Monday, April 30, 2007

Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken

This chicken recipe just sounded really good to me.  It is from the Spark People web site.

                    Image Hosted by

Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken
Serves: 4
Rich, flavorful honey mustard chicken with carrots and potatoes.


1 lb. potatoes cut into wedges
2 lbs. chicken
6 medium carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 heads garlic
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425° F. In a shallow pan, toss potatoes and carrots with oil, salt and pepper. Peel the garlic heads and remove the cloves, and nestle the garlic amongst the vegetables and scatter the rosemary on top. Arrange the chicken pieces among the vegetables and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

2. Stir together the mustard and honey, and spread over chicken. Stir vegetables, return chicken to pan, place back into the oven and bake 10-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender. Scatter the remaining garlic (or to taste) over the remaining contents of the pan.


Calories: 357
Fat: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 39.4 g
Protein: 30.5 g

Have a great Monday.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Home remedy

Hello and good morning!  It's Thursday and time for another home remedy.  I don't know if this one works, but when it comes to a stubborn cold anything is worth a try, huh?

I personally haven't found the cure for the common cold or flu.  However, from what I have seen (mostly from men) it's best to lie around, whine like a wee child and have someone wait on you hand and foot.  LOL

          Image Hosted by   

These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks!

Colds & Flu

  • Here is a delicious recipe for a cold and flu soup: Sauté 6 crushed cloves of garlic in 1 tsp. vegetable oil until golden. Pour in a quart of beef or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in 2 egg whites. Beat together 2 egg yolks and 2 Tbls. distilled white vinegar; pour this mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper and top with croutons, if desired.

Have a good day. 

Image Hosted by

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Jo Dee Messina song

Image Hosted by

This is one of my favorite Jo Dee Messina songs and decided to do a graphic for it.  I hope you like it.  It fits my mood lately.

Image Hosted by

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday Tip and letting go of our kids...

Good Morning!  We are supposed to have another beautiful spring day again.  The temperature here in Toledo is going to get to the mid 60's with partly cloudy skies.  Right now it is looking like a lovely sunny day.  Yea!  I love springtime, don't you?
Image Hosted by
Copper: To polish copper, rub an ample amount of catsup on the copper and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse off the catsup with hot water and dry to find an incredible shine.
The following is from an email I recently received from the Daily OM and something I believe we all need to remember as parents. 
April 20, 2007
Allowing Our Children To Be
Practicing Nonattachment

Parenting asks us to rise to some of the most difficult challenges this world has to offer, and one of its greatest paradoxes arises around the issue of attachment. On the one hand, successful parenting requires that we love our children, and most of us love in a very attached way. On the other hand, it also requires that we let go of our children at the appropriate times, which means we must practice some level of nonattachment. Many parents find this difficult because we love our children fiercely, more than we will ever love anyone, and this can cause us to overstep our bounds with them as their independence grows. Yet truly loving them requires that we set them free.

Attachment to outcome is perhaps the greatest obstacle on the parenting path, and the one that teaches us the most about the importance of practicing nonattachment. We commonly perceive our children to be extensions of ourselves, imagining that we know what's best for them, but our children are people in their own right with their own paths to follow in this world. They may be called to move in directions we fear, don't respect, or don't understand, yet we must let them go. This letting go happens gradually throughout our lives with our children until we finally honor them as fully grown adults who no longer require our guidance. At this point, it is important that we treat them as peers who may or may not seek our input into their lives. This allows them, and us, to fully realize the greatest gift parents can offer their offspring -independence.

Letting go in any area of life requires a deep trust in the universe, in the overall meaning and purpose of existence. Remembering that there is more to us and our children than meets the eye can help us practice nonattachment, even when we feel overwhelmed by concern and the desire to interfere. We are all souls making our way in the world and making our way, ultimately, back to the same source. This can be our mantra as we let our children go in peace and confidence.

About 15 years ago I did a counted cross-stitch of some vines and butterflies around the following saying:  "Give your children two things, One is roots, the other wings."  It is one of my favorite sayings, because it is so true. 
I truly believe that giving our children roots and wings is our main job as parents.  Teaching them responsibility, giving them a good religious and moral base, good work ethics, even passing on family traditions...that is giving them their roots.  Those roots are what will keep them a tree.
Giving them a little more freedom as they grow up is what will give them the confidence and strength that they will need to go out on their own.  This is where responsibility will play a big part too.  Both for their personal and financial decisions. 
I, personally, think this is where so many parents have failed so many of todays youth.  I mean, how can young people ever grow up and take responsibility for their own decisions, good or bad, if Mommy and Daddy are always there to "clean up" after them?  If your kids have enough money coming in to live on their own, you can't go and pay their bills when they fall short. 
Sure, you can help them out.  You can sit down with them and teach them about budgeting, show them where they may be making a mistake, but DON'T bail them out.  At least not without setting up a re-payment plan with you and making sure that they pay it back. 
It starts early, if the kids blow all their allowance (I'm a big believer in teaching financial responsibility through allowances.) on candy, or whatever, and then they're $5 short on buying that toy or game that they really want, DON'T buy it for them.  It may seem like just helping them out now, but it isn't teaching them the real consequences of being financially irresponsible. 
I also believe in the theory that allowance is a good way to teach kids about job responsibility.  It isn't just a given.  They don't just get money because they are your kids.  They should have to earn it.  There should be certain chores they have to do to get the money.  Just like in the real world and if they don't do the work (don't show up for work) they don't get paid.
It's also a good time to teach them about savings.  I believe that at least 1/3 of their allowance should automatically go into a savings account.  Although at Rylie's age, all of her money automatically goes into her savings.  Rylie's bithday, Easter and other holiday gifts of money always go into her savings account.  She also helps us make sure that all pop cans go into the recycling trash can.  Then she and I go to the recycling center and ALL that money goes into her bank account. 
We just recently started the recycling thing, but I believe itis going to be a good teaching tool.  Not only about savings but about protecting her future (ie:the planet) too.  So far, our little Rylie (at only 3 years old) has $100 in her account.  Most of that is birthday and holiday money gifts.  I have a feeling that the recycling is really going to help her account grow by leaps and bounds.  On our first trip to the recycling center she got $6 dollars.  I plan on taking some of the money out of her account and putting it into savings bonds for her so she will earn a higher interest on her money.
The next time we go to the bank I'll have to get a picture of Rylie carrying her big ol' piggy bank.  It is always too cute.  Um, of course, there is the part where she always cleans the "pennies" out of her daddy's pockets when he gets home from work, or gets pennies from her aunts and uncles just for being cute.  I'm not quite sure how to explain that to her.  But she sure does fill that piggy up quickyl, lol.
Ahhh, I've gotten off track again.  From an article on Independence to "Roots and Wings" to recycling to penny begging.  How do I manage to do that?  LOL 
If you have any creative ways that you used to teach your kids about responsibility please share them with us. 
Have a beautiful day!
Image Hosted by

