Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I want snow!!

I am anxiously awaiting the first major snowfall of winter, but it looks like that may not come anytime soon :( The temperatures are nice and frosty, so why not let us enjoy the sights of winter as well? I guess good things come to those that wait, so I better just wait! But you all know me, and being patient isn't always my strong suit!
This year will be the first Christmas that my dear friend Tracy will not be here to share with us. She recently moved North and we certainly will miss her cheer. I could go on for hours about our wacky holiday memories...driving in circles in Indianapolis, making crazy gingerbread houses, on and on! However, this will also be the first year that my Great-Grandma will be involved of all of the holiday cheer since she is now residing with my parents. Nothing says lovin' like a Christmas morning in our household :) My brother won't be here until after Christmas, so I think we certainly have first dibs on all of his gifts, ha ha. Just kidding!
I need to finish up a couple of cheesecakes before next week and then I am going to do a mad dash to start/finish my fudge and cookies. We are having lots of get togethers after Christmas, so it will allow me some wiggle room to catch up. My sweet husband already gave me my KitchenAid Mixer (yay), so there is no excuse for the lack of yummy baked goods :)
Well, I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas spirit and gearing up for a beautiful New Year. God Bless!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Is ole' man winter losing his grip?

After days of frosty temperatures, we are receiving a sneak preview of springtime weather! 50 degrees, minimal wind and a sprinkle or two of rain! I certainly love the weather, but it is reeking complete havoc on my sinuses. I am in the mood for a decent snowfall and a fluffy white has been a few years since we've had the perfect yule tide weather :) Seeing snow on the ground makes me want to bake, sip hot cocoa and sing Christmas songs until I drive my family up the wall. I'm sure these mild temps will not last long and ole' man winter will make his triumphant return!
We did celebrate Christmas on Saturday with family at my great-grandma's annual party. She will be turning 90 this year and we'll continue our holiday cheer with a celebration of her birthday this weekend. I'm in charge of making the cake (along with the hubby), so I guess I better get all of my stuff together. Half chocolate, half vanilla with wedding cake icing...mmmm, I am making myself hungry. Maybe I should make her a little cake that she can eat all by herself, just like they do for little kids. Use your hands, stick your face in it, who cares?!? Grandma Great is super and 90 years is quite the accomplishment, so whahoooo!
Steven and I will be sharing our 5th Christmas together this year (where did the time go) and spending it in our new home :) I've already broke-in the kitchen with lots of party mix baking, thanks to my brother, and soon with fudge and cookies! I found a wonderful recipe for a chocolate mint fudge that looks fantastic and just is begging to be cooked and popped into my mouth ha ha. I'm also going to try to make some fiesta wedding cake cookies for my Dad. I also want to dip pretzels and oreos, but we'll see if I still have time :)
Well I hope that everyone is enjoying their Christmas time!! God Bless.

Monday, December 7, 2009 I a little behind or what?!?

Well, I am sorry that it has been months since I have been on here to blog. Life in general has been fairly hectic, but I sincerely need this outlet for talking and sharing. Well, here is a bit of a recap from the past couple of months!!

October: My dear friend, Nicole Davis, was married the first part of the month and I was honored to be the Matron of Honor. She chose to use several shades of pink and had a very nice day. I also was ill for several weeks and spent a lot of time resting and trying to not spread my cooties to the rest of the family! The rest of the month was used for working in the house and getting things ready for fall/winter.

November: More housework being completed! New windows, paint and a finished bathroom :) Steven and I hosted my mom's side of the family for Thanksgiving, but there were very few of us there due to work and sickness. I was very happy that my brother and his wife were able to join us and even attend Tina's big 5-0 party! We rounded out November with lots of holiday decorating and I am sure it will continue even until Christmas...I love to decorate and make each room as festive as possible.

December: Well, our first "large" snowfall happened today (Dec 7th) and we received about a whole half-inch!! It looks beautiful, but the roads are slick...US 27 is kind of like an ice skating rink. We also had an outdoor water valve break, so the side of my house looks like some scary ice cave...oh what a morning!

