Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Obie!

My puppy, Obi Wan Kenobi (DH named him, I call him Obie), is 6 today. For breakfast he had an egg (he loves eggs, bypasses bacon for the egg) and for dinner, steak!

Below is the pic from the rescue website we got him from...ok, I'm getting cheesy here, but the song "The first time I ever saw your face..." is coming to mind. We adopted him 2 years ago from a rescue agency, after seeing him online. He came to us severely underweight, about 3 lbs (for a little dog, that's a lot), with a hernia and a big sore on his tail (covered half of it on one side). He was found wandering the streets of Miami. He's a tough guy. The first time I saw him I melted, he was such a grump (still is) and he just needed someone to love him.

He's a total Momma's boy. He loves his Daddy, but is all about Mom. In fact we sing (think of the tune from the 80s song Obsession), "Obsession, Mommy's my obsession" a lot.

He's awesome...we love him so much and can't imagine life without him.

Photo from the rescue site.

DH and Obe.

Momma, why are you wearing that dress?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some neat giveaways!

Happy to be at Home is a great, menu plans and more! They are having some good giveaways is a beautiful cook book here to enter. The other is their recipe e-book, they are giving away 3, but if you don't win, you can buy it for just $4.95. It's family tested and approved. If you check out their recipe page, you'll get some ideas of how good the recipes in the book are!

They are all part of the Great Bloggy Giveaway! Hundreds of blogs are giving away goodies!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, October 27, 2008

Outside My Window...
The clouds are out, a chill is in the air…leaves are on the ground.

I am thinking...
I wish I was in bed!

I am thankful for...

From the kitchen...
Defrosting are the goodies from the Amish Country my MIL brought back with her (ham loaf for me, chicken croquettes for DH).

I am wearing...
My long gray sweatpants, gray floral sweatshirt and socks…wait, should I mention my under-roos? I wear those too!

I am creating...
My coupon list for Kmart’s double coupon days! Whoot!

I am going...
Nowhere today! Have to pick up the house after guppy was here this weekend!

I am reading...
Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

I am hoping...
My review at work is good! I think it will be!

I am hearing...
My puppy squeak his toy.

Around the house...
Laundry to be put away, sheets on guppy’s bed to be changed. Dishes to be done!

One of my favorite things...
I checked out 7 books Saturday. Three of them I’ve been wanting to read! Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich and T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. The other four are good too, just happened to pick them up while I was there.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Kmart run.
Grocery shop on Thursday.
Stop by the Goodwill if I have a chance.
Lane Bryant stop (have a $50 coupon and a $55 credit, whoot!)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(what I am hearing squeaking)

Visit Peggy for more daybooks!

Clam Chowder

My Best Clam Chowder—my changes are bolded or in parentheses.
Originally from All Recipes.

3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams (I used 2 (6.5 oz) cans minced and 1 (10 oz) can whole baby clams)
1 cup minced onion (I used dried)
1 cup diced celery (omitted)
2 cups cubed potatoes (did not peel, used white)
1 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup butter (combo of ICBINB and butter)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half cream (I used ff half-and-half)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
I added: 6 slices of bacon, a sprinkling of Old Bay, a smidge of garlic powder, a dash of cayenne

1. Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Fry bacon til crisp, add. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.

3. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

If you are in the mood for some clam chowder, try this! MMMM! I cooked up 6 slices of bacon til crisp, added it to the rest. Next time, I think I might up the veggies some more. I also added some Old Bay, cayenne, garlic powder. This stuff is gooooood!!

Menu Plan Monday!

My mother-in-law went to Amish Country with a friend Friday and brought us back some goodies! So that's Monday's dinner. Of course, she also brought back peanut butter frosted bear claws too...that was Saturday's breakfast...mmmmm. So much for watching what I eat! DH did eat half of mine, so that was watching what I ate right?

For October 27, 2008 thru November 2, 2008

Monday, October 27
Goodies from Amish Country
Me—Ham loaf
DH—Chicken croquettes
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Tuesday, October 28
Homemade Rolls

Wednesday, October 29
Crockpot chicken
Mashed potatoes

Thursday, October 30
Sharon’s Ono BBQ Beef
Tater Tots

Friday, October 31
Pork chops
Rice pilaf

Saturday, November 1
Homemade Pizza

Sunday, November 2
Chicken Pot Pie (never got made last week!)

Pumpkin muffins

Let them eat cake!

I thought this was cute! I love fruit cakes...but my fave is peanut butter chocolate. I'm not a sweet icing person, more of a whipped cream icing. MMMMM.

