Thursday, September 27, 2012

Paper Smooches Blog Hop

September DT Blog Hop over at Paper Smooches ... you're gonna have fun.  Go and check it out!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Soup is Good Food

With the arrival of fall, also comes soup weather. 


Chilly evenings that just call out for a nice bowl of steaming soup. 

And there really is nothing easier than making soup.  Some good  stock, your favorite vegetables, a rotisserie chicken or leftover pot roast, maybe some wavy noodles, and a handful of fresh (or dried) herbs, and voila ... you've got soup! 

You can make it even easier by throwing everything into the crockpot and letting it cook all day while you are at work.  There is NOTHING better than coming home and opening up the door and having the aroma of chicken soup hit you full in the face!

You can find some of my favorite soup recipes on my pinterest board here:

And if you want some easy peasy crockpot recipes, check these out:

Now, with any good bowl of soup, you will want a loaf of fresh crusty bread.  Me ... I'll pick up a loaf at Panera on my way home from work, but if you have time to make your own bread, even better!!  And don't settle on a sleeve of crackers - go for the gold and get some really good oyster crackers to add to your soup.  And maybe some fresh grated cheese to go on top ... oh the possibilities!

Friday, September 21, 2012

An apple a day means fall is on its way!

Around here we have several apple orchards within an hour's drive and every year we make it an event to go to several.  You can pick your own or just grab a basket already to go.  And FRESH apple cider is always a MUST.  I love making apple butter every year and sharing with family and friends.  And apple pan pie, and applesauce, and apple fritters, and apple pancakes!  And of course, there is NOTHING better than eating an apple fresh from the tree ... so crisp and sweet and juicy!  Some of the orchards also offer up treats like caramel apples, apple donuts, apple pies and of course we always get their homemade kettle corn to eat with the apples on the trip home.  YUM!

Hubba Hubba Hubby!

Rarely do I get a photo of my husband, Sterling, looking relaxed and happy ... although he is both of these things most of the time.  Thank you to my sister, Gloria, who took this photo last week at our niece's birthday party.  And what makes this photo so authentic is the Bud Light he is holding. (grin)  I was temped to photoshop it and put a can of soda in his hand, but then nobody would believe it was him! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Wonderful World of Art Journaling!

Look what arrived at my door recently.  I just recently started creating with Faber Castell products ... I have some of their pastels (amazing to work with) and gelatos (so fun).  And now I can learn some new journaling techniques with this amazing set !!

I was the lucky winner of this set by becoming a follower over at Cheryl's blog:

Go over and check out Cheryl's amazing blog and give her a shout out !!!   Let her know I sent you!  She's got some fabulous workshops ... look at this delightful project:

OH MY !!!!

And just take a look at her altered cargo case !

Yep ... just takes your breath away! 

Thanks, again, Cheryl, for this amazing giveaway prize!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Driving Miss Paisley

Over this past weekend, we had several family events.  Here's Miss Paisley riding around in a Fisher Price toy steering the wheel like she's been doing it all her life (nine months worth).  HA!

Look at the tongue concentration action in this one!

Look dad, I'm driving!

Is there a GPS system on this thing?

Paisley ... your hands should be at 2 and 4 ... not 1 and 7 ... !!

In the blink of an eye she will be asking mom and dad for a REAL set of keys ... !!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Hailey!

My darling niece, Hailey, just turned 3 and we had a delightful family celebration on Saturday for her special day!  Here's a fabulous photo of her with her parents, Matthew and Magann!  Magann is OFFICIALLY Hailey's stepmom now, as we were given the wonderful news that she and Matthew were secretly married back in May with only a handful of family knowing about their private ceremony.  We are all so very happy for them and welcome Magann into our crazy family! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

RAK Prize !

Holy papercrafting creativity, Batman.  Look what I received in the mail today!  Talk about an amazing RAK (and for those that don't know what a RAK is, it's a random act of kindness)!  I recently enjoyed Paper Haus Magazine's first official blog hop!  They were celebrating the launch of their very first issue of a fantastic new mixed media publication. It's packed full of fall inspiration, with projects from all your favorite designers and a surprise special guest as well!! And the best part - this publication and all the inspiration you'll find within is completely free!   

