Wednesday, July 27, 2011

~ A Survey ~

I've been under the weather the past few days so really don't have anything exciting to share.  I am very excited though...there are now over 200 followers here!!  I know, I know....all of you that have hundreds or thousands are rolling in laughter but hey, I'm thrilled!  I so appreciate anyone that chooses to stop by and follow. There are so many incredible blogs out there and I realize everyone's time is limited.

Now, for the survey part.  I'd like to do another giveaway to honor this momentus occasion but my mind is not working too well.  Yeah, I know...not a rare occasion is it?  :-)  I'd like to know what your preferences are for giveaways ~ a treasure trove of items like for a kitchen, bathroom, etc.,  a magazine subscription, holiday items. Other suggestions are so welcome! 

I'll make a choice by Monday, the 1st, and then we'll begin the sign-ups for a surprise. I just have to say that it will NOT be anything related to summer!  I cannot tell you how much I hate these triple digits e-v-e-r-y single day.

Ok, now's your chance to tell me what you would like!  Thanks in advance for doing this ~

Thursday, July 21, 2011

~ Easy Frost Chocolate Fudge Cake ~


I made this cake for my granddaughter's 14th birthday.  She, along with the rest of my family, are all chocoholics so it was a hit!   It's so easy to do and fun too ~ the "Easy Frost" was simple and tasty also.  You can frost cupcakes in a hurry as well as cakes, etc.


I just used the recipe on the box of cake mix, however, I normally add brewed coffee as part of the water required and the rest milk.  Just offers a more "real" taste I think.  I also used a fudge frosting for each of the layers...except the top. My kitchen is sooooo small....it is difficult to make pictures that are attractive.  I think that most of you that know me realize I forget to make pictures too!  Still haven't gotten in the swing of it ~ :-)
I used the Wilton 6" cake pans for this and sliced each cake layer into 2 pieces.  Made a tall cake.  Oh yes, I did slice off those tops to even the cake layers as well as get rid of the ugly parts. Those, with left over frosting, made a small piece for Mimi to taste.  And yes, those are dog treats in the background! The onions on the right are for a savory dish....sorry they are there.
Here we are....just beginning the frosting process:

Before you know it, you're finished!  Oh, and I forgot to place one of those pretty, lacy doilies under the cake.  I was in a hurry...but I did get a few photos!  :-)

What do you think?  Ready to try this yourself?  I highly recommend you do ~


I'm joining ~








Wednesday, July 20, 2011

~ Wednesday Blog Highlight ~


I would just love for you to stop by and check out this post...."To Thine Own Self Be True" by Kristin at her blog, Bring Pretty Back.  I think every female should read this!

If you're not familiar with Kristin's blog and her project, take a few minutes and read through her posts. She has the most incredible, loving heart towards others and her goal is for every woman to feel "pretty".

Monday, July 18, 2011

~ San Antonio, Texas Duck Story ~

Something really cute happened in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.




 Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching.
Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as

everyone gathered to watch.


The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.


As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River, site of the famed "River Walk." The on looking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies.
They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them in the container. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River. The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.


 
As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.


All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking



At last, all present and accounted for: "We're all together again. We're here! We're here!"


And here's a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures...

Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands.
I think it gives the name of San Antonio's famous "River Walk" a whole new meaning!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

~ Mango, Avocado & Shrimp Salad ~


This is a recipe from Southern Living, eons ago. So easy, something cool to eat and very tasty!


3  T. fresh lime juice
2  T.  grapeseed or vegetable oil
1  T.  sugar  (I only use about 1 tsp. sugar)
 large firm, but ripe mangoes (2 lbs. total)
medium firm-ripe avocados (1 lb. total)
2/3 cup each ~ thinly sliced green onion and chopped cilantro
1  T. minced fresh hot red or green chile (or 1/2 tsp. dried red chile flakes)
1  pound (70 to 110 per lb.) peeled,  cooked shrimp

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, and sugar until sugar dissolves.
Dice mangoes and avocados into 3/4-in. cubes; add to bowl. Add green onion, cilantro, chile, and shrimp. Mix gently. Serve or cover and chill for up to 1 hour.

I'm joining:





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

~ Blog Highlights ~


This is a new feature I'd like to try.  I've been discovering some wonderful new...or relatively new...blogs and just in case you are not aware of them, I want you to be! 