You Are Strawberry Cake

Fresh, sassy, and romantic.

You're a total flirt, who never would turn down a sugary treat.

Occasionally you're a bit moody - but you usually stay sweet!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Have a great weekend!

What's in store this weekend? Our big plan is to (it's guppy's weekend) hopefully go over to the church fair and maybe over to the orchard. We want to do a hayride, pumpkin pick, eat some yummy bbq and then come home and carve our pumpkins. Now, they are saying it is supposed to rain! Booo!

So we will see what we end up doing. Either way, I'm sure we'll have fun! My other to-dos this weekend are finishing up laundry, mopping the floors and baking.

I hope ya'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

David’s Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

Boy, I'm tired! DH gets up at 5:40 every morning...I don't like that. I'm more of a 7:00 type of gal. But I did make cookies, so not all was lost!

DH can eat a dozen cookies at a time easy, so I'm always looking for recipes to try. He's so cute...he sits there with a cup of milk and dunks his cookies. It's like watching an overgrown kid. He also can eat mass quantities of food and not gain an ounce. I other the other hand, cannot eat whatever...I'm HAVE to watch what I eat...found this recipe online, it is good!

David’s Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk (I used 1%, that's all I have)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (about ¾ of a 12-ounce bag) chocolate chips (next time I might use a tad less)
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment or foil. (I used parchment)

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

(Please note, these are the original instructions. I just mixed the dry together, then added the wet, then the choc. chips. No mixer, just a fork! Wasn't hard to mix.)
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Beat the butter and sugars together by machine with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well mixed (about one minute). Beat in the egg and milk until they are absorbed and then the vanilla. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, the flour mixture will smooth it out. Scrape down the bowl and beater and beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Use a large rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough in the bowl for fifteen minutes to keep the cookies from spreading too much while they are baking. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls or use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies. Arrange the balls of dough 2 inches apart all around the prepared pans.

Bake the cookies for eight to twelve minutes, or until they look dull on the surface, have spread, and are still quite moist. (I cooked mine about 12 min, til lightly brown on top.)

Cool the cookies on the pans on racks for five minutes. Slide the papers to racks and cool the cookies completely. For storing: keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Per cookie: 114 calories, 5 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boys are gross!

Thank you to Maggie Ann and Cassidy for stopping by and commenting! It means a lot to me!

Now for a rant: Why do men not understand the difference between guest towels and regular towels...or the "nice" kitchen towels and the regular ones? Maybe it's just in our chromosomes, but women...we see a cute fall kitchen towel with leaves and pumpkins on it in a kitchen...then we see a red one that we know we've seen before...which one are we going to use? The red one of course! If we HAD to use the fall one, we might...but not to wipe ketchup on...we would WASH the ketchup off of our hands and then if we HAD to, use the nice fall one to dry our hands. But men, no...they think towels are to wipe any substance at any time off any part of their body.

Ketchup, toothpaste, dirt...ugh. Excuse me while I revert to a 6-year-old...boys are gross.

We have a guest bathroom downstairs and a regular bathroom upstairs. The toothbrushes and toothpaste are all upstairs. So how does toothpaste become smeared on my nice guest hand towels downstairs? I'm not anal retentive, really I'm not! I just don't understand how toothpaste can travel a whole floor level.

I just think we women like pretty things...things to smell nice, look nice. Men prefer a free for all. :-)

I might not make it to the library and Goodwill after all today, most likely Thursday. I requested a few books that I wanted to read and they should be there by Thursday...also, I have two more chapters to finish on Assault and Pepper!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday: October 20, 2008 thru October 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday! Visit Laura at OrgJunkie for more great ideas!

For October 20, 2008 thru October 26, 2008

Monday, October 20
Mashed potatoes/gravy

Tuesday, October 21
Stuffed Shells
Homemade bread
Green beans

Wednesday, October 22
Wing Dings

Thursday, October 23
Clam Chowder
Homemade Dinner Rolls

Friday, October 24
Pork chops
Rice pilaf

Saturday, October 25
Chicken Pot Pie (never got made last week!)

Sunday, October 26
Crockpot chicken
Mashed potatoes

Chocolate chip cookies
Pumpkin muffins
Breakfasts will be omelets, cereal.
Lunches will be sandwiches, leftovers.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

This comes from Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman. For other's daybooks and more, go take a look!

For TODAY Monday, October 20, 2008

Outside My Window...
The windows are wet, due to the frost we had last night. It was 28 this morning!

I am thinking...
I better do my menu planning and work invoices today!

I am thankful for...
Heat…I’m freezing!