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good Monday morning!  This morning I thought I would share some breakfast breads with ya'll.

                   Image Hosted by

These first 2 are both recipes that I recently received from Spark People.  Mmm, I'm getting's been so long since I've made a coffee cake.  I remember my mom always used to make them and they were so yummy!

Apricot-Orange Bread
Serves: Makes 2 loaves
Only 1 egg and very little margarine are used in this low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol low-sodium bread.


1 (6 oz.) package of dried apricots cut into small pieces
2 cups water
2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
3-1/2 cups sifted whole grain flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly oil two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
2. Cook apricots in water in a covered medium-size saucepan for 10-15 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain; reserve 3/4 cup liquid. Set apricots aside to cool.
3. Cream together margarine and sugar. By hand, beat in egg and orange peel.
4. Sift together flour, dry milk, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with reserved apricot liquid and orange juice.
5. Stir apricot pieces and pecans into batter.
6. Pour batter into prepared pans.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until bread springs back when lightly touched in center.
8. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and completely cool on wire rack before slicing.

(per ½ slice)
Calories: 100
Fat: 4.4 g
Carbohydrates: 14.2 g
Protein: 1.9 g

Apple Coffee Cake
Serves: 20
Apples and raisins provide sweet moistness, which means less oil in this coffee cake that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.


5 cups tart apples, cored, peeled, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg, beaten
2-1/2 cup sifted whole grain flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Lightly oil a 13x9x2-inch pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples with sugar, raisins, and pecans; mix well. Let stand 30 minutes.
4. Stir in oil, vanilla, and egg. Sift together flour, soda, and cinnamon; stir into apple mixture about 1/3 at a time, just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
5. Turn batter into pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly before serving.

(per 3.5" x 2.5" serving)
Calories: 180.7
Fat: 4.6 g
Carbohydrates: 33.6g
Protein: 2.8g

1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and bananas. Mix until bananas are well mashed. Add flour, milk and soda. Blend thoroughly but do not over mix. Fold in nuts. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans (8 1/2x4 1/2"). Bake for 45 minutes. Remove baked loaves from pans to cool.

A lower-fat version of a perennial favorite. Prep and bake in less than 25 minutes!

1 cup unsweetened blueberries, fresh or frozen
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly spray a muffin tin with vegetable spray.
2. Wash and drain blueberries. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar together.
4. In a small bowl, combine egg, oil and milk.
5. Pour all at once into dry ingredients. Stir just enough to blend. Gently stir in blueberries.
6. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 full. Sprinkle lightly with 1 teaspoon sugar and bake 17 minutes, or until light brown. Allow muffins to cool 2 minutes before removing from pan.

I also have this recipe for Strawberry Butter which would jazz up plain ol' toast or be really good on some homemade bread.

10 oz pkg. frozen strawberries
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Thaw the frozen strawberries. In blender container mix berries, butter and powdered sugar. Cover; blend at high speed till smooth. Stop blender often and push mixture back towards blades with scraper. Pack in 1/2 cup containers and refrigerate.

My friend Sascha sent me this link and I wanted to share it with ya'll.  HEAVEN'S  GATE-VIRGINIA TECH

Have a beautiful week!

Image Hosted by

Friday, April 20, 2007


Thank goodness it's finally Friday.  What a crazy week this has been.  I can not believe the events that have transpired over this past week, I am referring to the tragic murders which took place at Virginia Tech.

Image Hosted by

I've been trying to get this graphic done so I could post it, but I just haven't had much time.  I had an idea of what I wanted this to look like in my head, but I didn't quite achieve what I wanted with it.

My oldest son, David, was supposed to close on the mobile home he bought on Tuesday.  However, the papers were incorrectly prepared so it was postponed till yesterday.  I went with him to the closing and then we went and bought some paint.  He had to go back to work yesterday and won't be able to get up here until sometime this afternoon.  So he left me the keys so I could go over and get some painting done. 

Ray's father continues to improve, thank you Lord, and will be transferred to a rehabilitation facility, after he is discharged from the hospital, to recupperate.  The progress is slow, but it is progress nonetheless and we are thankful for that.

