famous Footwear as their stores are set up really nicely. I have never encountered a long-line or wait! They have thousands of pairs of shoes in-stock and ready for you and your entire family. It's a great laid-back & casual shopping experience! You can go in and get your entire family's shoe shopping done in less than 30 minutes! I love that because I am super busy and I don't have time to fight the crowds in big department stores.

If you are really busy and/or just prefer to shop online, well, You are in luck! You can order your shoes from Famous Footwear online and have them delivered to your local store and guess what? Shipping them to the store is absolutely FREE! Not only that, you will find thousands upon thousands of pairs of shoes in their online store and their prices are fantastic!

I need to get Little G a new pair of sneakers, a pair of casual shoes, a pair of dress shoes and some winter boots so that she is ready for the fall & winter school year. With these BOGO offers, I can get everything I need in just one shopping trip when I go to Famous Footwear!

Finally, I think I deserve a little "treat" too and going to get myself a new pair of clogs for fall! I love clogs and often find great clogs at Famous Footwear!

So, head on over to their site today and print out that fabulous BOGO coupon and if you haven't signed up for their Rewards program yet, make sure you do that too! See ya at the store & Happy Shopping to you!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Sangria Recipe with VOGA Italia

As guests arrive to your next BBQ or pool party, greet them with their own personal bottle of VOGA Italia Sparkling Wine. “Baby VOGA Sparkling” is a unique and eye catching way to give your guests special attention, without having to spring for pricey champagne flutes. No need to sacrifice style for taste – sip Baby VOGA with a straw for an ultra fem and sophisticated look. After all, your outfit is way too classy to walk around with a beer bottle right?

As the party unfolds, bring out some homemade Summer Sangria to wow your guest once more. Sometimes the August heat can be intense, so offer guests a chance to cool down with crisp and refreshing Summer Sangria made with VOGA Italia Wine, Sparkling ICE, and seasonal fruits. The combination of seasonal fruits, VOGA Italia Moscato wine and Pomegranate Berry Sparkling ICE takes your taste buds for a ride! It is the perfect blend of fruit, sweetness, and sparkle.

Summer Sangria with VOGA Italia and Sparkling ICE

1 Bottle of VOGA Italia Moscato Wine
1 17 oz. bottle of Pomegranate Berry Sparkling ICE
3 oz. Triple Sec
2 sliced peaches
2 sliced limes
1 sliced Granny Smith apple
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced orange
1 cup of raspberries
1 cup of blueberries
½ cup of cherries

Preparation: Pour wine and Sparkling ICE in a large pitcher and add fruits. Next add triple sec and stir gently. Cover and chill from 2-24 hours (the longer, the better!)
Before serving, stir gently to mix the flavors. Serve over ice. Makes about 15 servings.

Disclaimer: You must be age 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages. Please drink responsibly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our New Rapid Reel Hose Reel and Garden Hose

As you all know, my hubby and I purchased a 60 year old home that we have been remodeling for the past 2 1/2 months. We are gutting the home, remodeling it and of course, modernizing it!

Well, we needed a new hose reel and a new garden hose so that we could work on our outside remodeling and landscaping projects. Today, I thought I would show you all what we got because....we absolutely LOVE them!

Our new hose reel is called the Rapid Hose Reel! While it more expensive than other hose reels we looked at, it is high-quality and worth every dime! It is super easy to install (we put ours on the back of our house) and is really easy to use. We love that hose reel!

The new garden hose we got is a 50 foot Tuff-Guard Garden Hose and it is the best garden hose we have ever owned! It is super light-weight and it's a kink-free hose! Other hoses we have owned in the past don't even come close to how nice this hose is!

We highly recommend both of these products to folks who are looking for a new hose reel and/or a new garden hose! We love them!

Disclosure: Complimentary product received for our review. We received no monetary compensation and were not required to write a favorable review.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Homemade Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

Raspberries are finally in-season here in Pennsylvania and I have been busy harvesting fresh raspberries from our 5 raspberry bushes. A few days ago I made this delicious recipe for some homemade raspberry cobbler and my family loved it! They had it completely gone before I could even get a photo for all of you! Anyway, here is the recipe that I used.

