Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...It's Time to Announce a Winner!

And the winner is...
Jane @ Going Jane...Already a follower. :) Just in case you hadn't noticed. :)

Jane has been notified and has 48 hours to claim her $35 CSN Stores gift card!

Thanks to all of those who commented.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I'm off to CVS and Walgreens...have you seen their sales flyers for today?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Call It a Family

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
― Jane Howard
Quote from my Daily Thought e-mail from Real Simple.

BTW: Today's the last day to leave a comment to be entered into my CSN Stores giveaway!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Want a Mocha? Get Your Own!

Don't forget to enter my CSN Stores giveaway! Just leave me some comments at the post found here. I'll draw a winner in time for some after-Thanksgiving shopping!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Indiana Wine...It's Fine

Way back when I visited the Indiana State Fair this summer (thanks to Indiana Soybean Alliance), I visited with Jeannette of the Indiana Wine Grape Council about Indiana's signature wine and a cool app the Council has for folks interested in Indiana wines.

First let me tell you that I enjoy Indiana wines. I'm not a wine snob and I tend to like sweeter wines over dry wines, white wine over red wine and free wine over wine I have to buy myself! My stand-by wines when I'm out (or at home) are Chardonnay and Pino Grigio.

After visiting with Jeannette and bringing home a bottle of Traminette (Indiana's signature wine) courtesy of Easley Winery and the Indiana Wine Grape Council, I opened up my special cabinet (it's in a lower kitchen cabinet...can you tell I don't have children) and discovered that I had some other Indiana wines already in the house!

The above photo was taken way back in August. I have since consumed two of the bottles and given the third as a gift! The Traminette was quite good. If you've never heard of it, check out this web site. Traminette is made from hybrid grapes bred to grow well in Indiana - especially survive our harsh winters.

Also, while I was at the Indiana State Fair, I visited the Council's exhibit in the Ag/Hort Building and learned that we have LOTS of wineries around the state.

Jeannette also clued me in that the Indiana Wine Grape Council was THE first (or at least one of the first) state council to introduce a free iPhone app - Indiana Winery Guide - allows users to look up their favorite Indiana wines and see pricing...

and to find their favorite wineries, get directions and contact information...

find Indiana winery trail lists...

and learn more about specific Indiana Tramniette!

It's a very cool app. I don't have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, so Jeanette let me use hers to look around. It made me not only want to run out and buy an iPad but also plan a weekend trip to some of the wineries around the state. Read more about the app at the Council's blog.

Don't forget to enter my CSN Stores giveaway. Deadline is November 24!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Share a Thanksgiving Memory...Win Cash

Have you ever pulled your Thanksgiving turkey out of the oven and realized that you never turned on the oven?

Does your family always go around the table and share what you are thankful for?

Do you have an unusual dish that HAS to be on your Thanksgiving table every year?

If you have a fun, sweet, or delicious Thanksgiving story, Indiana Humanities Council wants to hear about it! And they are even giving two people $100 towards their Thanksgiving meal (thanks to Indiana's Family of Farmers). The winners will be chosen at random (your story will NOT be judged).

The only have until Friday, November 19 to enter!

This is part of the Council's Food for Though initiative, which is a two-year celebration of food and its role in our lives. They have spent the past year encouraging Hoosiers to "Eat. Read. Talk." If you don't have a Thanksgiving story to submit, I still recommend you head over to their web site and learn more about what they are doing.

My Thanksgiving meal disaster story:

My family usually gathered at my grandparent's house to celebrate holidays. However, one year when I was in college (I think) we decided to have Thanksgiving at my cousin's house. My grandma still fixed much of the meal at her house so my youngest sister went over to help fix the food and transport it.

My sister (like me) is not the most graceful person. As she was carrying a very hot pan of gravy out my grandparents' back door and down the steps, she tripped and spilled the gravy down her arms.

So, not only did she have burns on her hands and arms, but we also had no gravy for our Thanksgiving table.

Can you top that? If so, go here and enter today!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feeling Good after Freeze-O-Rama

After spending Saturday cooking in the kitchen with 11 blogging buddies, I received the following texts from Liz over at Two Maids a Milking...

Text #1: Convo at breakfast...Niece #1 "I think I know who made these muffins, a girl named Megan." Niece #2 "We should call her and tell her we love them and thank you very much!"

My Text Reply: Tell them I say you are welcome. I love the way kids think!

Text #2: Niece #2 just said tell her we are going to need some more muffins!

They were talking about the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins Barbara over at Frugalista Farm Life and I made during Freeze-O-Rama. We fixed up three double batches which made about 90 regular-size muffins and 100 mini muffins.

I love these muffins right out of the oven, so I was glad that some of them were enjoyed right away and not put into the freezer...although we did include reheating instructions with each bag!

In addition to the muffins, Barbara helped me put together 12 jars of Texas Two-Step Soup Mix. We were pinch-cooking for Leah over at Beyer Beware. Check out her post with the recipe here. Here are the final products.

