Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Giveaway!

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I'm hoping to see lots of new names and to get some new followers (especially since my blog is fairly new). Hopefully it's your lucky day because I have partnered with Stop and to bring you a giveaway today as part of their Christmas Countdown Giveaways. I'll be giving away one (1) $25 gift certificate to their site AND three (3) $10 gift certificates as well...

My favorite part of Stop and Scrap's web site, aside from the "new" section, is the "pre-orders". I love being able to see pictures of what's coming. :) There's just something about fresh, new supplies to look forward to, no matter how much I already have on hand. LOL!

Anyway, let's get down to business. Since my daughter just finished selling Girl Scout cookies, how about you post a guess (here on my blog) as to how many boxes she sold this year. The closest guess will win the $25 certificate and the next three closest will win the $10 certificates. Ready? Set? Go!

Winners will be announced after 11 a.m. (EST) tomorrow. Good luck! :)
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall is in the Air (and so is Alexa, LOL!)

A few weeks ago, we went to the local park in search of beautiful foliage backdrops and some photo ops. Turns out we had better color in our own backyard but that didn't deter us from enjoying the fresh November air, sunshine, and a hike (and some time on the playground and some tree climbing too). Happy Sunday!
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful For This Girl

So thankful for this girl. She is my miracle, the child I never thought I'd have. She amazes me each and every day. She is wise beyond her years. She plays the violin beautifully. She is caring. She is smart and funny. She has a loving heart. She loves animals. She's a whiz at math. She gives the best snuggles (well, when she's in the mood. LOL!) I can't wait to see where the world takes her and to help her along in her journey.

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for today?
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Making of Cranberry Relish

Cranberry relish is a traditional dish on our Thanksgiving table. I finally remembered to pull out the camera while I was making it today, so I could photograph the process (and you know these photos will make their way onto a layout soon, right?)

The photo above shows what the relish looks like at the start of cooking, lots of pretty cranberries mixed with other ingredients (the recipe is posted below).

After cooking for ten minutes, it becomes much thicker and a bit rosier in color:

Here's the delicious, finished product (although it still has to cool and set a bit).

Cranberry Relish a la the Swifts:

1 pound cranberries
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. chopped dates
2 c. water
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 c. white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Boil rapidly, uncovered, 10 minutes and mash almost constantly with a potato masher.

Chill well.

Makes 4 cups.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Partnering with for a Contest

Be sure to visit my blog in the coming weeks because I will have a giveaway from! I'll be giving away one (1) $25 gift certificate and three (3) $10 gift certificates. I'll post the actual giveaway date once I know it. :) There will be unique codes available too even if you don't want to enter the contest, so you can get that day's coupon.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Cornbread

(Photo and recipe courtesy of

I know it's not time for Tasty Tuesday, but this recipe was too good to wait until then. LOL! I recommend cutting the baking time down a bit from the 30 minutes. It definitely needed less (at least in my oven). Next time I'm going to start checking it at about 23 minutes. Enjoy!


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (canned or freshly cooked and processed)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon molasses


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 10" glass pie pan or 9" square baking pan.

2. Combine flours, baking powder, salt (if using) and spices in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in cornmeal.

3. In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and molasses.

4. Make a well in the dry mixture. Add pumpkin mixture and blend batter with a few quick strokes (just until blended; don't over-mix).

5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes (I recommend less time), or until cornbread is browned and the surface has a slightly springy feel.

Enjoy and be sure to let me know if you liked it. :)

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Mane Event

In September, Alexa and her Girl Scout troop spent the weekend at Sprucelands Horse Camp in Java, NY. They learned about caring for horses, did barn chores, and had riding lessons (among other things). I just love the photo Alexa's troop leader caught of her with her horse, Sugar. That girl sure loves her animals! I guess it's a good thing she says she wants to be a vet. :)

The journaling reads: You were hesitant to go to Sprucelands Horse Camp (Java Center, NY) with your troop because you didn’t want to be away from home. Daddy ended up going which made it easier for you. Over the course of the weekend you learned about taking care of horses and had riding lessons on this sweet horse named Sugar. You also did barn chores (even the “yucky” ones), cooked meals, did some fun crafts, and got to have some bonding time with Daddy. In the end, you said you had a good time! (September 16-18, 2011)

Based on the weekly challenge sketch at Sketchy Thursdays.
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