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!

Our Daughter's Birth 27 Years Ago

Today here on my blog I thought I would finally share my 27 year old daughter's birth story with all of my readers since I rarely talk about it.

I got pregnant at the age of 17 and yes, it was a planned pregnancy with my mother's consent. You see, I have been chronically ill since I was a child and in my teen years was told I would need a hysterectomy by age 20. I had been dating my then boyfriend for a few years and he was older than me and obviously he consented to me getting pregnant too.

Due to my health problems, I had a very difficult pregnancy and was on total bed rest for 8 out of 9 months. I threw up every day (all-day sickness) for 8 months and barely gained any weight, matter of fact, I gained a total of 16 lbs. my entire pregnancy! I had cramping, bleeding, spotting and pain almost the entire time. We knew ahead of time that I would need a c-section and we planned for it in early July of 1985.

However, my daughter had other plans and I went into early labor on June 18th. The doctor changed his mind and told me that she was no longer breach and he wanted me to try a vaginal delivery. At the time I opted for a natural birth in a hospital setting since the doctor told me that she had changed position and it would only take a few hours to deliver.

Well, he was wrong! It took almost 42 hours to deliver her vaginally and she ripped me from front to back. She came out butt first and was in cardiac arrest. That's right folks, I gave birth to a baby who wasn't breathing and they pronounced her dead upon birth. I started screaming at them to try to get her to breathe and after a few minutes they did do CPR and got a heartbeat back. She was wheeled off to NICU and I didn't see her for 3 days as they had hauled me down to the OR for surgery to repair the damage.

When I saw my baby for the first time, I knew we needed to immediately contact a medical malpractice attorney because this doctor and that hospital made some serious mistakes and misjudgements regarding the birth of our child. They were ready to write her off and bury her instead of trying to revive her! After all, she had quit breathing due to their mistake on her position, how long they left me labor and other judgement calls that they made. Their mistakes could of cost both of us our lives.

With the help of both of our families we found a great law firm to handle our case and instead of going to court, the hospital settled with us and covered ALL of her birthing medical bills. They also covered all medical care for her and myself for the following 5 years. Back then, they got off easy because now in modern times, I could of stuck those idiots for millions!

Our daughter is now 27 years old and is pretty healthy and normal. She only has one problem related to her birth and that is she has a bad hip and will need her hip joint replaced in a few years. She is doing fabulous otherwise and is the beautiful mother to an adorable 3 year old baby girl.

Well there you have it, my daughter J's birth story!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Homemade Raspberry Popsicles Recipe

Now that we are about 1/2 way through summer things are really starting to heat up! If you and your kids are looking to cool about trying this great recipe from the folks over at Sparkling ICE? Don't those popsicles look delicious? I think so!

In addition, here in Pennsylvania the raspberries and blackberries are now in season!

Homemade Raspberry Popsicles Recipe

Ice Cube Tray (or your favorite ice pop making molds)
Toothpicks or popsicle sticks
1 Bottle Black Raspberry Sparkling ICE
1 Container of fresh raspberries, chopped

Preparation: Fill you trays or molds with Sparkling ICE, topping each with a scoop of chopped raspberries. If using ice cube trays cover tray tightly with tin foil. Poke a popsicle stick through the foil into each cube. If using an ice pop maker place the handle sticks into the molds. Place in the freezer for about 2 hours or until frozen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Best Product for Cleaning Aluminum Siding

Every week I will be updating my blog readers on some of the home remodeling projects that we have been doing. If you recall, hubby and I purchased a 60 year old home about 2 1/2 years ago that we are gutting & remodeling. We are hoping to move into our home come September of this year.

The home has it's original ugly white aluminum siding on it that is 60 years old. It's in fabulous shape but pretty dirty and stained up from over the years. Instead of replacing the siding, we have decided to paint it a pretty khaki color (the color of beach sand but a tad darker). Once that is done, our trim and shutters will be painted a medium shade of olive green.

We needed to get the siding cleaned up as the painters will be coming in a few weeks to pain the house. We tried a few products on the siding which didn't do a good job at all. Our siding has mold & mildew spots, algae spots, brown & black spots from something, etc. These spots and areas go around most of the house...not to mention, it was filthy dirty.

The great folks over at Krud Kutter supplied us with a starter kit of their product which included a ready-to-use spray bottle of Krud Kutter and a large concentrated bottle of Krud Kutter that we can mix with water to make more of the product.
Hubby first lightly misted the siding with the water hose and then sprayed the Krud Kutter on the siding. Within seconds the stains and dirt started running down the sides of the siding! yeah! This is a non-toxic product that doesn't smell and it works super quickly. A few areas he did need to use a soft sponge with some elbow grease to get them clean...but overall, the Krud Kutter did the majority of the work.
Hubby did this around 3 sides of our house (he still needs to the back side) and sprayed and rinsed in sections as he went along. As you can see from our photos, you can definitely see nice white & clean aluminum siding again! yeah!!! This product rocks!!!

