My blog has moved to here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I've Moved...... blog, that is.  I'm hosting the blog on my own server and have transferred it to a CMS (Content Management Software). It looks pretty much the same as it does on Blogger except for a new horizontal menu.

Unfortunately, although my posts did make the transfer, it looks like my comments may not.  I am, however, continuing to use the Disquis commenting system at the new location as well.

I hope you will stop by my new site and continue to follow me over there.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Porch

One of the home improvement projects on our list was expanding our porch.  This porch sits in front of what we call the "breezeway" which is a room that used to be open and connected the house to the garage, but at some point, a previous owner enclosed it and took out a wall in the kitchen to open the two rooms up to each other.

After consulting with several contractors, it was determined that the best course would be to rip up the old porch and put in a newer, bigger one.   Today was the day work was to begin...and be completed.
Here's the old porch

....and the newer, larger porch

Concrete guys said we could walk on it tomorrow but that we should wait a few days before putting the chairs and my organic veggie garden boxes on it just to give it more time to cure and harden.

Now we have room for our dogs to be lay down and be outside with us.  Right now there is an aluminum awning but I think we will take that down and get a fabric awning that can be opened and closed as needed.

You can't tell from the other picture, but the left side has a bit of a drop to it so we will be getting some railing to put around the patio as well not only for safety but also for a place for some flower  boxes. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spinach Lasagna

When I was growing up, spinach was one of those veggies that made me gag, along with mixed veggies, green beans and peas. Even as an adult, my gag reflex kicked in whenever I saw spinach or thought of eating it. Maybe if Popeye had been a girl, I might have been more inclined to eat it. Naw, probably not.

Anyway, my son, who is here visiting me (happy happy joy joy), had asked me for years to make some spinach lasagna instead of our regular artery-clogging, meat-filled one. Nope, never, not gonna happen was my response.

Well, imagine his surprise when I suggested we make some this week. Eyes bugging out, shaking his head in disbelief, he said "YOU eat spinach lasagna now???" Yep. I do.

Why the change of heart?  I don't remember exactly why or when I first made spinach lasagna.  Probably a few years after my son moved out and we started trying to eat "healthier."  But really, whatever/whenever, I no longer have the gag-me-with-some-spinach reflex.  I put it in lasagna, soup, and even with a salad.  Shocking to those who know me.  There, I confessed it and I feel better!!

Anywho, we purchased our ingredients and today I set out to make some delicious Spinach Lasagna, from a recipe I found at  

Per usual, I made some substitutions.  *did I just say per?  Who says that anymore?  LOL*   

I used fresh, organic baby spinach instead of canned.  I forgot fresh parsley, so I just used about 1 1/2 tsp. of dried.  I used fat-free ricotta cheese as well.

Here's the finished product.  It turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.  Oh, my son did as well. :o)

To go along with this, I made some Italian Herb Bread in my bread maker.  Delicious!!

A nice hot slice with a little butter was a nice accompaniment to the lasagna. 

When it was just the two of us (I raised my son alone until he was 15 yrs old) I didn't cook that often.  He was a very picky eater, so cooking for one was not that much fun.  When he got into his teens, his taste in food had expanded but he was on the go all the time, so was rarely home for meals.  Now that he is here, I want to give him some of his favorites.   So, off to make him the fudge he didn't get this Christmas and probably some mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Yummmy!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Penne Casserole

After the success of my Tortilla Lasagna from the Taste of Home recipe magazine my step-MIL gave to me when she was visiting, I decided to make Chicken-Penne-Casserole tonight.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tortilla Lasagna

While my husband's step-mom was here last week, she bought me a Taste Of Home recipe book.  Lots of delicious looking dishes in there.  I need more hours in the day and more people to feed to try them all out!!  I should get a job at a diner or something.

Anyway, tonight I decided to make the Tortilla Lasagna.  The recipe is pretty simple, really, like you are making a taco salad but instead of using taco chips or a baked tortilla shell, you use flour tortillas and line a pan with them, then layer salsa, meet, onions, sour cream and cheese, and bake for 45 minutes. 

I made a few revisions to the original recipe.  I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, my homemade salsa instead of store bought, fat-free sour cream instead of regular, and multi-grain tortillas instead of plain. 

Oh, the delicious smell as this was cooking.  We had a late lunch and weren't even very hungry but after smelling this cooking, my husband and I decided to have a serving.  Well, it was so very good.....that we each had a 2nd helping!!  I wish the tortillas were a bit crispier all over instead of just the edges.  Other than that, a very delicious and satisfying meal.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Invasion of The Grandmothers

We are blessed to have both my mother-in-law and my step-mother-in-law visiting from Seattle this week.  We have been enjoying some cool, but pretty weather, and visiting some local attractions that we have not even been to living here nine years.  Last night, my husband and I were so worn out that all of we were in bed by 8:50pm!! 
Day 4 of the Invasion is going to be getting underway soon. Not sure what the plans are for today, but I hope it involves some resting time on the beach at some point! :o)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

We are in the process of doing some home renovations...some will be DIY and some we are hiring out.