Today my childrens high school has a number of the local police there.  It and two other local schools found threats written on the bathroom walls.  A stupid prank, I am sure, but better safe than sorry.  I am beginning to really dispise the society that we live in, where people attack one another (verbally and physically), where we can't seem to accept each other for being different.  Where violence just seems to be yet another byline on the evening news and we seem to grow more and more immune to the horror of the world around us.  Where innocent children are taken off the streets to be used, abused and killed by perfect strangers.  And worse yet, where parents abuse and kill their own children for no other reason than stupidity, ignorance or the selfishness of drug use.  Is there no place left that is a safe haven to raise a child?

Now I am beginning to feel selfish for bringing another child into this world that is so...ugh...just plain mean.  I feel as though I've done a dis-service to Rylie for having her after knowing about 9-11, the various high school shootings, the Oklahoma bombings...I could go on and on.  WHY?!  The violence doesn't solve anything!  Don't people realize that? 

I am so frustrated.  I need to turn off the news and not read the paper for awhile.  I need to surround myself with goodness for awhile.  I need to go to church this week.  I need a little "happy" in my life for awhile.

Wishing ya'll a beautiful weekend and nothing but goodness and happiness.
Image Hosted by

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Home remedy, potty training, and aol

Spring is quickly approaching, YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

                      Image Hosted by

Here is a little information which may prove useful if you go camping or walking through woods or some other nature type of area.  The following information is, uh...icky, but important.  It comes from this First Aid site.

Chiggers are different from other mites, in that they feed on humans and other animals only in the larval stage. The adults and nymphs feed on vegetable matter, insect eggs, and other insects.

When humans come in contact with infested grass or other vegetation, the chigger larvae get onto the skin and travel until they meet an obstacle like a waistband. At this point, they attach to the skin and begin to feed. After feeding for three to four days, the larvae drop off the body to continue their growth cycle. While feeding, the larvae secrete a fluid which causes intense itching. Within twenty-four hours of attachment, a reddened area up to one inch in diameter will appear, which may be accompanied by a blister. Continued itching is usually due to a delayed sensitivity reaction which may persist for several weeks.

Chigger Bites
  • The affected area should be kept clean by washing with soap and water.
  • A topical hydrocortisone cream, antihistamine, or local anesthetic may be of value in reducing the itching. Consult your physician or pharmacist.
  • The wounds should not be scratched, if possible. Clip fingernails short to limit damage to the skin.
  • If signs of infection occur, consult your physician.
Although the site says that home remedies will probably prove to be useless, I wanted to give you an option.  One home remedy recommends that you try using Preparation H for some relief.
Today I am on what I call my "Last Nerve".  Rylie is in one of her moods today and we just seem to be butting heads...and it's only 10am.  Ohhhmahgosh!  It is going to be a loooooooooong day.  At the moment, she is walking around butt naked because she refuses to wear the big girl panties that I want her to.  She keeps asking for a diaper.  "No Ma'am!  Big girls wear big girl panties."
So the (baking) timer is set for every 20 minutes.  It rings and she goes and sits on the potty chair.  My luck with this so far has been that she has tinkled in the potty maybe twice and one poo-poo (that really had her looking confused).  However, usually she tinkles either 5 minutes before, or 5 minutes after the timer goes off.  I mean it can go off, she goes and sits...nothing.  And then 5 minutes later she is peeing on the carpet. 
I have to go...she is standing next to me whining.  Like I's going to be a loooooooooong day.  Wish me luck and patience, because I am really going to need it.
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!  Talk about needing patience!  Not only a whining 3 year old, but I had to come to my journal 4 times before it gave me my edit buttons, then when I clicked on "add entry" it kept giving me various error messages.  It took me 10-15 minutes to able to post an entry.
Matter of fact, I am gonna copy and paste this into an email to myself, just in case AOL proves to be its usual self. 
I hope you have a better day than the wee bit of morning I am having so far.
Image Hosted by

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Good morning!  It's Tuesday and that means it is time for a cleaning tip.  I hope these tips help improve your morning cuppa' joe.  Since today's entry is about coffee...have you ever heard of Boca Java?  My mother gave me some yummy berry hot chocolate from them.  If you go to their site click on the Operation 3 Million Cup link.  It's a great way to say "thank you" to our troops.  
                      Image Hosted by
Coffee Grinder: Grind up a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder and sharpen its blades.
Coffee Maker:  Cleaning your coffee maker the right way will keep every pot tasting the best it can possibly be. It should be done at least once a month, to ensure good tasting coffee.
1.  Mix a full coffee pot with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts of water. For extremely slow coffee makers, use full strength vinegar and add a tablespoon of baking soda. In the area where you usually add coffee, put in a filter.
2.  Pour the mixture into the water reservoir of the coffee maker and turn the coffee maker on.
3.  Wait until the mixture has completely run through, toss out the filter and shut the coffee pot off for 3 minutes. Pour the vinegar and water mixture down the drain. Rinse the coffee pot, and fill again, but this time with with plain cold water. Use another clean filter.
4.  Run the plain cold water through the water reservoir to remove the mixture completely. Pour this water down the drain also.
5.  Run completely through, turn the drip coffee maker off and let it cool for 5 minutes before using it to make coffee. If you are cleaning a coffee maker that hasn't been cleaned regularly, repeat this step again with a fresh vinegar and water mixture. (*Repeat the rinsing process to make sure all of the vinegar and water solution is completely gone. )
6.  Never wash the coffee pot with soap, this will bind with the oils deposited by the coffee, and will leave a taste behind. Do not wash in the dishwasher, for the same reason. Instead, put about two cups of crushed ice, 1/4 cup rock or table salt, and 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh is fine) and swirl around the pot. Measurements are not that important, just "guestimate". For tough stains scrub using a paper towel or clean (not soapy) dish towel. Rinse thoroughly. This is how restaurants clean their pots, for that rich taste that is so elusive at home.