From the kitchen...
On tonight’s menu, meatloaf (part turkey, part ground beef) with mashed potatoes and gravy with peas. Something comforting on a cold day!

I am wearing...
One of my blue fleece warm up suits and socks.

I am creating...
Space for my decorations…got the boxes out of storage, need room for them!

I am going...
Nowhere today. Out for a walk later.

I am reading...
Assualt and Pepper by Tamar Myers

I am hoping...
My boss’s meeting goes well tomorrow.

I am hearing...
The TV.

Around the house...
Three loads of laundry to be done. Rest of the house is clean, whoot!

One of my favorite things...
Saturday…we spent the morning in bed, just watching tv…does NOT happen often, we both totally needed it!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Tomorrow is the library and maybe stop by the new Goodwill.
Thank you notes.
Walmart run.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
From our first dance...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Here is my first one. It is supposed to be on Monday's, but I just came across it, lol! It comes from Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman. For other's daybooks and more, go take a look!

FOR TODAY Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Outside My Window...
The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful 77 degree day. Which is nice, since tomorrow it is supposed to rain. I want to enjoy these days as much as possible, considering cold weather is coming!

I am thinking...
When will the mail get here? (I am waiting for our wedding pictures.)

I am thankful for...
My family and my life. I’m loved.

From the kitchen...
Right now I have ground beef defrosting. Burgers on the grill tonight, to take advantage of the mild weather.

I am wearing...
Black yoga pants with a gray top.

I am creating...
A masterpiece! No, besides this post, no creating right now. I’m a little burnt out from all the wedding stuff.

I am going...
Already went! I went to the bank to deposit our checks today.

I am reading...
Work stuff. Also, Strangers in Death by Nora Roberts.

I am hoping...
We can save some money this month.

I am hearing...
My doggie snoring ever so softly. Birds chirping. The TV.

Around the house...
Laundry that needs to be put away. Dishwasher that needs to be emptied.

One of my favorite things...
Lying in bed on a cool afternoon, under the covers, reading a book.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Call and set up a Vet appt for Obie.
Buy a new cooler for DH.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is from our honeymoon...a lovely sunrise off of our balcony.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Per Ashley's request! Thanks for stopping by Ashley! It's actually a WW recipe, I was on WW one year and tried this recipe. My DH loves them!

Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 box spice cake mix (if you can't find spice cake, use carrot instead)

1 can pumpkin (I use Libby's, not pumpkin pie mix, just plain ole pumpkin)

a handful of cinnamon chips (This might be hard to find in your area, they are located with the chocolate chips. I live about 15 min from Hershey, PA, so I just buy them when I go to Hershey. You could sub chocolate chips I am thinking!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin and cinnamon chips. Do not add eggs, oil, etc. Just the cake mix, pumpkin and cinnamon chips. Mix together until well combined. It's tough to do, just do your best!

Spoon into greased/pammed muffin pan. Bake as directed on back of cake mix box, I think it's 20 minutes or so. (Test to see if they are done.)

Daily List

I love making lists and things…my problem is following them! So I came up with a List that is basically what I am going to strive to do every single day. Yep, even weekends.

Daily Routine—Morning

1. Wake up, get out of bed!
2. Make DH’s lunch, make sure he has it.
3. Shower/dry hair.
4. Get dressed.
5. Walk Ober (our dog).
6. Take out dinner to thaw if nec., start it in the crockpot if nec.
7. Make breakfast—stick to diet!!
8. Do dishes/clean out sink (shine)/Run dishwasher if full.
9. Wipe down counters.
10. Pick up/Febreeze living room.
11. Shine guest bath sink.
12. Brush teeth/Shine sink.
13. Make bed.
14. Pick up clothes.

Daily Routine—Evening

1. Make dinner.
2. Do dishes/run dishwasher if nec./shine sink.
3. Wipe down counters.
4. Open/dispose of mail.
5. Pick up living room.
6. Clean face/brush teeth.

Honestly, the house just feels cleaner when I follow this. I can have someone come to the door and I can stand there and leave the door open if I want. Rather than scooting out the door and closing it behind me as I say hi.

Do I follow this all the time. Honestly, no. Part of my rehabilitation is that I want to follow it! Especially with the craziness of the wedding, things have fallen by the wayside. I started back on it though! I'm planning on a good clean this weekend too.

Getting it together

I have tried before and failed at getting organized. Some of my favorite sites include and the Sidetracked Home Executives - they have some books and a neat card file system. While I do not subscribe to all of their teachings, I have gleaned many interesting tidbits of info. I have incorporated some of their ideas to fit my life.

