Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Is it Friday yet?? LOL!! I've only worked two days this week, but I gotta tell ya, it seems like I've already worked an entire week!! The good news is that the clinic is closing at 1 p.m. on Friday so half a day off for me! Woohoo!!

Today I'm gonna share a recipe using one of my favorite fruits ~ STRAWBERRIES!!
Don't these look yummy:

We are fortunate in that we only live about a two hour drive from North Carolina where there are some of the best "pick your own" strawberry farms on the east coast!! I get really excited when mid May rolls around cause I know it's time to go strawberry pickin'!! Hubby and I usually try to go a couple of times a year and pick our own, but the good part is that if we get lazy or just don't have all day to drive down and pick our own, there is a fantastic farmer's market we hit up every chance we get. So instead of braving the scorching sun and hot temps, not to mention breaking our backs trying to pick some strawberries (we are old, you know!), we can just buy the fruits of someone else's labor!! Works for me!!

The recipe I am sharing today is for a yummy sweet bread made with strawberries. I've made this many times and it is always a big hit. Even the picky eater known as my teenager loves this bread. He's asked me to make him some this weekend so even though strawberries really aren't in season right now, I'll just pick some up at the grocery store and make a couple of loaves. You can use frozen strawberries for this recipe but I prefer fresh ones if I can get them.

Strawberry Bread

4-5 cups of sliced fresh strawberries or
2 - 10 oz. pkgs of frozen strawberries
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (optional ~ I usually don't add these because we prefer this bread without nuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. In a medium bowl, stir together berries, eggs and oil. In a large bowl, blend together all dry ingredients including nuts if you are using them. Stir strawberry mixture into dry mixture. Pour into loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

This bread is so moist and yummy! It's good spread with some cream cheese, too. Add a nice hot cup of coffee or tea and you are good to go!

Our weather has finally decided to warm up here in Virginia and we are looking at temps in the 70's and possibly low 80's for the rest of the week and the weekend. I am so excited because hubby bought me a Concord grape vine that I've got to get in the ground this weekend. At the end of the summer last year, hubby and I were scouting out one of our favorite home improvement stores when we found a cedar arbor that was on clearance for $25!! It was originally $199, but had been used in their garden center as a display so it was kind of dirty and worn out looking. We fell in love with it and hubby said he could work on it and make it look better. We brought it home, gave it a good cleaning and sanding and it looks almost as good as a new one! So that is what our weekend project is going to be. The arbor will be the grape vine's new home. I sure hope it takes root and does good. I love me some Concord grapes!!

Well, I guess I'd better get off here and get going on the dinner dishes. Too bad they don't wash themselves!

Until next time. . .


Monday, March 29, 2010

Makeover Monday

Good Monday morning everyone! I have one question ~ why do the weekends fly by so fast and the weekdays seem to crawl?? It just doesn't make sense! Seems like I just left work on Friday afternoon and I blink and it's time to go back on Monday morning! Oh well, might as well make the best of it I suppose. The new management company takes over today and I am sure there will be plenty of fireworks before this week is done! Should be interesting!

For today's makeover, I am sharing a project that hubby and I worked on together. I had been wanting some country looking planters for a few house plants I have so hubby decided to make me some out of some scrap pieces of wood he had lying around. Here's what he came up with:

He made me two different sizes and I just love them! But I felt like they needed a little primming up so I got out my red and cream craft paint and some sand paper and went to work. Here's what I ended up with:

I love the way they turned out. I haven't had a chance to re-pot my plants yet, but hopefully I'll be able to get that done this weekend.

Well, gotta run for now. I hope everyone has a great Monday!

Until next time. . .


Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Lazy Sunday and some Giveaway Winnings!