A few more tips:

  • Cleaning your coffee maker takes away hard water deposits, old oils from previously brewed pots, and other impurities that can make your coffee taste bad.
  • Clean a brand new coffee pot prior to using.
  • Never pour water into the reservoir by using the sink faucet or hose.
    For a richer taste, sprinkle a dash of salt on the grounds before brewing. Restaurants do this also.
  • Here is a copy of my horoscope for today from the Daily OM.

    April 17, 2007
    Safe In Love

    Capricorn Daily Horoscope

    The presence of loved ones and good friends can comfort you greatly today. Whether you are coping with some challenge or simply feeling low, you may feel compelled to surround yourself with people you care about. The affection they subsequently give you will likely lift your spirits and do much to restore your usual confidence. Since you no doubt understand that these special individuals will be there to keep you safe and nurture you no matter what happens, you may find that you are more willing to immerse yourself in the unknown. Even if you do nothing more than revel in the tenderness of loving people today, you will likely feel wonderfully uplifted.

    The love of important people in our lives can serve as a secure foundation for our outer-world endeavors because knowing that we are cared for grants us a higher degree of self-confidence than we might otherwise have known. We can courageously take risks and embark upon endeavors that take us outside of our comfort zones because we know that we can retreat into the affectionate embrace of the important people in our lives if anything should go wrong. Likewise, simply knowing that these individuals believe that we are capable of achieving great feats of emotional and intellectual fortitude provides us with much of the strength we need to prevail over adversity. You will feel the weighty comfort of the tenderness of those who love you today, and the security this comfort affords you will help you grow as an individual.

    Hmm, not likely.  Although it would be nice.  I've been in, I don't want to say depression because I've been down that dark road before and this isn't quite as bad as it could be.  Let's just call this a "blue funk", yeah...that sounds kind of right. 

    Anyway, spending time with some of my friends and family would be great right about now.  Maybe just what I would need.  However, since I moved to Toledo seven (long and lonely) years ago, I hardly ever see any of my friends from my world before.  My biggest regret is moving to Toledo and I long for the day that I can move back to my small town where I have friends and family.  Most of my time here has felt like some sort of exile to me.

    Besides of which, Rylie is 3 now.  It won't be that long until she has to start going to school.  I would much rather prefer her going someplace, anyplace, other than Toledo public schools.  Even if we didn't move back to Bowling Green.  A small little town (a wee village comes to mind), where everyone knows everyone else, would be my idea of heaven to raise a young child.  I know, I know...and every child (especially teens) idea of hell.

    Anyway, this "blue funk" is something I am going to have to face head on soon.  Before I end up with a hair cut like George W. Bush.  Ewww!  I guess I ought to explain that one, huh?  Everytime I begin my descent into a "blue" period I start cutting my hair.  Now, I've spent the last 4 or 5 years growing out my hair and it was almost to the middle of my back. 

    However, the past week or so Icut probably, at the very least, 1/4 inch off my hair every day.  The first day I cut probably 2 inches off.  Then from there I just kept waking up and not liking the way it looked and cut a wee bit more off every day.  It is now about shoulder length. 

    Surprising it is  a pretty straight cut across the back, from what I can see with my little mirror looking back into the big mirror.  LOL  Although I'm sure that a professional hair dresser would have something to say about it. 

    Hopefully, spring will come bouncing in, like a cheerleader on speed, and that will help get me out of this mood I seem to be stuck in.  I think if I could get outside in the sun and out of my little world, here in these four walls, that it would really help.  Maybe, if the weather doesn't start to perk up soon, we could scrape up enough money for me to get a month worths of visits to a tanning booth.  I think even the fake UV rays would help my mood.  At this point I'd be willing to give anything a shot to avoid looking like Dr. Phils twin sister. 

    Have a great day.
    Image Hosted by

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    It is Monday and that means it is time for some recipes.  Today's focus is on making delicious and easy desserts.
                       Image Hosted by
    When it comes time to make a dessert on short notice I always make what is called a dump cake.  It is quick and easy and something similar to a fruit cobbler.  It is really good served warm with vanilla ice cream on top.  I started making it when I was at a friends house, sheesh almost 20 years ago and saw her make it.
    Dump Cake
    1 can fruit pie filling (I prefer using 2 cans for more fruit)
    1 can chopped pineapple
    1 box yellow cake mix
    1 stick margarine or butter (firm)
    Dump the fruit on the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan and spread out.  Dump the pineapple (undrained) on top of the fruit and spread out.  Dump the DRY cake mix on top of the pineapple and spread to the sides of the pan.  Now just slice the margarine into little pats across the top of the cake mix.  Put into a 350 degree oven and bake until golden brown, usually about 45 to 60 minutes.
    I keep leftovers, if there are any in the fridge.
    Usually I make my dump cake with Cherry pie filling, it was a favorite with all the kids.  However, recently I had only peach filling and no pineapple, so I made it a little differently and everyone really loved it.
    I used 2 cans of peach filling.  I had no pineapple which meant no juice would bubble up and cook with the dry cake mix, so I melted the 1/2 cup of butter and mixed it with the cake mix and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts for an added crunch and flavor.  Then I put the crumbly mixture over top of the of peach pie filling.  I cooked it in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.  It was delicious, and is now one of Ray's favorites.
    So recently I began searching for some desserts using cake mixes.  These are just a few of the recipes I found.  They sound absolutely delicious and I hope you find one you like.
    Candy Bars
    This simple six ingredient recipe makes the most decadent, delicious bar cookies.
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 pkg. two layer chocolate cake mix
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1 cup white chocolate chips
    2 cups chopped pecans OR coconut
    1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
    14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
    PREPARATION:Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter and cake mix in large bowl. Mix with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over bottom of 15x10" jelly roll pan and press to form crust. Sprinkle with semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips and pecans or coconut.
    In microwave on medium power, melt milk chocolate chips for 1-2 minutes or until melted. Stir sweetened condensed milk into the melted chips. Spread milk mixture evenly over nuts in jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars. 48 bars