I hope that each and every one of you are having a very blessed holiday season. Remember that there is no Christmas without CHRIST!! God Bless!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

S-U-C-C-E-S-S...that's the way we spell SUCCESS!!

After two rummage sales, my mom's Memory Walk team made more than double their goal...yay!! We had a lot of fun and several generous donors, so thank you to everyone that supported our cause! Our first Memory Walk is next Saturday at IU East in Richmond and will be lots of fun as always. I'll be on the campus Wednesday and Thursday to start getting things set up :)
Steven and I have also decided to set up a booth at the Winchester Mardi Gras from October 7th-10th and will be selling all kinds of sweet goodies and coffee! We're currently toying with the menu, but homemade NY style cheesecake is top on the list! We'll be selling it by the slice or you can reserve an entire cheesecake (yum). All profits are being donated to the Alzheimer's Association!
I hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy this beautiful weather and soaking in these last few days of summer!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Remember When...Rummage and Bake Sale

On Labor Day weekend, my family will host a rummage and bake sale in order to raise funds for their respective Memory Walk teams!

Rummage Sale: All proceeds will be given to the Alzheimer's Association. We'll have a wide-variety of items (clothes, books, furnishings, etc...) thanks to the generosity of our friends and family!

Bake Sale: Mmmmmm wonderful homemade goodies that will be available for sale...again, all proceeds going to the association. Also, my husband will be selling his DELIGHTFUL New York style cheesecakes and they are worth every calorie! $20 per cheesecake and $10 from each will go to the association.

We are currently pinning down a location for this event and I will keep everyone updated! If you would like to make a donation, please email me at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Must find my inner-crafter!

After perusing through the projects at the fairgrounds over the weekend, it brought back so many fond 4-H memories. The smell of the foods project crafting in the kitchen or the living room filled with poster was always fun! I learned to wrap gifts out of unique materials and absorbed myself with the history of Wicks Pies in order to participate in the Randolph County Heritage; a project that I had also utilized for the Indiana Junior Historical Society. I'm a self-admitting procrastinator, so staying up until midnight the evening before a project due-date was not uncommon in our household!
So now I am inspired to find my inner-crafter and bring all of my supplies out of storage! Finish my scrapbook, make a floral arrangement for the living room or work on the snowman pillows that I have wanted to complete as Christmas presents...the possibilities are endless. Though, I do promise to finish painting within the house before I start taking on any major projects!
Well now it is time to get crafty with Memory Walk, so it is back to work I go :) Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Whirl-Wind Summer

Wow...the length of time in between posts has become terrible and I apologize! I have been so busy with work, projects and the house that I have neglected my blog. Anyway, the house is getting closer to completion and we are very excited to move in! I'll miss the serenity of the country, but I will not miss the lingering chemical smells from the fields and the large hog operations that are all around us. It may take us some time to adjust, but we are ready! Steven has also recently interviewed with Ball Memorial Hospital, so there may be changes all around. Please keep him in your prayers as he continues to advance in his nursing career.
With the pending move, it is time for me to start going through all of my kitchen gadgets and see what I am keeping and what can be donated or given to family. It will also give me the opportunity to see what needs to be at my fingertips and what can be stored. So if you are looking for some off-the-wall kitchen utensil, especially if it is from Pampered Chef, let me know ha ha! Speaking of the kitchen, I am very excited to use our new stove! I like to show it off to anyone who comes to see the progress on the I pathetic or what?!?
In closing, I thought that I would leave you with a recipe to one of my favorite summer dishes!