Hi everyone! Hope everybody is enjoying their Sunday. We have had a rainy, dreary day here in Virginia, but that didn't stop me and the hubby from taking what is quickly becoming our "weekly Sunday drive"! We must be getting old!! LOL! We checked out one of our favorite indoor flea markets at which we found nothing. :( Then we drove to one of our favorite discount "off brand" stores where I found the perfect kitchen island! It was black with two stools that fit underneath it. They were asking $60 for it and I really wanted it! But hubby, being the crafty woodworker that he is, told me he could build the island for me for much less! So off to our favorite home improvement store we went to price the materials. We were in my car which is rather small, so buying the lumber today was out of the question. But it was fun looking, and we found out that he can get all the materials needed for less than $20!!! So next weekend he is taking his truck back to the store and picking up the supplies. I am soooo excited!!

O.k., now on to the best part ~ MY GIVEAWAY WINNINGS!!!! Over the past couple of weeks, I've been the fortunate and lucky winner of two wonderful giveaways from my blogging friends. The first one is this beautiful sign I won from Mandy over at Mandy From Mayberry. She makes all her own signs and let me just tell ya, this picture does not do it justice! I love it and it looks perfect over my mirror and shelf right beside my front door. Thank you so much Mandy, you are a doll!

Then I won these awesome goodies from Kitty over at ShabbyKat's Primitive's Sundries 'N Such. She makes all her own grubby jars and hand pours her candles. The one I won is Apple Jack 'N Peel scented. It smells soooo good! She also made some wonderfully smelling tarts in Banana Nut Bread scent. Oh my gosh, these things smell good enough to eat! Also included were two grubbied battery powered flickering tea lights and two hand made tags. I have some pillar candles I am working on grubbying (is that even a word??) up that these will be used in and the tags I tied to my grapevine wreath for now. Thank you so much for everything, Kitty! You outdid yourself on this giveaway!

One more thing before I go. My crafty cousin, Mary, has ventured into blogland. She is an amazing person who never fails to make me laugh. Please go over to her blog and show her some love. Click here to get there.

Well, that's all I have for now. I just made pizza for the kid and I'd better get in there and get a piece before it's all gone! I hope everyone has a great week!

Until next time. . .


Friday, March 26, 2010

Fabulous Food Friday!

Hello everyone! It's finally Friday! Woohoo!! Sorry I'm a little late in posting today, I just couldn't get it together this morning before work and ran out of time!

For today's Fabulous Food Friday, I'm sharing a Chocolate Eclair dessert recipe that I have made for years. It is so simple and delicious! This is great for a family get together where you need something quick, simple and I can promise you there won't be any leftovers!

Chocolate Eclair

1 box graham crackers
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 tub Cool Whip
1 can ready to spread chocolate frosting

Prepare pudding according to directions. Let sit in fridge for 5 minutes. Then mix entire tub of Cool Whip into pudding. Place a layer of graham crackers into bottom of 9 X 13 glass baking dish. Spread a layer of pudding mixture over the crackers. Repeat this process, ending with a layer of graham crackers. I like a lot of layers in mine, so sometimes I end up using a box and a half or so of the graham crackers. This is optional and you can do it however you like. Remove lid and any metallic cover from the frosting. Microwave frosting for about 30-45 seconds, just enough so that you can stir it and it is pourable out of the container (but not runny!). Pour frosting over the top layer of crackers. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

This is so rich and delicious! And the longer it sets in the refrigerator, the softer the crackers get and it almost melts in your mouth! Pure heaven! I swear it tastes just like a chocolate eclair! Give this one a try ~ I promise you won't be sorry!

Well, no one got laid off today at work! Thank goodness!! The new management company comes in on Monday, so we will see how that goes. We are joking that we all feel like we are on the Titanic ~ sinking quickly with no lifeboats around!! LOL!! The girls in the insurance department (which is the department that I work in) have decided we are the band that is just gonna keep on playing until the ship goes down. Only we've decided we are going to be a hill billy band with fiddles and banjos!! Ya just gotta laugh at life sometimes to make it thru it, ya know??!!

Not much on tap for the weekend. Just the regular household chores and my Mom called me and asked me to take her shopping tomorrow. I guess I'm obligated to do that since the kid wrecked her only car and she has no other way to get anywhere! Seriously though, I don't mind running her around. We usually have a great time when we go shopping together ~ especially if she's buying lunch! LOL!