If you need to clean your siding for whatever reason, we highly suggest that you give Krud Kutter a try. We love it and will be using it for all kinds of things around our house! Thanks Krud Kutter for making a fantastic non-toxic cleaning product!

Disclosure: Krud Kutter sent me a cleaning kit starter pack for this review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and receiving this product did not influence my opinion about it. My thoughts, suggestions for us and opinions about the product are unbiased, honest and true. Your thoughts & opinions may differ from my own.

Paying Your Kid's Money to Complete Their Chores

When our daughter was around 5 years old we instituted a household chores system and did pay her accordingly for completing her chores. Back in 1990 when we started this we used to pay her $2.00 a week. Her chores at age 5 weren't much but did include picking up her toys, cleaning up her bedroom and helping me set the table.

As our daughter aged, her chore list increased and so did the amount that we used to pay her for her chores. By the time she graduated High School, we were paying her $25.00 a week to help us out around the house and do her chores, we felt this was reasonable and that was back in 2007.

We did deduct her a certain amount of money if she didn't complete a chore or didn't complete it on-time. We found that the deductions were actually an incentive for her to complete her chores fully and to do so on time, so we really didn't have any arguing issues like other families have.

My brother recently put both of his kids onto a chores schedule (one is 11 and one is 13) and it's not going too well for them. I think he waited way too late to get his kids onto a chores and reward system. In addition to that, I don't think $2.00 a week at their age level is a big motivating factor to complete them, not in today's world!

Anyway, I thought I would share my thoughts on kid's, chores and paying them for their chores today here on my blog. I know the system we used wasn't exactly perfect but it did work for us.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Voga Italia's Cucumber Cooler Cocktail Recipe

For those of you who are watching your weight, here is a great 'slim' version of a delicious tasting cocktail called Cucumber Cooler. This recipe is from the fabulous folks over at Voga Italia.

Voga Italia's Cucumber Cooler Cocktail Recipe

4 oz. VOGA Pinot Grigio
1 oz. Cucumber Vodka
½ oz. fresh lime juice
Mint leaves and ½ lime muddled
Cucumber slices for garnish

Combine vodka, lime juice, lime, and mint leaves in a shaker and muddle together. Add VOGA Pinot Grigio and shake to mix. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add cucumber slices and mint leave for garnish.

Disclaimer: You must be age 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages in the U.S.A. Please drink responsibly.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Atlantic Luggage + LEGOLAND Trip Sweepstakes!

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

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The prize includes 2 night accomodations in one hotel room for up to 4 people. It also includes a FREE car voucher so you and your family can get around while there. You can go to LEGOLAND and have some fun plus you get a MEET & GREET with LEGOLAND Master Model Builder. To help you travel in comfort, the winner will also receive a set of Atlantic Luggage! How cool is that? Totally cool!AtlanticLuggageNonSa#B8DED2.doc

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stripping and Refinishing Old Doors

Some of you know that my husband and I purchased an old home about 2 1/2 years ago and since that time we have been renting it out. Our tennant moved out in May so we decided to gut the home, remodel it and move into it.

We are hoping to get about 1/2 of our home remodeling projects done before August 1st and then move into the home by the end of August. We figure we can do the smaller home remodeling projects once we get into the home.

For the past 2 weeks we have been taking down the interior doors which are all done in a varnished brown finish...typical for a 1960's home. To save us on purchasing interior doors we have been taking them down, sanding off the varnish and wood stain, then repainting them. Wow, what a job that is! We spend about 2 1/2 hours on each dang door!
Once we have that part done we are adding new brushed nickel door hinges and door knobs. We really like the look of the brushed nickel finish.

In 2 weeks we have only gotten 4 doors done as it is a very time consuming process. One door we had to sand down a lot and then mud some small holes that the previous owner had in them. Another one had some type of stain but once we sprayed Killz on it, we were easily able to paint it.
These are good OLD SOLID WOOD doors, not the cheapo doors you can buy now so we wanted to save them plus it's the eco-friendly thing to do. We are trying to not send a lot of stuff to the local landfill and are going to try to refinish and save as much as we can. (picture above shows my spanky new looking solid wood door with the new brushed nickel door knob, so pretty now!).

We still have a lot of interior doors to do...but at least we are making progress. Besides, we wanted to do this now before we rip out all of the old nasty carpeting and flooring because once our new carpeting and flooring goes in, I don't want to mess it up!

Over the next few months I will be blogging about some of our home remodeling projects and sharing some before and after photos. Hubby just rewired all of the electrical work in the master bedroom so we have to replace some wood trim, the flooring, 2 windows and then we can finally paint the walls!