    Chocolate Cherry Cake
    This delicious recipe for a moist and sweet chocolate sheet cake starts with cake mix and adds cherry pie filling and a smooth frosting.
    1 pkg. two layer devil's food cake mix
    21-oz. can cherry pie filling
    1 tsp. almond extract
    2 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    6 Tbsp. butter
    1/3 cup milk
    1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    PREPARATION:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour 13x9" pan and set aside. In large bowl, combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, extract, and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Pour into prepared pan.
    Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes until set. While cake is in the oven, combine sugar, butter, and milk in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until chips are melted and frosting is smooth. Pour over warm cake and spread to cover. 16 servings

    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
    This cheesecake recipe is made very easily using a cake mix as the base. A streusel topping full of brown sugar and pecans tops the rich and creamy cheesecake.
    1 pkg. two layer cake mix
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 Tbsp. flour
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3 eggs
    1 cup chocolate chips
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 cup chopped pecans
    PREPARATION:Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine cake mix and butter in large bowl and beat until crumbly. Reserve one cup of this crumbly mixture. Press remaining crumbs into bottom and 1/2" up sides of 10" springform pan.
    Combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla in large bowl and mix until blended. Add eggs and beat for 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Pour this filling over crust in pan.
    Combine reserved 1 cup crumbs with brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over cream cheese filling.
    Bake at 325 degrees F. for 65-80 minutes until center of cheesecake is set and topping is golden brown. Cool 30 minutes, then loosen sides of pan with knife. Cool cake completely, then remove pan sides and chill in refrigerator at least four hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

    Cupcakes in an Instant
    Use any flavor cake mix to make these special and delicious cupcakes using just four more ingredients.
    1 pkg. any flavor two layer cake mix
    2 cups sour cream
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup any flavor fruit preserves
    1/2 cup nuts, coconut, or chocolate chips
    PREPARATION:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin cups with paper liners and set aside. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except preserves and nuts or chocolate chips. Mix well by hand until batter forms. Fill lined muffins cups 1/2 full with batter.
    Place 1/2 tsp. preserves in center of batter, then cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with nuts, coconut, or chocolatechips. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-30 minutes until cupcakes spring back when touched in center. Cool for 1 minute, then remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Store cupcakes in refrigerator. 24 cupcakes

    Shortbread Bars
    You can make a tender and crunchy shortbread bar cookie starting with cake mix and adding a few more ingredients.
    1 egg white
    1/4 tsp. vanilla
    2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
    1 pkg, two layer white cake mix
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    PREPARATION:Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In small bowl, beat egg white with vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. In large bowl, with same beaters, mix cake mix, butter and cream cheese until a crumbly dough forms.
    Press dough into jelly roll pan. Spread with egg white mixture and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. 48 cookies

    Dr. Pepper Cherry Marshmallow Cake
    This is a self-icing cake. 
    2 cans dark sweet cherries, pitted
    and drained, syrup reserved
    3/4 C. reserved cherry syrup
    1/4 C. Dr. Pepper® (not diet)
    1 (3 oz.) box cherry gelatin
    1/8 tsp. almond extract
    1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
    1 (3 oz.) box cherry gelatin
    1/2 C. vegetable oil
    3/4 C. Dr. Pepper® (not diet)
    4 eggs
    2 C. miniature marshmallows

    Arrange cherries evenly on bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    In a small saucepan, combine the cherry syrup, 1 box cherry gelatin and 1/4 cup Dr. Pepper; gently heat until gelatin is dissolved. Add almond extract and cool slightly.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine yellow cake mix, 1 box cherry gelatin, oil, eggs and 3/4 cup Dr. Pepper. Beat at high speed of an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes. Pour cooled gelatin mixture over cherries in pan.
    Sprinkle evenly with the miniature marshmallows and then carefully and evenly spoon the batter mix over the marshmallows. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool on rack for 45 minutes. Chill for 3 to 4 hours.
    Yields 16 servings

    I hope today was worth your visit and you saw something that looked good to you.  If you give one of these recipes a try, please come back and leave a comment about which one you tried and how you liked it, or if you would do something differently.  

    Thank you for stopping by and if you have an easy dessert idea you'd like to share, please leave a comment or email it to me.  I'd really appreciate it and am sure everyone else would too. 

    Have a beautiful day.
    Image Hosted by

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    The Feminie Mistake and Leslie Bennetts

    I wrote earlier this week about Leslie Bennetts and her book The Feminine Mistake.  I've been reading more articles and thinking a lot about this .  First of all, the title of the book, why is it necessary to call it the Feminine Mistake?  That is implying that it is a mistake for every woman to stay home after having children.  In essence, she attacked all stay-at-home mom's before even opening the book. 