Since we didn't have as much prep work on our dishes as some of the other gals (These ladies were COOKING...I was amazed at the number of potatoes peeled, bacon fried and manicotti filled.), Barbara and I got to enjoy some of the other activities we planned for the day when we thought that we were all cooking in a small kitchen. Luckily the kitchen we were in was wonderful...lots of counter space and a large commercial oven!

Cris over at Goodeness Gracious brought her huge collection of Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and we looked through those. Barbara picked out a couple for her Christmas list, including Cris's suggestions of Best-Ever Casseroles and One-Pot Meals.

Then we received some cake decorating tips from should have seen her tackle supply box with her decorating tools. She is a pro! Check out this post of hers.

She showed us how to do roses.

Then she showed Big Sissy from 3 Pigs her tricks.

But Big Sissy really wanted to try it by herself.

Here she goes!

It was a wonderful day. I love spending time with these women. I learn so much from them. There are single women, married women, married women with children and married women with children and grandchildren in the group. But when we get together, we are just women who enjoy each other's company.

Now to the food...if you are interested in some of the recipes that were cooked up and shared during our Freez-O-Rama, check out Goodeness Gracious by clicking on the button below.

Linking up to some other Tuesday fun...



Monday, November 15, 2010

It's a Giveaway...Just in Time for the Holidays!

With just 40 days left until Christmas (where does time go?), I headed out yesterday to start my shopping. I had a list and found some great deals. I'm also planning to do some major online shopping this year for those hard-to-find items and because there are some great deals online.

Having said that, I'm excited to announce a giveaway from CSN Stores here on my blog. The folks over at CSN Stores gave me a $35 gift card to give away right before Thanksgiving to be used at any of their online stores! Thanks CSN.

With more than 200 online stores where you can find everything from furniture, a leather briefcase, games, or great cookware, I'm sure you can find something at CSN Stores to suit your taste.

I headed over there recently because I'll be needing some new furniture, window coverings and decor for my front room once my sister takes back her furniture. I'm "storing" some pieces for her while she and her husband are living in a small rental home during the building of their new home. It was the perfect solution. I had an empty front room and she had extra furniture.

Here is the loveseat that I think would look lovely in my front room.

Here is an art piece that falls into the $35 range that I like...

And here's a desk lamp that would look great in the room.

So now for the important to enter. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!

Tell me how you would spend your $35 at CSN Store.

*Become a follower of my blog or comment if you already are. (1 entry)
*Become a fan of CSN on Facebook. (1 entry)
*Follow CSN on Twitter. (1 entry)
Blog about this giveaway and leave me a comment with a link to the post. (1 entry)

Giveaway ends November 24, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Be sure there's a valid email linked to your profile or leave one in your comment. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me. If they do not, another name will be chosen.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was received. The gift card will come directly from CSN Stores in the form of an online code.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Going Off-Site for Some Freezer Cookin'

Just a heads up...

I did some cookin' this weekend with some Goode friends over the weekend and a linky party is in the works! Head over to Goodeness Gracious on Tuesday and share your favorite freezer meal recipe.

I joined 11 of my blogging buddies for a marathon session in the kitchen on Saturday. There was a lot of activity, a few bloopers, and a mountain of yummy food at the end. I was pinch-cooking (kind of like pinch-hitting) for my gal pal Leah over at Beyer Beware because she was out of town and couldn't participate.

As a single lady (now put your hands up...sorry Beyonce took control of my fingers for a moment) with limited freezer space I don't have room for 12 meals in my freezer, but as a working mother of two, Leah does! So I gladly stepped in so that she could come home from her trip with a few meals ready to go in her freezer.

Baby Sister (aka Frugalista Farm Life) was also there, so we helped each other complete our pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for Frugalista and a cool soup in a jar mix for me.

The cooking was done at a church about 20 minutes from my house, so I had to load up all of my supplies.

The scary part...this didn't include 12 pounds of hamburger supplied by Leah to go with the soup mixes and my computer and printer so we could print off recipes if needed throughout the day.

In addition to the cooking, we also had a Pampered Chef demo, cookbook swap & share, cake decorating demonstration and lots of great conversation!

We even had some little helpers, including this sweet thing...

You might remember her from this post. My precious niece is now 5 weeks old. She was quite content admist the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. Doesn't she look cute in her tights?

Stay tuned for more about our 6-plus hours of cooking.

I actually came home with a few meals because Baby Sister split her spoils with me...and because I took Leah's quiche (made by Liz over at Two Maids a Milking) as payment for delivering her meals...I also took a brownie from the pan on her stove and am now craving brownies with chocolate and peanut butter chips.  

Can't wait for the cookie swap Baby Sister is planning for December! Maybe I'll have to make brownies...

By the way...the quiche didn't make it to the freezer. Lil' Sister and I ate some as soon as I got home. I've had it for breakfast and supper today! It has bacon in it, need I say more?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Learning German...Army Style

Guten Morgen...Goo-ten MAWR-gen...Good morning!

Yesterday, I talked about how my grandpa was drafted into the service during World War II and that several years ago my grandma gave me his German Language Guide from his time overseas.

As I was looking through the booklet again, I was amused by some of the illustrations and some of the phrases the Army thought the soldiers might need while over fighting a war.