Well, I'd better run for now. Dinner dishes are calling my name! I have received my winnings from some recent giveaways I won and I hope to be able to post some pics of all my goodies tomorrow or Sunday. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Until next time. . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keep It A Hopping!!

Kudos to Hershey!

Hershey's is donating $10 (up to $5,000) to the Children's Miracle Network each time we bloggers post about their Better Basket Blog Hop.
Jessica over at Country Whispers was kind enough to pass this on to me so that I could do my part to help out.
Now I just need to pass it on to a few of you.

The Rules are Simple:

Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this better basket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

So, Karen, Lynn, and Cindy ~ I'm passing the basket on to you all!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We have a winner. . .

Good Wednesday morning everyone! I used random.org to pick the winner of my Easter/Spring giveaway this morning. I had 47 entrants. I took a picture of my written out list of entrants along with the random.org number but for some reason my camera is acting stupid (or maybe it's me??) and the pics didn't take???!!!! Anyway, random.org chose number 26 which happens to be. . .

AMY @ AT HOME WITH AMY!!!!!!!!!!

Congrats Amy! If you will e-mail me your mailing info, I'll get your goodies right out to you.

Thank you all for entering my giveaway. I wish I could give everyone something. I appreciate all my followers, especially the ones who leave me such wonderfully kind comments!

Well, gotta run and get out the door. Work is waiting! I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tasty Tuesday & Last Day to Sign up for my Giveaway!!

Good morning all!! Well, yesterday was another rough day at work. More people were let go and they have decided as of April 1st not to offer health insurance anymore. There will also be no raises given this year (for the second year in a row), and they are not contributing to our 401k plans anymore either. I try to be thankful that I even have a job right now, but it is getting harder and harder every day!

O.k., enough of that. Now on to today's recipe. I usually try to fix a ham at Easter time as the hubby and the kid are big ham fans. Me? Not so much but I do what I can to make my boys happy! I was surfing the net for something different to do with a ham and came across this recipe for Cherry Glazed Ham. I'm gonna give this one a try this year!

Cherry Glazed Ham

1 fully cooked ham, 5 to 7 lbs
1/4 cup sherry
21 oz can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup orange marmalade

Bake ham as directed on package. Thirty minutes before end of baking, remove ham from oven.

Pour drippings from pan. Score fat surface lightly in uniform diamond pattern. Strain pie filling, setting cherries aside. Stir together syrup from pie filling, sherry, marmalade, and orange juice. Pour syrup mixture on ham.

Continue baking 30 minutes or until ham is done, basting frequently with glaze. Garnish ham with reserved cherries.

I think this sounds delicious and may just change my opinion of ham!!

We woke up to about an inch of snow this morning!! NNNNNOOOOO!!!!! I don't want to see snow. I'd rather see this:

Oh well, maybe that nasty snow won't stick around long!! We can always hope, right??

Don't forget ~ today is the last day to sign up for my Easter/Spring giveaway. Be sure to scroll down to that post only to enter!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday!

Until next time. . .


Monday, March 22, 2010

Makeover Monday and a finished afghan!

Good Monday morning everyone! Whew, last week was so full of ups and downs and it just about did me in. Wednesday was my son's car accident, Thursday was a day off work to go to driver's license court for my son to get his permanent driver's license (how ironic is that??), then Friday, we had a layoff of about 10% of our workforce at the clinic where I work. Talk about a stressful week!!! I'm hoping for a calmer, more productive week this week.