Homemade Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

2 cups of washed fresh raspberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Blend the above three ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

1 large egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

In a large mixing bowl combine together all of the above ingredients until well blended. Pour this batter into a medium sized baking dish. Pour the fruit mixture that you set aside over top of this batter in the baking dish. Place the baking dish into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. You can enjoy this cobbler warm or cold, the choice is yours!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Teaching Your Kids How To Save Money

When our daughter was little we always paid her for doing chores around the house.We started a household chores and rewards system when she was 5 years old and it worked really well for us over the years. (she is now an adult).

One rule that we always had in our home when she was growing up was that any money she ever received from chores, Birthday gifts, Holiday gifts, etc. She always had to deposit 1/2 of the money into her savings account and she could spend the other 1/2 any way that she wanted.

When she got her first job at age 15 years of age, that rule still applied. She had to deposit 1/2 of her paycheck and the other 1/2 she could spend on whatever she wanted. Again, this worked really well for us because we started it at such a young age.

If our daughter wanted an expensive item...she had to save up for it from the portion of money that she was allowed to keep each week. She wasn't allowed to dip into her savings account at all! That account was only for college expenses and if she wasn't going to attend college, she could use it for a car once she graduated high school. (she did graduate and she did go onto college).

I know this system of things won't work for everyone but my piece of advice to all parents is to start your kids early! The earlier you teach them to save money, the better!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sam's Homemade Raspberry Pudding Recipe

Our raspberries are finally ripe and we have been picking them all week long! I finally have enough to make one of our favorite homemade pudding recipes and tomorrow I will be busy baking away in my kitchen! Thank goodness for central air in the summertime so I can continue to bake delicious treats for my family.

This homemade raspberry pudding can be enjoyed warm or cold, the choice is yours! I hope you all enjoy making this recipe for your families too!

Homemade Raspberry Pudding Recipe

2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 large eggs
1 cup cold milk
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 quart of fresh raspberries

In a large mixing bowl sift together the all-purpose flour and the baking powder, set aside. In another large mixing bowl cream together the shortening and the granulated sugar until creamy. Stir in the eggs and beat again. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with milk and stirring after each addition. Blend with an electic mixer for 1 minute or until all ingredients are well combined. Fold in the fresh raspberries with a rubber spatula.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the raspberry pudding in the oven for 45 minutes or until the center is done. Remove and let cool.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I am a Work-At-Home Mom :: Not A Workaholic

I have been working from home since the mid 1990's and most of my friends and family members think that working from home is an easy job. Well, it's not! For years I had to take care of the house, the kidlet, the hubby, cook meals & run errands plus do my home business. For years I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week!

I thought things would get easier once our daughter left the nest a few years ago and while it did get a little easier, it is still hard being a work at home mom/grandmom. I work 9 to 11 hours a day, 5 days a week and then on the weekends I put in another 10 to 12 hours. The only time I get days off is when I am sick & in the hospital or when I am away on vacation. Even then, I am not totally unplugged from my businesses.

For the past couple of weeks I have given all of this much thought...I am tired of working these long hours, every stinking day of the week. I need more time for myself and more time for my family. About 2 weeks ago I came up with a new schedule so that I would have more "time" to do the things I need and want to do.

I am now trying to stick to working only 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and a total of 3 or 4 hours on the weekend. I will no longer be working holidays, period! When I am sick, I will unplug, when I am on vacation, I will unplug. There will be no more "working" vacations or "working" sick time. Nope, no more!

Whatever work is not done, it will wait until my next work day. I am not going to work 12 to 14 hours a day, trying to get everything done for every client quickly. Don't get me wrong, I know clients want work completed lickety split, but I am not going to bust my butt to get it done in a few hours. They have time off, I need time off.

Sometimes you need a good smack in the face to realize that you have become a workaholic and I got my "smack" and I am now going to be a work at home mom/grandmom but NOT a workaholic! That's my new game plan and I am sticking to it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Play Dates with the Grandchild - Wordless Wednesday

My almost Wordless Wednesday post for this week features a photo I took of Little G a few days ago when she came up to our house for a little play date. On this play date we were playing with the Candy theme'd building blocks set from Learning Resources. I love giving her educational toys and games to play with and as soon as she saw this was a hit!

We had fun building a candy house, a candy swingset (shown in the photo), a candy buggy car and even a candy theme'd boat. It is hard to believe that little G is over 3 years old already! Time sure does fly but I am enjoying being a grandmother to this precious little girl!