September 30, 2009


Yep, I caved. After months of wondering what I'm missing and nudges from other people - I gave in and got Twitter.

Now that I'm here... FOLLOW ME! Just click on the little birdy to the right {please and thank you}.

And tell me who else I should be following. Anybody that does a great tweet (celebrity, blogger, or otherwise)?

Tell me, I want to know!

September 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

I saw this at the zoo a few weeks ago and it made me giggle...

Meadow is ready to trade in snoozing in the sun for snuggling in the fleece bankies..

FYI, I have another giveaway coming soon!

September 28, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl Bread

Hi Ladies! A few of you have been asking for pictures as I prepare recipes. And you're right, a good host would provide a picture when possible. It isn't going to happen this week...but I promise I'll try and do better, OK?

Please swing by and visit Andrea. She and I have a little announcement, and she gets to do the honors. :-)

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

I tasted this for the first time over the weekend and haven't made it myself - but I can assure you that it is delicious!

Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Slowly add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt as well as the sour cream.

Pour half of the batter into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle two thirds over the batter. Pour in the remaining batter, then top with remaining topping. Press topping down lightly.

Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire cooling rack.

What's cooking in your kitchen this week?

September 27, 2009

Spending The Day At The Hairdresser & Musical Monday - The Story

Hola chickies! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

Mine kicked off with fetching my parents from the airport. They spent the past month in Hawaii (Kauai)...if they didn't bring me back numerous macadamia nut products, I would have hated them and their ridiculously awesome looking tans. OK, not really... I could never hate my parents. But I was a little jealous.

Saturday I was scheduled for an itsy-bitsy trim with my hairdresser, Ed. But, I've been restless lately and if I want to change something - hair is where I do it. I literally walk in and say "I'm ready for something new" and I sit back and let him play. And, play, he did! I spent 5 hours in the salon. I didn't have anything planned and he does his best work when he isn't rushed. :-) I got to chat with lots of people, catch up on all my tabloids and read an ENTIRE book.

I've been blonde for about 5 years, and Ed did an all-over color that turned out butterscotch colored. Neither he or I was happy. So next came a chestnut color. Turned out AWESOME, but looked a little too one dimensional. So he balyaged my hair and now I have a few golden streaks. I LOVE IT!! Pictures coming soon. :-)

Today was nice and relaxed. Hung with the fur-babies, harvested more peppers from the garden and read two more books (WHAT?!?! I read fast.).

This week I'm sharing "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. Her voice is beautiful and this song is one of my favorites. I'm a hopeless romantic, and the ideal that you're made to be with someone resounds with me. (There's the added bonus that this song is set to scenes from Grey's Anatomy!)

What did you do this weekend?

September 24, 2009

Revenge Of The Spaniel

I love Carmella. She's a sweetheart. But she also likes things done her way and isn't afraid to let you know it.

See this cute little face? Think she'd ever purposely do something naughty? No?!?! WRONG!

I went bowling last night with Kirstren and Heather (we had to forfeit the game...league rules...long story) and it disrupted the usual evening routine of - greeting, potty, dinner, potty, cuddling for all three of my darling fuzzballs.

Well, time came for us to all claim our spots on the bed and catch up on the evenings DVR'd programs. Carmella looks right at me, circles on the bed and PEES!! That little shit made sure she caught my attention before she made a mess of my down comforter.

Note from Beckett:

I didn't pee on Momma's bed, and am therefore cute and smart and sweet. Plus, while she was bowling, I hijacked the computer and found this.

September 21, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Pumpkin Pecan Loaves

First - I want to say WELCOME to all the new people that have joined us in the past few weeks. I'm so happy that you added to the fun! The more, the merrier. :-)

Second - Andrea has an announcement, so drop by and visit her, OK?!


I love baking for my friend, family and co-workers. This is one of their favorites...

Pumpkin Pecan Loaves

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Caramel glaze

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs and water; mix well. Stir dry ingredients (first 6 items) until combined. Fold in pecans. Spoon into two 9x5 loaf pans; bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks.

For glaze, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan. Cook on low to medium until sugar is dissolved. Let cool for 20 minutes and then stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cooled loaves.

What's cooking in your kitchen this week?

September 20, 2009

Musical Monday - The Times They Are A-Changing

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was blissfully quiet. That virus I caught last weekend really kicked my butt, so I've been sleeping like crazy. I know, an insomniac saying that she slept a lot... the irony!

I've mentioned before that I was a road trip kid. Some of my best memories were in the car listening to the radio and tapes/CDs with my parents/brother/cousins/grandparents. Peter Paul and Mary played a lot during the earlier road trips with my parents and really developed my love for folk music.

In memory of Mary's passing this past week, here they are singing one of my favorite songs.

We also lost Patrick Swayze. He fought cancer hard and contributed a film that has helped shape my generation. I can't think of Patrick Swayze without seeing this scene from Dirty Dancing in my head. (Sorry, I couldn't find a good quality video that embedding hadn't been turned off; so I had to give you a link instead.)

September 17, 2009

My Favorite Things Swap

In August, Kathie decided to host her very first swap! The theme was "My favorite things" (queue the Sound of Music!) and I love to share my favorite stuff, so I dove right in.

I was really lucky and got my package from Amy @ Keeping Up With The Shultz Family. She sent some awesome stuff!

First, the box had a dachshund on it! That alone made my day. :-)

Everything Amy sent had a little note on it; how cute! I love knowing why people like things.