For this Monday makeover, hubby brought me home a piece of discarded lumber from his work. I have been wanting to try my hand at making a sign so I got to work. This is what I started with:

I decided to paint it a creamy off white color and then I added some light touches of brown to it. I then free handed the words Live, Laugh, Love and used a star stencil. Hubby and I decided to add a chain to it to hang it since the board was a bit warped and probably wouldn't hang exactly flat on the wall. Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out:

After hanging it on the wall, I decided it needed something up there with it, so I had these old shiny gold candle sconces from way back when. I decided to paint them black and this is what I ended up with:


I just stuck two plain off white candles in there for now. I plan on making these grubby, just ran out of time for them this weekend! Here's how everything looks up on the wall:

Not too bad for a first timer, huh? Well, I finally finished the afghan for my Easter/Spring giveaway. It turned out pretty good, I think. Deadline for signing up is tomorrow so if you haven't already signed up, please do so!! Scroll down to find the giveaway post and sign up there. Here's a pic of the finished afghan:

Well, I've got to get off here and finish getting ready for work while I still have a job to go to!! Everyone is on edge because we all think they aren't done with the cuts just yet. All thoughts and prayers for a calm, non stressful week are appreciated! I hope everyone has a great Monday!

Until next time. . .


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A St. Paddy's Day I'll Never Forget. . .

Hi everyone. Well, it was bound to happen, I suppose. I just didn't think it would happen this soon! What am I talking about?? My 16 year old son, who just got his driver's license about a month ago, had his first accident today. Thank God no one was hurt, but he did total the car he was driving. It was my Mom's car, which was paid for! Of course! And she was only carrying liability insurance on it which means since the accident was my son's fault, her insurance won't pay to fix it!! Her car is an older model Chevy Cavalier. He rear ended another car. He says he pushed on the brake pedal and didn't feel it going down so he glanced down to see if anything was maybe caught underneath it and when he looked back up he was right upon the other car. He was only doing about 35 m.p.h. and the other car was sitting still, but even so, both airbags in my Mom's car exploded, breaking the windshield and the passenger side seat. The whole front end of the car is a crumpled mess and it busted the radiator and Lord knows what else. We are pretty sure it is totalled. He got a ticket for following too close and we go to juvenile court on April 6th to appear before a judge. He's scared to death that they will take his license. At the very least, he will probably have some points against his license and a hefty fine to pay. The points sure won't be good for our insurance rates! He was really shaken up but otherwise unhurt. The car he hit was a SUV and it didn't even dent her bumper! How crazy is that??

He called me at work, right as I was leaving for the day. I work about 30 miles from where it happened so you can imagine I was on pins and needles imagining the worse until I got there. I knew he was o.k. and he didn't tell me how bad the car looked. When I saw it, I about died!! I gave him a hug and he started crying and telling me that he was sorry. My heart broke for him. What a St. Paddy's Day, huh? I'm sure it's one he won't soon forget! I know I sure won't. *sigh* I am so thankful that he wasn't hurt, but dang, when it rains, it pours, doesn't it??!!

Until next time. . .


Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!

Don't forget to sign up for my Spring/Easter giveaway, if you haven't already done so! Deadline is March 23rd! Sign up on the March 14th post only. I hope everyone has a wonderfully green St. Paddy's Day!

Until next time. . .


Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Spring/Easter Giveaway!!

Good Sunday morning to all!! As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short (so the saying goes) in getting my Spring/Easter Giveaway posted! Sorry for the delay ~ yesterday just got away from me and I didn't have a chance to get my pics taken of all my giveaway goodies. So without further ado, here is what I am offering in my Spring/Easter Giveaway:

~ A handmade crocheted afghan in cream, light sage green, dark sage green, and country rose colors. This piece is far from finished in the picture but I promise I will have it done by the giveaway deadline!
~ A set of two adorable porcelain bunnies each adorned with a Spring flower.
~ A cross stitch kit which includes fabric, thread, needle and instructions. It is a beautiful piece containing flowers and reads "God is Love".
~ A yummy Candleberry tart to use with your tart burner. The fragrance is Raspberry Lemonade. Yummy!!
~ A magnetic shopping list with a cute little doggie wearing his bunny ears that reads "Happy Easter".
~ A set of three handmade (by me!) Easter egg bowl fillers. I used two different fabrics on these. The front is a floral print and the back is a tan muslin. These are stuffed and tied up with stained cheesecloth and I added a rusty bell to each one.
~ A four pack of flower seeds to plant in your garden. I've included sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, and shasta daisies.