    I am a stay-at-home mom and find it very offensive for someone who doesn't even know me to call my life a mistake.  Perhaps it would be a mistake for you, Leslie.  Perhaps it would be a mistake for many women.  However, even if my husband were to pack up and leave tonight and I had to take responsibility for all the bills myself, I wouldn't consider one moment of my life a mistake.  Perhaps "poorly planned" if there were no savings or financial plan for me to fall back on while I got my life re-organized, but NEVER a mistake. 
    Secondly, a woman who leaves the work force to have children can go back.  She can maintain her work skills while at home, or she can fine tune them before returning to the work force.  Yes, I agree, she most likely will not be able to return to the exact same place and income that she was in before she left.  However, she still has the ability to return to the work force, even if she chooses to wait 18 years until her child goes off to college.  I'm not arguing that it won't be difficult, but it is do-able.
    Now, let's examine that in the reverse.  A woman is in the work force, let's say she is 29 years old and contemplating having a child.  Wait!  She will lose all she has worked for up to this point if she has a child she decides to wait.  Now, 18 years later and she is 47 years old and that desire hasn't gone away in the least.  How likely do you think it is that she will be able to get pregnant (as easily as she may have at 29) and have the energy to raise that child?  (That is NOT an attack on older women having children.  Believe me, I know from experince.  My oldest child and youngest child were born 19 years apart and age does make a difference.) 
    But wait!  She can't have that child yet.  Not even at 47, because the same reasoning that kept her from having a child at 29 is going to keep her from having a child at 47.  Financial Autonomy and losing her place in the work force!  No, I'm sorry Miss, you will have to wait until your 65 and able to retire.  Then you will have completed your stint in the work force and able to leave with no financial risk to yourself and family.  Wow, if a woman thinks having a baby and leaving the work force is a mistake, what do the women who didn't leave the work force and were never able to have children think about their choice?  I wonder is Ms. Bennetts covers that question in her book. 
    Well, of course there are mothers who have their children and then six weeks later, perhaps sooner for some poor women, return to work.  But then there is the matter of being a working mom.  Um, excuse me Ms.  Bennetts, doesn't that affect your role in the work force too?  Don't some employers, even women bosses, now consider these women less effective than their non-mother or men counterparts?  They may not be considered equally for that promotion or raise if there is the possibility they have to take a day off to stay home with a sick or injured child, or leave earlier for a parent-teacher conference.  Isn't that going to affect the financial earning ability or financial autonomy?
    Oh my!  What a quandary!  It seems that by taking the side of financial autonomy over raising children, we need to stop having children completely!  Yes!  Yes!  That is the answer to the age old Feminine question...No children!  Because if you have children you are going to end up living on the streets and having absolutely no money.  Come on, get real.
    I found this portion of a statement by Ms. Bennetts today.  "And when the kids grow up, the futures of working mothers are usually brighter than those of the homemakers, who often find themselves financially stranded and bereft of viable opportunities for employment."  Excuse me...but who said we wanted to be employed after the children go back to school.  Many, well those few of us who haven't been abandoned by our husbands or widowed, plan on doing things and perhaps traveling with our retiring spouses.  Many of the volunteers, who serve this country in a way that is irreplaceable, are former stay-at-home mothers.  Yes, what would people like Ms. Bennetts, who are too busy working, going to do without us pitiful SAHM's who take food (Meals on Wheels) to their poor shut-in parents, visit with them when their own adult children won't or can't.  Former SAHM's volunteer at nursing homes and a large number of other places.
    Okay SAHM's, ready to be completely insulted?  Ms. Bennetts also say's..."As a result, the information contained in my book is being disseminated widely among working women, but stay-at-home wives -- the ones most at risk, and therefore the ones I most wanted to reach with my findings -- are being insulated from the truth by well-meaning decision-makers who are, in my opinion, infantilizing them. Yes, it's true that women who don't work are often so defensive about their choice that they've helped to create this regrettable climate. But do they really want to be treated like children who must be shielded from distressing information?"  
    Oh my, I didn't really think it was possible to feel anymore attacked than I was by the simplistic idiotic title of her book, the one where she says my life choice is a mistake.  However, to that I have created a climate where I am being insulated from the truth and infantilized...Hey did that bibmbo just call me a baby?  LOL  No lady, I don't want to be treated like a child that needs to be shielded from distressing information.  Do you?  Because that is exactly how your acting, you don't want to hear the distressing information that many of us can and do take care of our finances.  You don't like the fact that we feel attacked by you, that we are vocal and protective of our decisions.  That we are able to stand up for ourselves against people like you who feel we've made a mistake with our lives and attack not only us, but our children by saying children of working mothers are better off than ours. 
    And finally there is this bit from our friendly "fluff writer"...

    "It's as if the adult world of work and public affairs regards these self-appointed CHO's ("chief household officers," in the self-congratulatory parlance of one magazine aimed at that constituency) as somewhat dimwitted second-class citizens who aren't really up to the task of dealing with reality, which has to be left to the grown-ups. And I'm not just talking about the mommy wars; if anything, this kind of condescension about stay-at-home moms is more apparent among men than among working women.

    Thus buffered from harsh realities, stay-at-home mothers can often preserve their illusions for quite a while. But over the long run, neither willful obliviousness nor a double standard that treats them like second-class citizens will save these women from the all-too-real problems I have documented in my book. The facts don't change just because you refuse to look at them."

    Wow!  This woman just knows no bounds in attacking Stay-at-home mothers, does she?  First, she calls our life choice a MISTAKE.  Then she calls us babies who need to be shielded and now we are DIMWITTED SECOND CLASS CITIZENS!  Good Lord, I feel so "mistaken" about my life and decisions...I better abandon mychild and run out and get a job!  HA!  If she really believes that society see's us as second classcitizens, when we should be considered a very valuable part of society, perhaps she should have written a book about that.  Second class citizen?!  I'm stunned.  Good gosh, I must be completely out of the loop because I certainly never felt that way.