I had the dogs diving for the box, so I didn't get individual pictures. Amy sent me:
  • Snacks - Cheetos and M&M's (Two of my favorites too!)
  • A recipe book of snacks (How cool!)
  • An apron (Tres chic :-))
  • Cupcake turines (Adorable)
  • A pedicure set (Very cute)
  • A mint scented bath & shower set (I can't wait to use this!)
  • A pink journal (How did she know I needed a new journal?)
  • Colored pens (What fun!)
  • Rachel Ray's Everyday magazine (I've never read it, but bet it's great!)

And who was the recipient of my package of favorite things? Why, it's our swap host - Kathie! Go visit and see what I sent her. :-)

A big thanks to Kathie for hosting, and to Amy for sharing with me such great things!

September 16, 2009

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday...

It's almost time to haul out the Halloween costumes for the puppers again.

Last year, they went as different animals. Any suggestions on a theme this year?

This is my favorite picture of Carmella as a skunk!

September 14, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Reese Peanut Butter Bars

Happy Tuesday, ladies! I hope you are all having a fabulous week. :-)

This week I'm sharing another of my "go-to" recipes. I LOVE peanut butter! These suckers are AWESOME and you'll everyone begging for more!!


Reese Peanut Butter Bars

2 sticks margarine
1 cup peanut butter (I don't the recommend low-fat version)
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
12 oz. (1 bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the margarine. Stir in peanut butter, powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. {Note: This works best if the powdered sugar isn't mixed in last.} Pour out and flatten into a greased 9x13 pan. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Pour out chocolate over the cooled peanut butter bars, covering evenly.

Refrigerate for about an hour and cut into bars.

What's cooking in your kitchen this week?

Oh, just a quick reminder to please go and visit the other contributors (and Andrea)- if you can. You all give such great recipes and tips!

Musical Monday - I'm On A Boat

Hey ladies! Sorry I've been M.I.A the past week. It's a long story that I'll share more of later... but what it comes down to is that I'm kind of slave labor at work.

I woke up Saturday morning not feeling well - but thought it might be allergies. Kirstren's birthday was at Foxwoods Saturday night and we had a lot of fun. Almost everyone stayed over - but because of my fabulous little fur-babies, I had to head home. It really worked best; half way through my ride home, I got a fever and chills.

So now I'm sick for the first time really all year. I'm kinda proud I made it this long!

I leave you with the edited version of SNL's "I'm on a boat". Lack of swearing; but just as funny!

What did you do this weekend?

September 07, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Vanilla Granola

Happy Tuesday, lovely ladies! I hope you all had a fun and fantastic long weekend!


I've fallen in love with granola lately. I try something new every time I pass by Whole Foods big vats of granola. Their vanilla granola is the best! After a little digging, I found a really similar recipe.

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Vanilla Granola

6 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, toss oats, walnuts, coconut and sesame seeds. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook oil, honey, brown sugar, water and vanilla until well mixed. Pour over oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Pour into two greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pans. Bake at 275 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool, stirring occasionally. Store in an airtight container.

Even though the recipe calls for coconut, I didn't use it (I'm not fond of coconut) and it still came out really well.

What's cooking in your kitchen? Don't forget to stop by and say "hi" to Andrea!

Musical Monday - Daylight

Happy Labor Day, ladies! I hope you're enjoying the long weekend by relaxing, hanging out with friends & family and enjoying the end of summer.

I heard this song on a Bacardi commercial (yep, go ahead and make fun of me!) and kinda liked it. It's so peppy... Have you heard it too?

OK...resume your goofing off! :-)

OK, resume your goofing off! :-)

September 04, 2009

If The Shoe Fits

I can't believe that it's Labor Day weekend! Fall, cooler weather, shorter days and apple picking are on the way while warm, breezy days, capris and sandals are on the way out.

Where did summer go?!?!

On the bright side - starting to change over my wardrobe mean I get to indulge myself in a new pair of shoes. What? You don't buy a new pair of shoes each fall? I guess it's a habit left over from getting ready to go back to school.

I can't decide which ones to buy.

Spectator pumps. So cute and love that they are kinda retro, the black and white contrast and that they are Mary Janes (kinda).

Cute bowed pumps. Adorable. I love the bow, the slightly chunkier heel and the scalloped edges.

Which ones do you think I should buy?

September 01, 2009

I Miss Road-trips...And These Guys!

I've always loved being in the car; especially if I'm the one driving! I was a lucky kid who got to travel far and wide (the perks of being the oldest grand kid...heeheehee). Don't worry. The joy of driving wasn't discovered until my teen years. I promise!

But, for over a year - road trips weren't going towards an amusement park, party or a vacation. Instead, it was to see JC and "the guys". I won't even tell you how many trips I made up there...

I miss the drive up (all *ahem* six to six and a half hours of it)...

The tolls

The cows

The rural road...OK, it is pretty.

The ability to lose all radio stations except for one Spanish station, one french station, one on Canadian weather and something that played show-tunes and The Muppets. (You wish that I was exaggerating...oh, wait...that's me that wishes I was exaggerating.)

THE GUYS!! (Left to right are: G, Tony, JC and Joe)

Fine. I miss the open road, but I miss these camo-clad dorks in hero's clothing even more.

They're in Afghanistan, but that doesn't stop them from acting goofy....

...and dancing. (Ellie's hubby- Trebor)

Or making faces at people. (G [left], and a guy I've never met)

Smiling despite living 40 men to a tent. (Tony)

Smiling through a whole lot of body armor. (JC)

I can't wait for them to come home and road-trips to commence. :-)

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