O.k., now that you've seen the goodies I'm offering, here are the rules for this giveaway:

1. You MUST be a follower of my blog. If you aren't following me, what are you waiting for?? I love new followers and welcome all!
2. You MUST post a comment on this post ONLY telling me that you want to be entered. This is the only post I will be pulling my winner from, so please make sure that this is the post you comment on or you won't be entered.
3. You don't have to have a blog to enter, but if you do have a blog, I ask that you post a link to this giveaway on your blog. Doing this will give you an extra entry! And if you don't have a blog, please leave me an e-mail addy to contact you if you are the winner.
4. This giveaway is open to everyone, no matter what corner of this big ole earth you call home!
5. I will be drawing a winner on Wednesday, March 24th and will announce it that evening around 7 p.m. eastern time.

Well, I've got tons to do today so I've got to run for now. I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!

Until next time. . .


Friday, March 12, 2010

Fabulous Food Friday!

Good morning everyone! Well, we've made it to Friday ~ woohoo!! The weatherman is calling for some heavy rain for the weekend, but I don't care. I have so much crafting to get done, maybe that will give me the nudge I need to stay home and stay busy!!

For today's recipe, I am sharing a wonderful Banana Pudding recipe that my Mom taught me a long time ago. It is always a big hit whenever I make it and of course, it is super simple!

Banana Pudding

1 large box vanilla or banana flavored instant pudding
Cold milk (see box for quantity)
3-4 large bananas (this is variable ~ if you don't like a lot of bananas, use less)
1 8 oz. container of sour cream
1 large container Cool Whip
1 box vanilla wafers

Make pudding according to directions on the box. Mix sour cream and cool whip with pudding. Layer pudding mix, bananas and wafers in pretty dish until dish is full, ending with a pudding layer. Garnish top with crumbled wafers if desired.

This is such a good recipe. The sour cream cuts down some on the sweetness and along with the cool whip, makes this a creamier pudding. I hope you enjoy it!

I will be announcing details regarding my Easter/Spring giveaway tomorrow morning so be sure to check back then! I am super excited about this one!

Well, gotta get off here and get ready for work. Ugh! Oh well, at least it's Friday!

Until next time. . .


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tip of the Day Thursday!

Happy Thursday y'all! I am so glad that this week is almost over! There has been so much stress at work due to rumors of a big layoff coming up. I'm not too worried about it. I figure whatever happens, happens and stressing over it is not going to change it. Besides, if I get a layoff slip, that just means more time for crafting, right??!!

For today's tip of the day, I'm gonna stray a bit from the usual tips I share and instead share this cute poem with you. I found it on a co-workers wall today and thought, how true! So take this "tip" and share it with others:

A wise old owl
Sat on an oak
The more he saw,
The less he spoke.
The less he spoke,
The more he heard.
Why can't we be
Like that wise old bird?

~Edward Hersey Richards

Well, I've been working hard on my Easter/Spring giveaway. I got my fabric eggs done last night and now I'm working on the afghan. I love having giveaways. It always tickles me to think that someone actually likes the things I make! And I love to give to people so this gives me an outlet for my creativity and a chance to make someone smile. And who doesn't like to go to the mailbox and find a package waiting for them instead of bills, bills and more bills all the time??!!

I hope everyone has a great night and a wonderful Friday! I'm gonna try to be more like the wise old owl ~ more listening and less talking! Imagine what a wonderful world we'd be living in if everyone took more time to listen to others!

Until next time. . .


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Whatcha Working on Wednesday

Hi everyone! Boy, it seems like I've been running behind all week! I have so much to do to get ready for my big giveaway that I will be starting on Saturday and I'm not sure that I will get everything finished that I wanted too. But I am going to try really hard because I want this giveaway to be my biggest and best yet. I certainly wouldn't want to disappoint my fellow blogging buddies, now would I??!!