Greek Pasta Salad

1 lb spiral pasta (tri-colored pasta adds great flavor); cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water.
1 cup Greek Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
1/2 cup Feta Cheese Crumbles
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped black olives

Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat all ingredients with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Tastes great as a main dish or accompanying a grilled chicken breast. Enjoy :)

Friday, June 5, 2009


Oh I am so happy that the weekend is almost here! There is a lot going on, but I don't have to return to work until June 15th :) My hubby is on his way home from New York and I will pick him up in Dayton this evening...yay! I do need to find time to in between meetings, driving and so on to bake cookies for the farmer's market tomorrow. I have decided on soft lemonade cookies from the "Taste of Home's Complete Guide to Baking" cookbook and they are simply delicious. What makes them even better is the fact that they are super simple to make...a basic cookie recipe with frozen lemonade concentrate to pep them up! Mmmmmm making me hungry.
Other than cookie baking and picking up hubby, I've got a lot to do with the house. Since the weekend is going to be rain free and all of the painting downstairs is complete; I am going to work on the floors. The downstairs is all hardwood (minus kitchen and bathroom) and is in need of a shine. So if you like to work with orange glo cleaner, come on over! I would also like to get our upstairs bathroom painted, tile sealed and the bedroom completed. Whew...what a list! During all of this madness, I am going to take a day and travel to Indy for some shopping and lunch with friends. I want to have a little fun on my vacation.
Well it is time to get ready for work and prepare for my presentation today. Hope everyone is well and have a blessed day. God Bless!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bring on the rain...

What happened to all of the gorgeous summer-like weather? Oh wait, I live in Indiana and the weather changes more rapidly than a car goes around the track at the Indy 500!! I'm sure my plants are enjoying the extra fluid, but my yard will be a foot tall before it is dry enough to mow. I learned my lesson the hard way by mowing my parent's lawn when it was slightly damp...lets just say the sidewalks were stained green for a day or two and my legs were too! The weatherman promotes a sun-filled weekend and I'm praying that the forcast is right.
I am eagerly awaiting a weeks long vacation and find myself counting down the days until it happens! 2.5 work days left and then I am free...but I still have a few work things to do during my down time, which will keep me motivated for my return. I had hoped to spend some lazy days in the pool, but Steven's Uncle is finishing up some block repair and it may not be warm enough to lounge in by next week. Since the kids are out of school for summer, I knew I would have some swimming buddies. Oh well, I can find plenty of other things to do to fill my time.
Well I must get myself back to work and finish up my Memory Walk corporate sponsorship...we're very close to our goal in each walk area. Yippee! Have a blessed day!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Call to Action!

As I sit here working on all things Memory Walk, I feel the need to share with everyone the importance of this organization and the real threat of Alzheimer's Disease.

~ Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's Disease.
~ 5.3 million Americans are currently living with this disease. With the first of the baby-boomer generation turning 65 (your chances increase at this age) in 2010, this number is expected to rapidly increase.
~ Out of those 5.3 million, over 100,000 live in the great state of Indiana.

I encourage you to participate or engage yourself to help fight this cruel disease. Sign up to be an advocate, participate in Memory Walk, check out our educational programs, etc. Be the voice for those that no longer have theirs. If you live in Indiana, go to to learn more about the Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. If you are in a different area, go to and enter your zipcode for more localized information. has been too long!

Wow, I did not realize that it had been nearly 2 months since I had posted anything! With work, house remodeling and general life...I honestly just let it slip my mind. Now I am back and ready to share all of my summer fun with you! I can't believe that June is just around the corner (aka MONDAY) and cookout, baseball and swimming season is coming at me full swing! Even though it can become hectic and full of outdoor adventure, I wouldn't trade it in for the world. The extra moments I get to spend with my family by the firepit or splashing around with the kids (that includes my big kid, Steven ha ha) in the pool brings about so many special memories...awwwww summer :)

Well our house is nearly complete and we are hoping to move-in within the month!!! My parents have been such a tremendous help to give of themselves and their free time to help us finish what needs to be done. Steven has been dealing with a nasty sinus infection that has kept him house bound for the last week, so he has only been able to stop-in and look at the progress every once in awhile; don't want him to relapse. If anyone has a chance, drive past the house and check out the HUGE hanging baskets that I purchased at Fountain Acres...they are gorgeous (if I do say so myself)!! Tracy has offered to assist with some landscaping while I finish up the inside work. Hmmmmmm she can soak up the sun and I can get soaked from tearing apart the kitchen sink ha ha! Be looking for updates on our last major projects for the season: finishing the stairway and hallway and remodeling the small downstairs bathroom. You won't want to miss it...Nicole learns construction from her Father and Husband as they explain to her the differences of different types of plywood.

