Thursday, November 26, 2009

The girls...

Reconnecting with these girls this week is one of the many things I am thankful for....that and the pumpkin cheesecake I had...YUM!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Giveaway!!!

***Update***  Congratulations to Joanna for winning the giveaway.  I wanted to surprise her by sending it, so I didn't post the winner here sooner.

It has been A LONG time since I've done a giveaway. So sorry. I bought this set at the beach, and I am just now getting around to posting about it. I love great accessories. I especially love jewelry sets. Sometimes a fun set with a little character can set off an otherwise plain outfit. I am often asked where I buy most of my jewelry. Well, off season at the beach has been one of my favorite sources for "fun" (read quirky and cheap) jewelry. I am hoping to share a few more of my favorite things as giveaways in the coming month....keep checking.

A set with multiple colors like this can spruce up just about any plain colored top/sweater/jacket.

Leave me a comment or send me an email to enter. I'll chose a winner next Wednesday since I know some of you are out of town this week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I've Been Reading...

"Wholesome" is the first word that comes to mind after reading Little Britches (Father and I Were Ranchers) by Ralph Moody. This classic is a favorite of my friend, Missy. Since she has impeccable taste, I thought it was worth the read. Moody tells the story of his family's move from the East to a ranch in Colorado in 1906. This book is rich in the values of honesty, patience, having a strong work ethic, and family unity. Moody's father is wise and gives lessons in character building that we all hope to instill in our children...and really need to be reminded of ourselves. It's a nice readbeforeyougotobed, feel good kind of book.

I heard so many rave reviews about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that I just had to read it for myself. It is charming and certainly worth the read. It is, "traditional without seeming stale and romantic without being naive." It is a novel comprised entirely of letters. You fall in love with the characters as they describe life on Guernsey island during the Nazi occupation. Read this one.

It really is amazing that any of us are born at all. My friend, Rachel, highly recommended BIRTH The Surprising History of How We Are Born. It is written by Tina Cassady, a reporter who looks for a history of birthing methods and is shocked at how little she finds. This book describes how birthing theories have evolved including tools (a seriously disturbing chapter), the introduction of doctors, midwives, C-Sections, and "twilight sleep" to name a few. It is written like a textbook but is very readable. I found it fascinating and somewhat shocking. It is amazing how we are still changing opinions and recommendations on a process that has been around since, well, the beginning.

Sense and Sensibility ranks above Emma and below Pride and Prejudice on my Austen scale. 'nough said.

One of the best and most interesting books I've read this year. Outliers is a must for your book club. After almost every chapter, I wanted to call my friend to discuss Gladwell's observations.

a review from amazon...

Malcolm Gladwell poses a provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."

Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendants of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. --Mari Malcolm

You certainly won't have to try hard to have a book discussion after reading this one.
What have you been reading recently?

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday...

Thanks, mom, for having this ADORABLE fall coat and hat made for Adeline.
She has become quite the little fall fashionista...

and yes, it's reversable, but my model was "all done" with pictures by this point. sigh...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

A: "Daddy will be home soon."
me: "No, sweetie. Daddy will be home before supper."
A: "I will give him a kiss."
me: "Aww, sweetheart, I'm sure daddy would love that."
A: "That will make him happy."

A: "Here mommy..." (handing me a slice of her tangerine)
me: "Oh, Adeline, that is such good sharing."
A: "Here Camille (reaching a slice in Camille's direction)....just pretend." (and then Adeline eats it)

me: "Adeline, did you do a good job obeying Mrs Fix today? Did you play nicely with Rock?"
A: "No...I had to sit on the step."

It was a hectic morning, and I had just given Adeline her breakfast while I was tending to Camille...
A: "Mommy, we forgot to pray to Jesus."


Adeline is laying on the floor to have her diaper changed. She wants her bunny and starts to get up.

me: "Here Adeline, I'll get her for you."
A: "No mommy, don't wake up bunny."

Adeline was fussing as we were leaving church.
me: "I know... it's hard to be two sometimes."
A: "I don't WANT to be two!!! I want to be THREE!"

Head over to Mary's for more Tiny Talkers...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I Call Pretty

I did a plug for my friend Missy's new etsy store recently. Well, she added more stuff. You should visit. Really. Scarves, flowers for your girl's hair, new apron prints. She is crazy talented. I added a button to my sidebar to link you to her site so you can shop there any time without trying to find this post or remembering the site.