So, with that being said, here's what I'm working on this Wednesday. I'm going to be giving away another afghan. This one will be made using "springy" colors. I am using cream, light sage green, a darker green and a beautiful rose color. Here's what I've gotten done so far:

O.k., I know it doesn't look like much, but it's going to be very pretty when I get it done. I just need to kick it up a notch and get my behind in gear to get it finished!

I'm also working on some egg bowl fillers. I just started these today so I haven't made much progress on them but here's a pic of how they look right now. I still have two to finish stitching and then I will stuff them and add some details ~ maybe some rusty pins or bells or tie them up with some cheesecloth. The possibilities are endless!

I have also been working on tweaking my wall decor in my kitchen. I found this cute little rooster picture at a discount store near my house this weekend for $5!! I bought the two black plates for $1 each and the mustard colored plate on top was only $3. I put them all up on the wall, but felt like it was a little on the plain side. So I got out my trusty Sharpie marker and free handed the word "Faith" on the mustard plate. The good thing about it is that when I get tired of it, fingernail polish remover will take it right off and I can write whatever I want on it! Pretty cool, huh? I've had the little shelf under the picture forever, and just decided to put some pretty sunflowers in my made over Manwich can and then I put a few of the rag balls I won in Tammy ~ A Primitive Place's giveaway a while back on there along with three of the wonderful stacking boxes I just recently won in Holli's giveaway over at Where the Rooster Crows. I am really pleased with my little arrangement and it didn't cost much at all for an entire new wall redo!

I just found out I was the lucky winner of Mandy in Mayberry's "Amazing Grace" sign giveaway! I am super excited and can't wait to get it. I have the perfect place already picked out to hang it! Thanks Mandy!

Well, I'd better run and get busy with my crafting. I've got lots to do! I hope everyone has a great Wednesday night!

Until next time. . .


Monday, March 8, 2010

Makeover Monday!

Hi everybody! Hope you all had a great Monday. The best thing about mine is that it is finally over!!! Actually, it really wasn't that bad, just busy!

For today's makeover, hubby had made me a small wooden crate out of some scrap wood he had left over from some previous projects. Here's a pic of it:

Is this man talented or what???!!! He can take small scraps of wood and turn them into just about anything! I really liked this little crate, but thought it would look even more awesome primmed up a bit. So I got out my black paint, my favorite wall paper motif, and my sand paper and went to work. And this is what I ended up with:

I decided to cut out two different images of sheep from some of the wall paper border I had left over from our bathroom redo and I Mod Podged one on each end of the crate:

I bought some of those little plastic Easter eggs at the dollar store that you can fill with treats and decided to try my hand at covering some of them with fabric. They turned out great! Now, the pictures don't really do them justice. They look much better in person, but here they are:

I was so thrilled with the way these turned out, I then got the brilliant idea to tear up a brown paper bag and Mod Podge the heck out of the left over eggs, then cover them with the torn bits of paper:

Now hubby says these look more like little potatoes to him than eggs, but he has no imagination so what does he know, right??!! LOL!! They do kind of look like little potatoes, I guess, but if you look back at the first picture of my crate where I filled it with the eggs, I think they look great and not so much like potatoes.

Finally, here's one last pic for you of my favorite Easter treat ~ little Miss Sophie!! Her Daddy bought her a pink bandanna that says "Daddy's Girl" on it and she actually let me put a pink bow in her hair. Well, o.k., I tricked her by letting her chew on my fingers while I snuck in from behind her with my other hand and put the bow in her hair! I couldn't get her to sit still enough for me to get a good pic of the bandanna, but ain't she just the cutest thing ever??!!

I am busy, busy, busy trying to get some things finished up for my giveaway! I will be announcing the details at the end of this week, so be sure to stop back by. Trust me, you ain't gonna wanna miss this one!

Well, that's gonna do it for me for now. I am worn slap out and am about ready to hit the sack. I slept poorly last night and I'm really feeling the effects of that now! Hopefully, tonight will be a better night to catch up on some zzzzzzz's!! Hope everyone has a great day tomorrow!

Until next time. . .