For example, the guide showed how to ask when the movie starts (Wann beginnt das Kino?). Maybe the guide was generic and used for soldiers stationed overseas during non-war times as well. It just struck me as funny.

There were several phrases that I'm sure were very useful, including Gefahr (Danger); Hilfe (Help); and Ich habe mich verlaufen (I am lost).

Another thing that caught my attention was that cigarettes were featured prominently in both the text and the illustrations. It was a different world back then in many ways. Cigarettes were obviously not as taboo as they are these days. Can you imagine the outrage if the Army published the same guide today?

(I'm glad that they included bacon!)

There were some pages that made a lot of sense, including this one...

(Read the guide...No Admittance...turn around!!)

I wish I asked my grandpa more about his experiences during the war. Not so much about the fighting or the being a prisoner of war. More like what the local people were like? What he did when he wasn't on duty? Did he really use this language guide to talk to locals? Definitely a missed opportunity to know more about him.

Unterhosen...that means undershorts! Sorry, I was looking for a cool phrase to end this post and that's what caught my eye.

Guten Tag!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Have Freedom...Thanks to Many

We are blessed with many freedoms that I, like many others, take for granted most days. I do NOT want to take it for granted today...Veteran's Day.

Many of the freedoms I enjoy come with a high price that many brave men and women throughout the years have paid so I can be sitting here on my couch writing this.

I truly believe that the strength of our nation was built on the ability to feed and defend ourselves. I think the future of our country also depends greatly on maintaining both of these abilities.

I'm lucky to have both farmers and soldiers in my family...more farmers than soldiers and some of the soldiers were also farmers, but farmers and soldiers nonetheless.

My maternal grandfather fought in World War II. He was one of several boys in his family and I think all - or at least most - of them were drafted into service.

During the war, farmers were given an exemption from the war so that the country could continue to feed itself and its soldiers. However, my grandfather's family only had one exemption and that went to the oldest son until the next son turned 18. Then the exemption was passed to that son and the oldest went to war. This happened more than once and eventually it was my grandpa's turn.

Here he is in uniform. Not sure where or when this was taken but I recognize the attitude as well as the ears...that's my grandpa!

I believe he was shipped to Europe in late 1944 and was almost immediately captured by the Germans and sent to a prison camp.

Several years ago, my grandma gave me his German Language Guide from the war. She wrote this in the back cover:

"Your grandfather was captured by the Germans on Dec. 17, 1944 near Luxembourg and was freed by the British in May 1945. The Army issued this booklet to him on his arrival overseas."

Those are powerful words that strike such emotion in me. I cannot imagine what he went through in those five months. He did not talk about his time there until his later years and then mainly to my father, his son-in-law.

Luckily he did make it through and came home to marry my grandma and raise eight children. He's been gone six years now.

Thank you, Grandpa! You are loved. You are missed.

So, on this Veteran's Day, let's say a prayer for all of the soldiers who have served or are serving our country, including my cousins who are Marines (I can't believe they are old enough to drive, let alone to be soldiers!).

God bless and watch over you.

Disclaimer: I didn't fact check everything in this post with my mom and grandma so if family is reading this and I didn't get something right, let me know!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Heartbreak

I have been on a hiatus from my blog because of some computer issues and a quick trip to see friends out East. I got to experience my first Pop Warner football game while out there. Unfortunately, the final score was not in our favor. Though the team ended the season at 8-1, it was still tough on the QB...he took it hard.

Linking to A Beautiful Mess and My Life in Jenga.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Heart PW's Action Sets

I love to take photos. I don't like to edit them.

It's not that I don't like to edit, it's that there are so many options in Photoshop that I just don't know where to start. Then I found Pioneer Woman's Action Sets for Photoshop. These are too cool. You just download them and go. You can even use more than one action at a cool.

I'm not going to go into full tutorial mode, but I will do a bit of a show and tell...

Original photo


PW Black & White and Quick Edge Burn


Old West

Seventies and Quick Edge Burn

Soft and Faded

Aren't those cool? Totally going to be playing with these. If you have Photoshop, I suggest you go grab them!

Do you have other photo editing tips or favorite blogs with tutorials? Send them my way!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...Thank You Note

This week I got a thank you note from my oldest nephew for his birthday gift.

It was a homemade card that made me smile.

It also reminded me of my favorite thank you note (drawn by the same nephew) ever. It's several years old but still holds a place of honor on my fridge!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Random View from My Commute...Polly Want to Hit the Drive Thru?

I know that this post has a really long title, but I couldn't resist.

As a coworker and I were headed over to Illinois this weekend for a work function, she spotted something very unusual.

Now, I've seen plenty of dogs riding shotgun in cars. I've even seen a cat in the passenger seat. I have even seen a hand and foot hanging out of the trunk of a car (I'm assuming it was a Halloween decoration).

I have NEVER seen a parrot perched on the backseat of a car driving down the interstate! No cage in sight.

I did a double take but it was still there, just looking out the back window.

What's the strangest pet/animal you have spotted sitting shotgun in a passing car?


Related Posts with Thumbnails