Flylady does a whole routine/binder thing, daily, weekly, monthly, etc. While I would love to be THAT organized, I know I’m not. No way, no how! I mean, really, am I going to do monthly things every week? Nope. At least I’m honest. I’m better at weekend cleaning…just busting out a whole room top to bottom once a month on a Saturday.

SHEs do a card file system…which is really neat…just not something I can use right now. I might revisit this as I have kiddos…several of the Moms just hand the cards to the kids to do…I love that idea!

So far, I've come up with a Daily List. Next, the harder thing, is the Weekly List. Problem is, our weeks vary. So I think my best bet is just to come up with a base list. Things that should get done during the week.
Some of the recipes for this week:

I made these this morning, I figure DH might grab some for snacks. I THOUGHT I had pecans, instead, I had walnuts. So I used them. I ground them in my food processor for a minute, so they were not big chunks (DH doesn’t like chunks of nuts). I really liked these! They have a crispy edge on the tops, made the mini muffins. I only got 21. I don’t know why! Maybe because I ground the nuts? Either way, I just filled up the other 3 with water. I think these would be good with a combo of nuts…like walnuts, pecans, almonds…mmmm.

Recipe from Recipezaar (with my modifications):

Mini Pecan Pie Muffins

24 mini muffins (I got 21)

1 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used a tad less)
2/3 cup butter, melted (I used 2 TB butter with the rest margarine)
2 eggs
I also added: 1 TB of light corn syrup and 1 tsp vanilla (give or take, I just dump it in)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spray a miniature muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for approx 18 minutes.

Original Recipe Here.

In the Crockpot right now I have BBQ Pork going. Way easy to make.

BBQ Pork:

3 lb pork butt, boneless
1 can diet or regular cola (or use a glass full)
1 can of beef broth
1 onion, quartered
garlic powder

1. Dump the cola in, then place the pork on top. Pour the beef broth on the butt, then sprinkle with garlic powder. Place some onion on top of the roast and on the sides. Let cook on Low all day (I put it in at 7:00 am and we eat around 6:00 pm.) I would think at least 8 hours would be ok.

2. About ½ hour before dinner: Take roast out, shred. Drain all the liquid out of the crockpot. You can leave the onions in with the meat if you like! Get a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I’ll share one of my faves in a minute) and dump it in with the shredded pork back into the crockpot. Cook til heated through, about ½ hour.

Sooo good served on potato rolls, with baked beans and coleslaw...mmmm!

I'm back!

Hi ya’all!

Well, the wedding is over…it was so beautiful. Everything I hoped for. Well, a few issues (like my MIL drinking too much and throwing up in the bushes)…yep, classy. But other than that, it was wonderful!

Now, to write the thank you notes and try to settle in. I feel like I am a crazed monkey, running around trying to unpack, go to the bank, name change stuff, etc. See, I just got home last week really. We got home from the honeymoon and a few days later, I flew down to my parents’ house to pick up my dog (they grandpuppy sat), then Mom and I drove back up. She left last Tuesday, I miss her!

DH has fall break from school this week, which is nice! He has school 3 nights a week, so I don’t see much of him! He started his new job too, which is in the field he is going to school for. What an awesome opportunity! He was pretty beat last week, with being gone 3 days a week from 6:30 am until 9:30 pm.

Yesterday was our one month anniversary! Whoot! He surprised me with flowers and a cute card. I got him a pumpkin and a card. He love Halloween and has been trying to carve my decoration pumpkins for a week now. So I got him a big ole guy he can have fun with!

I love menu planning, I usually do it every week! Go to to check out lots of menu plans!

Menu Plan:

For October 13, 2008 thru October 19, 2008

Monday, October 13

Tuesday, October 14
BBQ Pork in the Crockpot
Baked Beans

Wednesday, October 15
Burgers (It's in the upper 70s, going to keep using the grill while I can!)
Mac N Cheese
Leftover Baked Beans

Thursday, October 16
Cube Steak & Gravy
Mashed Potatoes

Friday, October 17
Pasta Fagioli
Homemade Bread

Saturday, October 18
Leftover Pasta Fagioli
Homemade Bread

Sunday, October 19
Chicken Pot Pie (homemade, mmmm)

Pumpkin Muffins
Pecan Pie Muffins (ended up as Walnut)
Reeses Squares

BTW, if you get Sunday’s paper, lately there have been a lot of Ronzoni Smart Taste coupons, $1 off. I bought a box of the spaghetti yesterday at Giant. They normally sell for $1.49, with $1 off, just $0.49 each! I don’t know how it tastes yet, so I’ll report back!