Slow-Cooked Bean Medley

I love to try new recipes. I get most of them from Taste of Home magazine....or your blogs. Here are a few of my favorites that I've tried recently (or been asked for the recipes). Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

You can use any combination of beans in this recipe. I didn't use the black eyed peas or lima beans. I substituted an extra can of kidney beans and a bag of frozen edemame (soy beans for those who don't know...). I also used frozen corn instead of canned corn. I just like it better.

  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) lima beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained


  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until onion and peppers are tender. Discard bay leaves. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup equals 255 calories, 4 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 942 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Slow-Cooked Bean Medley published in Taste of Home June/July 2008,

Mexican Manicotti

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 package (8 ounces) uncooked manicotti shells
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Sliced ripe olives, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine the uncooked beef, beans, chili powder and oregano. Spoon into uncooked manicotti shells; arrange in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine water and picante sauce; pour over shells. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover; spoon sour cream over the top. Sprinkle with cheese, onions and olives if desired. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 431 calories, 20 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 554 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 23 g protein.

Ginger-Streusel Pumpkin Pie

This is the best pumpkin pie I ever had, and I bake a lot. Enjoy!

  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger


  • On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Transfer pastry to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugars, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts and ginger. Gently sprinkle over filling.
  • Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 684 calories, 42 g fat (21 g saturated fat), 176 mg cholesterol, 388 mg sodium, 73 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Ginger-Streusel Pumpkin Pie published in Taste of Home October/November 2008, p41

Streusel Pumpkin Pie published in Taste of Ho

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

They don't need to be taught... to sin.
A: "Mommy, I need you to open the door." (we got a chain lock for the sliding door to our deck after a friend's daughter escaped while she was in the shower...she was fine, but it scared me since Adeline knows how to take out the security bar, unlock the door, and go out to play).

me: "No honey, we are going to stay inside right now. Go play with your friends."

A: "Daddy, can you please open the door for me?"

Pat: "Mommy already told you no, and so you don't come to ask daddy when mommy already answered you. Daddy and mommy will always agree."

A: walks to my right around the table..."Mr Salada, I would like you to open the door please."
at which point the adults in the room are trying hard to not bust out laughing.

Mr S: "Well, Adeline, mommy and daddy already told you, no. So, you probably shouldn't be asking me."

A: Without missing a beat, Adeline walks around to the other side of the table. "Mrs. Salada, would you unlock the door for me, please?"

Mrs S: "Adeline, your mommy and daddy said no. They are in charge of you. You need to obey them. Now, go play."

Content that she had exhausted all her options, Adeline ran off happily and played.


A: "Mommy, can I wear my Thomas shirt today?"
me: "no, you can wear it tonight when you go to bed."
A: "I can ask daddy when daddy gets home."
She clearly missed the lesson from the door incident...

I came home from work and Adeline and her friend, Rock were watching a movie. After they left, we had this conversation...
A: "Mommy, I want to watch the movie again."
me: "No, sweetheart. We only watch one movie a day, and it is all done."
A: "Mrs Fix said I could watch it again."
hmm...somehow I doubt that Mrs Fix, who isn't here, said you could continue watching movies to your heart's content.

Did you notice the theme? This week's Tiny Talk Tuesday focused on recent examples of my daughter lying and manipulating. We didn't teach her how to do these things (although I'm sure we provide examples more than we care to believe). I know this behavior is "normal." I don't think she is unusually rebellious, according to earthly standards, but that's not the standard.

Children are not born innocent. Sure, they don't understand there are things like pornography, murder, and rape. However, we need to teach our children (and ourselves) things like kindness, mercy, self-control, and patience. We don't need to teach them how to lie, cheat, and be selfish. Those things are at our core. These stories are cute, but they also remind me that my heart is rebellious too, and I need the grace of God each and every day. Even though we laugh when their sin is so obvious, it is something to take seriously. I pray that God will soften Adeline's heart and give us wisdom to train her heart to choose what is right, true, and lovely.

Head to Mary's for more TTT...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bah ha ha!!!

I saw this at Mari's, and it cracked me's something to start your week with a smile.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I's a lot of pictures...but this kid is just SO photogenic! If you look at her, she'll smile.


Adeline "got it" a little more this year. My dad came along trick-or-treating with us while my mom held down the fort to give out candy.

Adeline asked every adult at every house we visited, "Can I eat this (holding up a lollipop)?" She is not picky about which adult gives her permission to do things, and she will continue to ask anyone she can find until she gets an answer she likes....we're working on this.
But let's face it, when you're two, it really just comes down to the candy.