One of the blog hop participants was Sabrina and she offered up this amazing prize on her personal blog.  And I was chosen the winner.  Thanks again, Sabrina for going to all the trouble and expense of sending this prize package to me.  I'm going to really enjoy it!  

Go and give a big shout out to Sabrina at her blog here:    

Thanks again, Sabrina ... you just made my day!  And congrats on your upcoming family addition!  Hope all goes well !!  Hugs!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fruit Pasta !

One of the vendors at the Parker Farmer's Market is a company called Pappardelle's Pasta (  They have THE most amazing pasta!  This year we picked up some of their Fanciful Fruit blend.

Flavors: Lemon, Lime, Raspberry & Tangerine/Orange Gemelli

This pasta is all in the same Gemelli shape. Toss this unique fruit pasta blend with seasonal fruit and a fresh lemon-zest/yogurt sauce or a raspberry vinaigrette dressing for an exciting summer pasta salad.

Here's a recipe we're going to try!
Fanciful Fruit Pasta Salad with Two Citrus Fruits

½ lb. Pappardelle’s Fanciful Fruit Pasta
½ cup chilled fresh orange wedges
½ cup chilled fresh pink grapefruit wedges
½ cup chilled mango, diced

Fresh Low-Fat Orange Zest Dressing

1 cup chilled plain low-fat yogurt
1 small can Mandarin oranges and juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
¼ cup orange juice concentrate

1. Cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water and, if time allows, refrigerate overnight.

2. In food processor or blender, combine all Fresh Low-Fat Orange Zest Dressing ingredients (except for the orange zest). After mixing well, add orange zest and fold into dressing. Chill dressing for 2 hours so flavors are well blended.

3. One hour before serving, toss pasta with fruit items and dressing, and serve on bed of greens. A great complement is to serve with fresh blueberry muffins and honey butter (1 cup of butter, whipped with ¼ cup clover honey, chilled overnight).

Singing in the Rain

While we were in Colorado, my son took us to the Southlands shopping district in Aurora.  It's unbelievably HUGE ... so many amazing stores and restaurants ... they even have a two story Barnes & Noble - my favorite place to go for a relaxing afternoon!  On Main Street was this unique umbrella display ... and get this ... it actually RAINS underneath these umbrellas ... what a unique piece of artwork ... visually stunning!

The Original Steakburger

My husband and I just got back from a road trip to Colorado to visit my son and his wife.  We always have such a wonderful time.  The first night my son cooked us a delicious dinner and we sat on the patio and enjoyed the mountain air!  The next morning we went to a new breakfast place called Snooze ... love the name!  It has a very unique breakfast menu and everything we ordered was AMAZING!  We then had to stop at IKEA ... can't go to Denver and not visit that BIG BLUE BUILDING!  We loaded up our rental car with our purchases and then headed over to Crate and Barrel where I found some oven ware bowls that will be perfect for french onion soup!!  The town of Parker was having their annual bbq festival so we got to sample some award winning bbq for dinner, and of course made our annual trek to Swirls for some frozen yogurt afterwards.  Sunday we went to the weekly farmer's market in Parker.  This is one of our favorite places to go when we visit the kids.  The vendors are so friendly and there are SO MANY wonderful things to choose from.  My son drove us down to Colorado Springs in the afternoon and then we continued on to Cripple Creek, which was about another hour around the other side of Pike's Peak.  There was some fire damage visible from the road, but mostly the vistas were full of beautiful pines and aspens.  A few aspens were already starting to turn their colors.  Monday we had a leisurely day just enjoying my son and awaiting my daughter-in-law to return to town so that we could spend a few hours with her before we headed up into the mountains to Black Hawk.  Spent a few nights enjoying the mountain vistas and a few pulls on the slot machines and then headed back to Omaha on Wednesday.  Gotta love a 9 hour road trip!  About the time we were driving back to Omaha, my daughter and her family were flying in to Parker to visit Mark and Chrysty and spend a week in Colorado as well.  We normally all go at once, but this year we split up our time.

Here's a pic of Paisley having lunch yesterday at one of their favorite places!

I think Paisley is going to question her parents in about 20 years and ask "what were you thinking"???!!!!

A Sweet Poem I Had To Share!