I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely days we have been given and staying happy and healthy. God Bless!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A nice day off!

I am forever thankful that I had the day off and was able to spend some time with my Mom! We started our venture with a trip to Maid Rites with Grandma and Popcorn...that dog loves Maid Rites! We then went to visit The Cashmere Cat and I bought the sweetest little basket lamp that will look perfect in my kitchen. I also found a large wooden storage bench that turns into a coffee table...I'll be picking it up tomorrow morning to use in front of our fireplace. We capped off the day with a visit to Trudie at Haines' and now we're relaxing and preparing for the busy weekend ahead. So that is just a little tidbit about my life at this moment. I hope everyone enjoys this beautiful Easter weekend and remember the true reason for this season! God Bless :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Whew...what a week!

Hello my faithful readers! Sorry it has been a bit since I posted, but my week as been a whirl-wind in and of itself. I've been traveling quite a bit for work and my time on the computer has been extremely limited, which backs me up on everything! However, all of that traveling has lead to some great things for my job, so it has been worthwhile. Even though there have been some great moments this week, it has had its sadness as well. My dear friend Tracy's mother passed away on Tuesday evening and she was laid to rest this afternoon. She had been ill for some time, but it is still hard to lose such a blessed person. I was always "Tracy's little friend" or "the little girl from church"...I love any name that refers to me as little :) She also liked to tell stories about Tracy and gave us plenty to laugh about during our frequent outings. I had the distinct honor of singing "The Lord's Prayer" at her funeral today and had to keep on going when the cd player went on the blink. Every singers music! Oh well, the show must go on! Well now I am going to spend some time with my husband and watch a movie or I may try to convince him to rub my feet ha ha. I hope you are all having a splendid weekend! God Bless!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rain drops on roses...

Oh my my, will the weather ever decide to make up its mind and stay cold or finish warming up? My wardrobe is in limbo ... I am ready to pull out the skirts and sandals, but Mother Nature thinks that I need to hold on to that sweater for one more day! I'm also ready to retire the ice scraper to the trunk :) Waking up 15 minutes earlier to scrape off the vehicles is not my favorite winter activity! However, I will miss the occasional snow days that allow me to lounge around all day in my comfy pj's!
With the warmer weather, I totally crave salads, other fresh dishes and grilled food! We cook outdoors year round, but the warmer weather gives us the opportunity to utilize it more. I love grilled peaches and pineapple with honey my mouth is watering. Since Steven and I have been looking for new dishes to try that are tasty and budget friendly, my food network viewing has increased a little bit. Last night, mom and I watched "30 Minute Meals" and can't wait to make the spinach artichoke mushroom caps. Yum-O! The caesar scampi salad looked amazing as well. So, I think I know what we will be having for dinner this weekend :) I have to help with a memorial service at the church, so a quick and easy meal will be best and I think this fits the bill.
With March nearly over (oh where did it go?), I need to start working on flowers for the cemetery. I make arrangements for family members on my Dad's side and assist my Grandma in making several for my Mom's family. I didn't know a lot of the family members that have passed, but I learn a lot about them as we work on the flowers. What an interesting way to absorb your family history! While I have the flowers out, I might as well work on my arrangement for 4-H open class. Oh yes, I still like to compete in 4-H, but now I am in the adult category.
Well I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy all of the sunshine and the last few breaths of winter. Ring-a-ling, I hear spring!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A sense of community