My husband and I started a kitchen renovation. We are trying to open up our kitchen to the living room and to the breezeway which is a room that was once a porch between the house and the garage but at some point was enclosed. We use it as a dining room/sewing room/storage room.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Do Bread, Peanut Butter, Salsa and Ice Cream have in common?

They are all home made. At least in our house they are. And they are all easy to make with very little time and effort involved. Bread takes five minutes of my time to put the ingredients in the bread machine and turn it on. Peanut Butter takes about 10 seconds to put the nuts in the food processor, and requires just one or two scrapes of the bowl and scooping it into a container. Salsa involves just a few minutes of cutting and dumping into a food processor.  Ice Cream, again, just a few minutes to put the ingredients into the ice cream maker and turn it on.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

The last two times I made ice cream or sorbet, it was runny, but firmed up nicely after leaving it in the freezer overnight. This time I made sure to leave the freezer container (that you make the ice cream in) in the freezer for two days, packed with lots of ice to make sure it was really cold. Also, I wasn't sure how much effect using the low-fat milk and 1/2 and 1/2 cream had to do with how the first batch turned out. So this time I used 2% milk and heavy cream. Mixed in some Ghirardelli Baking chocolate broken into little pieces and some peppermint extract. Just five ingredients, 25 minutes in the ice cream maker, two hours in the fridge and I must say, it turned out nice!

I let my daughter have some right away, but it was more like soft serve. I put it in the fridge for two hours and it was much firmer.

We all give this two thumbs up!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunny and 75°

After months of below normal temps, the mercury hit a beautiful 75° today so The Princess and I spent the afternoon with a friend and her daughter and granddaughter. So much fun to watch the two of them play.  Weather folks are predicting that we stay warm until Thurs/Fri where it will cool off again but hopefully back up into the high 60's for the weekend.  Woot!

My husband was supposed to be home around 4pm but texted me to say he would be late. Good, because I had nothing planned for dinner. Decided on taco salad, but made a bit healthier with organic 94% lean ground turkey, organic corn chips, homemade organic salsa and homemade organic taco seasoning, fat-free sour cream, 75% reduced fat Cabot cheddar cheese, and lettuce. Easy and quick to make:

Now I need some ice cream to cool off my mouth from that five-alarm salsa!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

Happy 13th Birthday Jake and Luke!

I have two yellow Labrador Retrievers who captured my heart 13 years ago.  Their owners lived next to my sister. Luke was a birthday present for my oldest son and was the puppy he picked out. I saw Jake, though, and couldn't resist his cute face and his playfulness.  So, both boys came home with me at just five weeks old when their mother started attacking them and the owners were moving and said they would just take the dogs to the pound. I have been "Mom" to them ever since. We've been through a lot together.  Happy Happy Birthday Boys! I love you and hope to have more years with you!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Look what I got yesterday...

My desktop is on it's last we used the Employee Discount my husband get's from his employer to purchase this Inspiron 1545.  So far, I'm pretty happy with it.  Last night, my husband and I were up till early this morning playing around on the new laptops we got!  Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Got Milk?

... and some cream, sugar and vanilla?  If so, you have the makings for some homemade vanilla ice-cream.  In my continued quest to eat more organic, natural, chemical-free, non-modified, healthier foods, I ordered the Cuisinart ICE-20 Series Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker (FYICSM **my acronym*)  It arrived on Monday.  :o)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Made Bread: Part III

Today, I made a loaf of Italian Herb Bread.  I think I've died and gone to heaven. After it baked, I put a few slices under the broiler with some parmesan cheese and some more italian seasoning.  It was soooo good.  By the time we each tasted a piece, 1/3 of the loaf was gone! I'm making spaghetti for dinner, so more of the bread (with more cheese, garlic and italian herbs) will be going under the broiler. 

The only thing I've noticed about this bread maker is that the left side of the loaf is usually deformed in some way.  In the herb bread today, it didn't rise as high as the right side.  In the wheat loaves, the left side isn't's lumpy.  The bread won't be getting any awards for aesthetics, but it doesn't affect the taste and that is all I really care about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My First Time.........

No, not my first time doing THAT!  My first time getting a blog award.  Erica, over at Joyous Jabberings gave me THIS award:


I actually got this award for my other blog, Our Life With The Princess, but since that blog is just about my daughter, I'm posting my award over here on my personal blog!  Hope that is ok Erica.

As part of receiving this award, there are a few rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.  So, thanks again, Erica for giving me my first award!