Have you ever had BBQ Pineapple Ice Cream?  You must try it!  Check out Lisa's post over at  House DressingVery unusual and sounds delish!  I love the touch of "hot" to it...offering a little kick to all the sweetness.  Lisa has a beautiful blog and she's very talented in the kitchen as well as designing very unique features in her home and garden.

Another blog you just must check out is  Cindy's Fractured Fairytale Of course, if you've read Miss Mustard Seed's blog today you've seen the incredible painting Cindy did of a cow. Now, being in Texas, we see cows all the time.  I don't believe I've seen one this beautiful!  Cindy has had an outlet to sell her paintings, however, there's been a change so she's seeking new avenues to sell her beautiful creations.

Please stop by Lisa's and Cindy's!  You'll be so happy you did....I promise.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

~ Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers ~

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.


They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.


The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.


Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.


The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.


The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.


'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.


The same goes for life.


If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.


Spend time with your children.


Spend time with your parents.


Visit with grandparents.


Take time to get medical checkups.


Take your spouse out to dinner.


Play another 18.


There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.


Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.


Set your priorities.


The rest is just sand.


One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.


The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

~ A few things I'm lovin! ~

 This is my first time to join in with Tidy Mom and her Friday meme.  Thought I'd share a few things that I'm really lovin' right now.

If you haven't tried L'Oreal's Infallible Lip Color ~ you MUST!  There are many colors and the first one I bought is "Teaberry".  Love it!  To be honest, it really doesn't stay on the full 10 hours that is advertised, however, it stays on a very, very long time.  The center of my lips is the area where it fades but perhaps that's just me.  You apply the color on clean lips, wait 2 minutes and then apply the balm. Oh, that feels great!  This product is not drying to the lips like so many others are ~ I really think you'll love it too.



Another product that it is wonderful is by Vaseline.  It's called Vaseline Daily Body Aloe Fresh Moisturizing Gel. Just apply to damp skin right out of the shower....don't dry off!  It's cooling and refreshing in this Texas heat and is very moisturizing to one's body. 
 Vaseline Intensive Care Vitalizing Gel Body Oil with Brazillian Nut and Almond Oils is another product that I cannot do without.  It's simply outstanding during the winter...or anytime your skin feels dry and parched.

What are you lovin' these days?

I was not compensated for any remarks in regard to these products.  This is strictly my opinion!

~ Justice for Caylee ~

You know, I've been in a funk this week.  The Casey Anthony trial was agonizing I think for everyone. I really didn't watch the proceedings daily ~ was too grueling for me and made my heart hurt.  My head too!  When she was found "Not Guilty" of murder or the other 2 lesser charges, I was absolutely stunned!  Honestly, it is baffling to me at how the jurors reached their decision. I'm told they didn't have access to all the "stuff" that we were exposed to via the media. If not, why not?  The child was missing for 31 days and the mom was out partying. Was that not a clue for the jury that there was something very wrong?  WHY didn't the grandparents press for information?  I guess there are a 1,000 questions I'd love to have answers to but probably never will.  Also, the fact that she will be released from prison next Wed really, really bothers me.  The defense attorneys have stated that she will need bodyguards.  Caylee didn't have any protection ~ why should this monster?

Ok, ok, I do know deep within that I'm not here to judge Casey or her family but I have a very hard time understanding this situation and our judicial system.  Something is very wrong and how can we fix it???  There doesn't seem to be any justice for Caylee here on earth...there will be in Heaven, we know that for sure! 


Sunday, July 3, 2011

~ Happy 4th of July! ~

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"I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL."

 

The Pledge of Allegiance received official recognition by Congress in an Act approved on June 22, 1942. However, the pledge was first published in 1892 in the Youth's Companion magazine in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, and was first used in public schools to celebrate Columbus Day on October 12, 1892.
In its original version, the pledge read "my flag" instead of "the flag of the United States." the change in the wording was adopted by the National Flag Conference in 1923. The rationale for the change was that it prevented ambiguity among foreign-born children and adults who might have the flag of their native land in mind when reciting the pledge.
The phrase "under God" was added to the pledge by a Congressional act approved on June 14, 1954. At that time, President Eisenhower said:
"in this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."
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I hope that you and your loved ones have a fun, safe, blessed and very happy holiday!