    Now I have a question for anyone who read this book.  Did Ms. Bennetts offer any suggestions, other than dropping your child off at a strangers home and staying in the work force, as to how women can protect their financial future in case your husband becomes disabled, dies or divorces you?
    I have a few suggestions I'd like to offer.
    1.  Buy disability insurance.  My mother had it and when she underwent treatment for cancer and it was a real life saver for her.
    2.  Buy an adequate amount of life insurance.  I know it is expensive, but the younger you are when you purchase it the cheaper it is.  I believe there should be enough to cover funeral expenses, pay off the house, and at least enough to equal one year of your husbands income.  You will need to talk to a professional to make sure you are getting enough for your family.
    3.  Start a business that you can run from your home.  Join in with a few other stay at home mom's so you can take turns working together and taking care of the kids.  This isn't only a good idea to help financially, but for a stay-at-home mom the interaction with other women will do her sanity a world of good.
    4.  Every time you go to the grocery store get $5, $10, $15 or whatever amount you can afford back in cash.  Take that cash and put some sort of mutual fund or savings bond.  This will give you a little extra cushion should you need it for your future.
    So no, I don't believe we need to throw the baby out with the bath water.  There are ways for us stay-at-home mothers to protect our financial futures.  Will we be able totake a trip to France every spring, or buy clothesoff the New York runway?  No.  But then that's not really what we are about is it?  Our main goal is our children and bringing up children to be loving, moral and responsible adults. 
    Take what you need to from this argument.  Know that you do need to consider all possibilities and plan for your future.  Do NOT allow this woman or any other to scare you back into the work force at the expense of your child.  If working is what works for you, great!  However, if you feel it is best for you and your child(ren) to stay home, do that and be proud of it! 
    If you have any other ideas that a stay-at-home mom could use to protect her financial future please leave a comment and share them. 
    Also, if I've offended any working mothers, I certainly never meant to.  I would certainly never be able to do what you do and I respect you fully for your decision.  Working mothers are just a valuable as stay-at-home mom's except that they have 2 full-time jobs versus our one full-time job. 
    Thank you!
    Image Hosted by
    The quotes in todays post come from an opinion article written by Leslie Bennetts.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Home remedy for Bruises and the reason behind my child care paranoia

    These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks!

                       Image Hosted by


    • Slice a raw onion and place over the bruise. Do not apply this to broken skin.
    • Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.


    I touched on this subject briefly in my post yesterday.  So let me explain a little more why I am so paranoid about sending Rylie Jo to child care, even though I know it would probably do her a world of good with her social skills to go for just a few hours a week.
    Recently in Michigan a man, Douglas Clark, who ran a child care center, was arrested on child abuse charges.  Apparently this sick, pathetic excuse for a human being video taped the abuse.  The charges are growing by the minute as more people come forward and admit to being abused by this person.  I am sickened and disgusted by this story.  Shortly after the story broke, another man in Michigan was arrested on similar charges.  This all is happening as Alyssa Schuster, who lived in Sylvania, and was charged and found guilty with raping her daughter and sending a video of it via the Internet to man in Florida is appealing her conviction. 
    My stomach churns and I feel sick to my stomach.  My heart breaks for these children who trusted these low-life adults in their lives.  Can you imagine?  I can feel the tears just waiting to tumble down my face as I think about the betrayal of innocence and all the damage done to these poor children.  These are babies!  Babies for crying out loud!  Not that it would make any difference what age the child was.  But to do impose this type of sick and demented behavior on these babies...Oh my God!  I just can't fathom it.  My mind can't handle just makes me so completely disgusted and sad, so very, very sad.
    I kept thinking that I was holding her back by keeping Rylie home with just me instead of sending her off to child care or something a few times a week.  Just something to give her time with children her own age.  I still think that it would do her a world of good to spend more time with other children.  However, there is no way in heck that I am ever, ever going to send her to child care these days.  I get nauseous just thinking about the possibility of sending her somewhere. 
    I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to any of my children.  I think I would just break down and lose it completely.  But if anyone ever did anything to the baby...I mean she is just so innocent and trusting...she wouldn't understand what was think of somebody ever hurting her...I can't even comprehend the thought of it.  I believe and trust in God, but I honestly think I would kill someone if they ever hurt one my children.
    So that is why I am so against sending my daughter to child care.  No one could ever protect her and care for her like Mommy.
    Sorry to infect your day with stories as disgusting as this.  I hope you have a great day.
    Image Hosted by

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    I'm back and I'm fired up!