  2. Post this award to 15 other bloggers that you follow and think are great!

  3. Leave a message on each blog, letting them know you are giving them this award.

  4. Post seven things about yourself.

The blogs I'm passing this award along to are:   Kristen, Raechel, Erica, Linny, Meeghan, Susan, Mae, Marsha, Julia, Michelle, Tracey, Gwenn, Kim, Cheryl, and Lisa.

So, here goes:
  • I grew up in Michigan, but moved to Florida in 2000 and can't imagine living anywhere else (well, that is if you don't count that eight month "vacation" in Seattle back in 2006...but hey, we came back)...ever!!

  • I have two yellow labrador retrievers that are almost 13 years old.
  • I had my first child when I was 24 and my youngest when I was 43!

  • I was a computer geek for many years, but now are more interested in making our house a home.

  • I love cooking and baking, but I also enjoy sewing (still a novice) and will be giving gardening a try this year (starting out small...just a few tomato plants, and some onions, peppers and some herbs).

  • I love the ocean.  We used to live just two blocks from the ocean but am now a bit further but close enough we could ride our bikes.  I hope to move back to the beach one day.

  • I met my husband online.  He moved here to Florida from Washington State to marry me. :o)
Thanks for stopping by and celebrating my getting this blogger award!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Made Bread: Part II

I am loving the bread machine I talked about in this post.  It is so very easy to use and I am making a new loaf of bread every other day.  I have tried out a few other types of bread as well with pretty good success.

We have been big eaters of organic Honey Whole Wheat bread from the store.  I used the whole wheat recipe that came with my bread maker and just substituted some organic honey for some of the molasses called for in the recipe.  I have to say that this bread turned out just as good, if not better, than the stuff from the store. 

I also made a loaf of what is called Trail Mix bread.  This loaf was moderately successful.  I think the dough was just a bit too wet.  Next time I need to check it better and add some more flour if necessary.  Plus, with this recipe, you only get to add 1/2 cup of "trail mix" which just did not seem like enough.  The bread maker allows you to make 1.5lb and 2lb loaves.  I have been making 2lb loaves but for this one, just made the 1.5lb loaf.  With the 2lb. loaves, you get to add 3/4 cup of trail mix.  I may just add 3/4 cup to my 1.5lb loaf next time and see how it turns out.

I think tomorrow I may make either focaccia dough or cheese/onion bread.  They both sound so yummy.

Can you tell I'm having fun?  Did I mention I love to bake?  I think I need to get serious about my walking program if I'm going to keep making all this delicious bread, otherwise Pillsbury may be contacting me to be the next Pillsbury Dough Person! LOL

Rainy Day

We're getting the tail end of the big storm that is heading to the northeast. We are going to have a cool rest of the week with temps only into the 50's. This has been a cold (I know it is a relative term considering what the rest of the country is getting) winter for us. I was hoping we were done with winter and moving into our spring. But, Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on us sun/warmth worshipers. At least it is rain, not snow!

It's been a lazy day due to the rain. I went for a walk with a friend this morning before the rain started. Had a late breakfast and went back to sleep for 3 HOURS! *yawn* I'm still tired! LOL

After E's nap, we mixed up a batch of chocolate mint brownies. They are baking in the oven now and smell soooo good! This recipe is different than the one I used before. It has a layer of mint icing on top. Can't wait to taste them later.

That's all from Boringville! Things will liven up around here pretty soon as we have some home improvement projects coming up in the next month or so. Oh, and I'm going to plant a small garden. Fresh veggies for our meals...can't wait!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

It Is All About The Laundry

I usually try to do laundry a few times a week but this week we have been busy with other things, so I can't put it off any more. My W/D will be getting a workout!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do you like to cook/bake?

I really love to do both.  Over the years, I've tried so many different things:  woodworking, sewing, web design, to name a few but have never found anything that I enjoyed as much as I enjoy cooking and baking.  I enjoy everything about it: finding recipes, buying the ingredients, making the food, cleaning up the mess, except for cleaning up the mess. 

I'm lucky to have a husband who will eat anything. Anything.  He is like Mikey, for those of you who might remember the popular Life Cereal commercials.  I jokingly tell him that he WOULD eat anything because before we got married, his meals consisted mostly of frozen dinners, so the bar is not set very high. LOL

I Made Bread!

In an effort to eat as much fresh, healthy food as possible, I recently bought a Breadman TR875 Breadmaker from Amazon.  After researching online, I found this one had good reviews, and the price was right.  Since I had never made bread before, I didn't want to invest a lot into a bread maker until I was sure this was something I would want to keep doing.  This machine also makes pasta dough, pie crust dough, cookie dough, gluten free bread AND jam!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Survived The Great Power Outage of 2010.....

