Apr 28, 2009

I'm Back from Kansas City!

My trip to Kansas City was so much fun! We stayed with my sister Kathy and her husband, and she "shared" her 2 delightful granddaughters with me. We also visited with my sister Melissa and her family. Her children have grown so much since we last saw them! I wish we lived closer to them all. It's good to be home after a week, and I missed my own bed, but it was difficult to say goodbye to my family in KC. I will miss them.

Apr 17, 2009

On Vacation

I'm packing for a week long trip to Kansas City to visit with 2 of my sisters and their families. We haven't been there in several years, and I'm so excited to have so much time with them! It's a long drive from Ohio, but it'll be worth it. I may not post until after we get back on the 25th. Bye for now.

Apr 15, 2009

Coupon Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Coupon Giveaway is comment #34 - Shirley. Check your email, Shirley. Congratulations!

Apr 14, 2009

What a Nice Surprise!

Thank you, Joy, from My Reason(s) To Blog!!! for nominating me for the Attitude of Gratitude Award!!!

After taking a long time to contemplate, I'm passing this award on to some of my favorite bloggers. I've enjoyed reading their blogs, practicing their money saving tips, trying their recipes, and entering their giveaways.

1. The Perfect Pantry is one of my favorite "foodie" blogs. Lydia has wonderful recipes, cooking advice, and also has a monthly cookbook giveaway. I can lose track of way too much time browsing her yummy recipes. She was so nice to email me about a comment I made on her blog, and she helped me with a "walnut dilemma" I had. = )

2. Cooking From Scratch is a fairly new blog to me, but I knew it would become a favorite from my first visit. Tara's down-to-earth recipes are very appealing, especially in this economy. I'm looking forward to reading more of her posts.

3. An Island Life is one of the first blogs I discovered while looking for contests to enter. Kailani has an Island themed blog design that appeals to my "beach hunger", and she has some great giveaways, and interesting posts. She is currently suffering with some "monster" morning sickness (Oh, how I remember those long-ago days), yet still she manages to post to her blog more often than I do!

4. Deal Seeking Mom is a money saving blog that I read almost daily. I've snagged free magazine subscriptions, printed grocery coupons, found out what deals Target has, and what coupons are available for those items, all because Tara blogged about all of it. Tara, I think I owe you some money!

5. A Frugal Friend is a money-saving blog with lots of Freebies, Couponing advice and links, Listings of grocery store and retail deals, and a whole lot more. I hadn't been shopping much at Kroger until I read on Debra's blog about the savings I was missing.

6. How To Cook Like Your Grandmother is another of my favorite "foodie" blogs. Drew's (a fellow Ohioan) blog is funny, has some great recipes, and I love the step-by-step photos. (The bacon "bra" was hilarious!)

7. Thrifty & Chic Mom is a fellow Columbus, Ohio area resident whose blog has helped "clue me in" about some great local bargains, among other things. Ellen's blog lets me know about Meijer deals even before the grocery ads are on my doorstep!

8. Mom Advice is full of all kinds of information, from recipes, to crafts, to home-making, to saving money, and much, much more. Amy has an eye-catching blog design, and I enjoy reading her posts.

9. Spatulas, Corkscrews, and Suitcases is a "foodie" blog that I adore. Donna has lots and lots of great recipes (I'm a recipe addict - can't you tell?), giveaways, mouth-watering photos...what else could I want?

10. Grammy Janet's Place is a beautiful blog with gardening tips, giveaways, freebies and more. I love the quote on her header "What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure."~Gene Perret

Congratulations to all of you! Thank you for giving me so much enjoyment!

Apr 8, 2009

Giveaway - Over $200 worth of Coupons!


Our children are grown and gone...so...I don't need most of the coupons I get from the newspaper, magazines, and in the mail. I clip them all, hoping to find someone who can use the ones I can't. I have well over $200 worth from the past few weeks, so I'm offering them up for a giveaway. There's Ziploc, Reynold's, Lysol, Tylenol, Pillsbury, Kraft, Lipton, Kellogg's, Luvs, Cottonelle, Stouffer's, and lots more. I'll take entries for 5 days, choose a winner (Using random number generator), then I'll mail them out as soon as I get an address. If I get a good response, I'll do this again when the coupons start to pile up. Here's what you need to do to enter:

1. Main Entry - Tell me the name of your favorite blog, and why you like it. You must do this in order for your entry to count.

2. Extra Entries - Subscribe to my posts, Follow my blog (If you already subscribe or follow, say so in a comment), Follow me on Twitter (see my sidebar) AND Tweet about this Giveaway (include the link to your tweet in a comment.). Blog about this Giveaway and leave a link. Add a separate comment for EACH thing you do.

I'll accept entries until April 14 at 11:59pm. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email or I'll choose another winner.

Good Luck!

Apr 7, 2009

Banana Gingerbread

Whenever I have some over-ripe bananas, my favorite thing to make with them is Banana Gingerbread. I came across this recipe some time ago on one of my Favorite "Foodie" Blogs, Baking Bites. This bread is moist, spicy, and not too sweet. I've added a light glaze, which makes it even yummier, but you could leave it plain, or sprinkle the top with coarse sugar before baking. The recipe calls for buttermilk, which I don't usually have, so I substitute plain yogurt, thinned with a little milk. Or you can mix 1-1/2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1/2 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. Here's the recipe:

Banana Gingerbread (adapted from Baking Bites)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 large)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk (I substitute yogurt thinned with a little milk)
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Optional Glaze:
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tsps orange zest
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, banana, molasses, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan (and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.) Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf, 8-10 slices.

When cool, prepare glaze, if using. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the orange juice, the orange zest, and the powdered sugar, adding a little more juice if necessary to obtain a smooth consistency. Drizzle over top of loaf.

Apr 2, 2009

April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. Check out the poetry events happening all over the country and sign up to receive a Poem-A-Day by email at poets.org.
Here's one of my favorites:

She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon Byron (Lord Byron)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Do you have a favorite poem? Do you write poetry? I encourage you to take some time to celebrate National Poetry Month. We could all use a bit of poetry in our lives, don't you think?