    Have any of you read this article about a book called the "Feminine Mistake"?  Here is a link to the article, Feature- Feminine Mistake is a Hard Sell on Financial Autonomy - AOL Coaches .  I want to warn you, if you are a stay-at-home mother (like myself) you will probably find this very, very offensive.
    Apparently, this woman's theory is that stay at home mothers do more damage to themselves and their children than working mothers because we are not financially independent.  O-kaaaay...cute little theory there and I'm sure it will create a lot of media hype and sell lots of books for her.  Thereby making her more money (by attacking us stay-at-home mommies).
    Oh, I don't argue the point that working mom's have more financial autonomy than I do.  I don't deny that if my ol' man were to up and leave tomorrow that I wouldn't be in a bit of a bind.  However, in these first 3 years of my child's life, the most important years according to professionals, I was right where I needed to be for my child.  Right here at home.  I'm not dissing mothers that work because they need to or chose to.  That is their decision and they have every right to make that decision without being attacked for it.  We all make our decisions based on what we believe is right for us and our own families.
    Me?  I love being a MOMMY.  I love spending time with my children.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not Polly Anna, there were days when I wished my children were in boarding school, lol.  However, my greatest gift in life was the blessing of my children and my greatest responsibility in life is my children.  Not my finances.
    Let me take this opportunity to counter some of the article.  First, "Leslie Bennetts, who writes about celebrities for Vanity Fair, uses a dizzying array of statistics to back up her thesis: Women should make work a top priority with the lifelong goal of self-sufficiency."
    I'm not going to argue that self-sufficiency isn't important.  It is.  However, I find it more important to do what is best for MY FAMILY, and for us that is me staying at home to raise my children.  If I were to go out and work I would probably barely make enough to pay for child care.  Why entrust the care and personal growth of my children to perfect strangers just to make enough money for that service?  Why put my children in a possible position of danger (
    Click here: Police: Biggest child molestation case ever ) just to maintain my financial autonomy?  No matter how much I pay someone to care for my child they will never be able to raise my child in the same manner as I would.  My child would grow up with the influence someone else's  beliefs (moral, political and religious).  NO!  My top priority is, and should be, my CHILDREN!
    Then there is this..."No matter what the reason, justification or circumstances, it's simply too risky to count on anyone else to support you over the long haul," she asserts.  Yes, it is risky to depend on someone else, but then life itself is just one big risk after another, isn't it?  If you don't want to take any risk and protect yourself fully, lock yourself in a bunker lady!
    So let's look at the numbers, if the possible risk or divorce is 50% (Divorce Rates - Divorce Statistics Collection) and the risk of my child being molested or neglected at day care is (I don't know the possible percentages, so lets just low ball it) 1%...I'd still take the risk and keep my children at home and raise them myself.  I'd rather take the risk of being financially dependent on someone else and perhaps having to start from the very beginning financially rather than put my child in possible danger.
    "This prescription for life isn't just an economic necessity, Bennetts argues. It also makes for longer lives, healthier marriages and balanced children."
    Perhaps for her.  Maybe she if happy being a part of the work force and away from her children all day, in which case that would make for a longer life and happier marriage.  Perhaps she isn't a very maternal woman, in which case I'm sure that her children would be perfectly happy being raised by someone else.  Maybe she got lucky and was able to find a responsible and knowledgeable person to raise her children, in which case they might be balanced and happy when they grow up.
    Me?  I would be absolutely miserable working outside of my home.  I would be thinking of nothing but my child and what kind of care she was receiving.  I would be panic stricken all day long until I was able to pick my child up.  Yes, I have some major fears, perhaps even paranoia, about someone else caring for my child.  However, I can guarantee you that I would be in a perpetual state of worry all day long, until I picked up my child, and that I would not live a longer life.  If anything, the constant state of worry would probably shorten my life span. 
    It certainly wouldn't make me a very happy woman, living a life I don't want to live.  And let me tell you, if Momma ain't happy ain't nobody gonna be happy.  How will that make MY marriage happier?  It WON'T!  That will make my marriage end in divorce.  Geez, thanks for the advice and divorce Bennett.
    How could some stranger possibly raise my child to be a more balanced adult than her own mother?  Yes, I have fears, perhaps abnormal although I don't think so if you listen to the news, about other people caring for my child.  However, I don't think that because I love my children and would happily rather give up for financial autonomy for them makes me a bad person.  It makes me loving, caring and protective.  Everything that a child deserves.
    "In one case, a high-society woman recounts how she used to flit around the globe on expensive vacations when she was married. After her divorce, she has been reduced to cleaning houses to make ends meet."
    Excuse Me?!  What the hell?  "High-society" woman?  What about the average American women?  Oh, I'm sorry...okay everyone pity party for the poor "high-society" woman who probably never even knew what a washing machine was before, who now has to clean houses to make ends meet instead of taking expensive vacations.  Poor thing...sheesh!  Perhaps rather than taking those "expensive" vacations, she should have been putting that money into a savings account! 
    Come on, get serious here!  Do I really believe that little story?  If this woman really existed, she would have hired a lawyer who would have gotten here the money she needed to live until she was able to get an appropriate job.  Sounds more like a little fairy tale to me than a true story.
    "Bennetts...does not allow for the possibility that some traditional marriages work and work well."  Sounds like one very bitter, angry, perhaps jealous woman.  Jealous of what?  Of those of us who have a traditional marriage that works well and of those of us who are able to stay home and raise our kids rather than sending them to some stranger to raise for us.
    As I said, I think she probably wrote a book on a subject that will get a lot of media attention and perhaps that alone will double her sales.  I also have to wonder about the "dizzying array of statistics".  I have to wonder how many of those statistics have been twisted and bent to back up her theory.  I also have to wonder how many happy stay at home mothers she interviewed.  Or did she just use statistics and women who supported her theory, rather than looking at both sides of the coin.   Yeah, I don't know how much stock I put in this theory from a woman who usually writes fluff "about celebrities for Vanity Fair".
    Wow, can you imagine how it must feel to be her husband?  She must harbor a lot of bitterness and anger towards men.  Yeah, sounds like it would be a real joy for a man to lie down with her at night.  NOT!   
    I hope you go to read the entire article and come back to give me your thoughts.  As I said, I have no problem with women who choose to work, whether it be because the have to financially or because they prefer to.  I just don't want to be attacked and told that what I choose to do with my life and children is wrong.  I don't see where being a fluff writer for Vanity magazine gives her the authority or knowledge to advise women about what is best for them and their children.
    This post is entirely my own opinion.  Thanks for reading it.
    Have a great day.
    Image Hosted by