OK, it wasn't that great an was just in our neighborhood. But, it was for FIVE hours. Oh, the internet withdrawal pains were starting. I was getting twitchy, feeling the pressure build up inside me. I NEEDED to GET ONLINE!!

On top of it, I had dropped my cell phone and broke it today. We have a digital phone (cable service) so since that was out, I had no phone, and since I don' wear a watch, with no electricity meant I had no idea what time it was!! At least we had several lanterns so we had plenty of light.

Turns out that at the construction site at the end of our street, someone in the construction crew knocked over the pole with a transformer on it...snapped it right in half! I'm so thankful that they were able to fix it tonight. If I had to go without internet access much longer, I'm not sure what I would have done and I don't think I could have been held accountable for my actions!! LOL

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting To Know You.......

It's Sunday, and time for some Getting To Know You fun. Hop on over to MannLand5 to play along.

1. Do you iron your sheets?   Ummm, no.  Isn't that why we have blankets and cover up wrinkly sheets??

2. Your dream car is....?  One of these beauties:  A jaguar XF

3. Do you have an innie or an outie belly button? Innie

4. What meal do you look forward to the most..breakfast, lunch, or dinner?  I have to choose one? 

5. Favorite mascara?   I don't have a favorite.  In fact, please leave me recommendations of some waterproof, non-clumping mascara.  Right now, I'm using Volume Express by Maybelline.

6. What would you say your decorating style is..traditional, modern, eclectic, country, french country, shabby chic, etc..?   Does messy count?  We're not a neat family....our house looks very, ummm, lived in. LOL that was serious, but even more serious is that we bought a little cottage and we are going to decorate it probably with a Key West-type style.

7. Have you ever been skinny dipping?  Yes.

8. I hate the smell of...?  Can I list more than one??  Vomit, poop, people who wear too much perfume or aftershave, cigarette smoke and fish. 

Thanks for stopping by and Getting To!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My World Is Getting Smaller

We have a king size bed. Lately, it hasn't felt too comfortable sleeping on it so we decided to invest in a foam mattress topper. We found one at for $109 so we ordered it and it arrived on Tuesday.

I haven't slept this well in a long time. I may never leave my bed again!  I think I'm going to have to order a laptop so I can be online right from the incredible comfort of my bed!

Oh, and the picture is not of my bedroom.  I have two yellow labs and a five year old, not to mention a husband.  But one day, maybe, just maybe......

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lookee What I Saw Last Night

There is a 2x4 vertical in the ground just outside our back door. A few weeks ago, I was letting my dogs out at night and happened to glance at the post and saw this cute little owl. Before I could get my camera, it flew away. A few days later, I saw it again, but could not get a picture of it.

Last night, when I let my dogs out, there it was. This time, it didn't fly away. I tried a few pictures with the backyard light on, but the glare was too much. Had my husband turn the light off and snapped this picture. He is a tiny thing. But he sat there patiently till I got a good picture of him.  Sweet little owl. :o)

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

Tree Trimming Is A Noisy Business!

We are having much needed tree trimming done this morning. They've been here since 8am. It is loud, but they do such a great job. This guy has been taking care of the trees at this house for 20+ years...long before we owned it. We finally have some light in our little backyard and we will now have some sunshine on our pool once it warms up enough to USE our pool. Well worth the few hours of noise.

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I was trying to do the Read Your Bible in 90 Days plan, but I just got bored overwhelmed with the beginning books in the Old Testament. It starts from Genesis and goes forward through the rest of the bible. I soon realized remembered I have the attention span of a gnat. FAIL.

Then, I switched to a 61 Day reading plan from Bible Gateway, which takes you through the "highlights" of the Old and New Testament. That was more interesting, more readable/comprehendable to me, but after a few days....FAIL.

I may have failed to keep to my reading plan, but I DO know that God does not want me to feel like a failure. Romans 8:1 tells us "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

I know it is important to read God's word every day, and to memorize scripture. Psalm 119:11 says "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." I pray that God will help me in my bible reading. I pray He will open my heart and mind to what I am reading that I may understand his Word and store it in my heart to draw upon when I am tempted or in trouble. I pray that when I do miss a day (or two) that I do not feel like I have failed, but instead remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to feed my spirit with the Word of God!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

Praying For The People Of Haiti

My heart aches so deeply for the people of Haiti right now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

Freezing My Fanny In Frigid Florida!

Lest you think I'm a wimpy southerner, it is only expected to reach 43 degrees today and go down to 30 degrees tomorrow night with a high of only 40 on Sunday. That is cold for us heat-loving Floridians!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Load Time

Could you take a minute and let me know how fast (or slow) my site loads for you? I have a poll posted in the left column. I realize some folks still have dial-up and so I want to make this blog load as fast as possible for everyone who visits.


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