Through a community initiative from two local churches and the YMCA, the Randolph County Community Garden Program is starting to take shape! Our church (First Presbyterian) purchased a piece of property next to our church manse and tore down the existing structure last week to make room for our section of the community garden. We will be one of two sites at this time (the other will be located at the YMCA), and will give those within the city, especially those with limited transportation, the opportunity to participate in the program. Steven and I will be joining the church garden committee and help with the logistics of the garden. Mr. Fields has quite the green thumb and can grow a garden in the harshist conditions. In an effort to channel my 4-H roots and current involvement with the Randolph County Extension Homemakers, I am suggesting that we provide canning/preservation and cooking fresh classes to provide an additional service to the community. The other perk of the community garden is the fact that portions of the produce grown will be donated to our local food pantry. I've witnessed a fantastic outpour of support for our food pantry over the past few months in order to assist them with the growing need of food assistance. Mom and I belong to the local Curves club and we are currently trying to collect 2500 pounds of food to be donated...close to 400 pounds has been donated within the last week alone! These women are fantastic! Well, I must get focused on the task at hand and keep plugging along towards my work goals :) I hope everyone is able to enjoy the day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring has sprung!

What an exciting weekend! I was so amazed that the temperatures flirted with the 70 degree mark and left me with a beautiful time to celebrate my birthday. That's right, the big 2-6 and on the downward slope to 30!! No worries with being 30, I've already booked the band for the amazing party that my family will throw for me on that glorious occasion (hint, hint, clue, clue) ha ha! Even though the weekend is over, I get to enjoy the beautiful pale purple tulips from my parents and all of my other lovely gifts. What a lucky girl! My in-laws bought me some new cookbooks to add to my collection and I have already picked out recipes to try :) For those of you who do not know, I have a very extensive cookbook collection and feel the need to add on to my kitchen to make more room! I absolutely love church cookbooks and Gooseberry Patch!! So if you don't hear from me in awhile, it is because I am cooking up a storm. I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and take in the beauty all around.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Edible Easter Grass

On one of my occasional trips to the local Walmart, I decided to peruse the Easter candy row. Everything is divided by color and they have added some unusual items...including cherry drink mix with sour gummy worms on top, mini tubs of cotton candy and edible Easter grass. So curiosity got the best of me and I paid 2 bucks to see what this edible grass is all about! I had heard about it before, but this was the first year that our local store had carried the item. As I placed it in my mouth, I expected something sweet and satisfying, boy was I wrong! EWWWWWW! It tasted like a piece of computer paper with a grain or two of sugar for good measure. Yes, I am fairly certain that it is more environmentally friendly than its plastic cousin and obviously wouldn't hurt children or pets if ingested, but I wouldn't suggest it as the highlight of the Easter candy season. However, I think that I may purchase a few more colors and let the kids make jelly bean nests. It does seem to be durable, just not a tasty edible! Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The start of something good!

Good afternoon friends! Wow, the Indiana weather is crisp and cold...would an early spring be too much to ask for? In an effort to help the warm weather move in this direction, at least in my mind, I've been working on a few projects! Steven and I are trying to finish our house in order to host Easter dinner for my side of the family, but my mind has completely went to seasonal decorating and trying new dishes. I should probably be more concerned that we still have rooms to plaster, paint, plumb, etc.!!! However, in these current economic times, I am finding ways to be thrifty while still being trendy! Since the decor in our home is very "country bumpkin" and utilizes a rich color scheme...I'm going to get a bit clever with my spring updates. So here are a few of my ideas:

Let the outdoors come in: Daffodils are beautiful and start to become readily available in early spring (Kroger already has some on display in their Greenville, OH store). Small planters on a windowsill or a basket filled with artificial make a home feel warm and springy! There pale yellow and sometimes white color make them an easy addition to any decor.

Country Easter Basket: Since we have no children at this time and light pastels don't fit in the color scheme of my main living space, I have to update the traditional Easter basket. By changing the liner to a neutral tone on one of my simple market baskets and adding raffia instead of plastic grass, I'm well on my way! I also have some beautiful ceramic eggs that were painted by my great-grandmother and a small, realistic looking stuffed rabbit that I will add to give the basket some charm!

Spring is in the air: I will also update the candles, air fresheners and soaps that I use throughout the house to give it a spring scent!

Well that is all I have at this time, but I am working on my creative Easter menu on a budget. Let's see how far that dollar can stretch! Until next time, take care and God Bless!