Friday, April 29, 2011

stock your scrappy supplies and help tornado victims

Do you need to replenish your scrappy supplies? 

Have you been waiting for just the right time?

For any order placed on my CTMH site between now and May 7, I will donate 10% to the American Red Cross Tornado Relief fund to benefit victims of the recent tornado disaster.

Now is a great time to order with National Scrapbooking Month specials starting May 1. 
 When you place a minimum order of $50 in Close To My Heart products in May, you can get the exclusive You & Me scrapbooking kit for the discount price of just $15.  The kit contains everything you’ll need to create two fully embellished two-page layouts using the new cardstock-weight B&T Duos® papers, D-size stamp set, accessories, and instructions. You can also purchase the kit at full retail for $34.95 with no minimum purchase required.

You can also take advantage of the deeply discounted items under the while supplies last section.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I do not promote or push being a CTMH consultant. I don't often advertise sales or push specials, this is not my bread & butter.  But, I am just so heartbroken over the devastation these people are facing, these people right in our own country, that I wanted to do something.  I can do a little on my own...but we, together, can do alot...every little bit counts.  Will you join me?

To view the current CTMH products, please click here to view the virtual Idea Books.

If you already know what you want, please click here to be brought to my online shopping page.

This is not something offered by or endorsed by CTMH, this is my way of helping those who need it most right if you would like to contribute, please remember to order through my online shopping link above.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

goodbye mac & cheese

I make one mean mac & cheese if I do say so myself.  It is often requested at home and on holidays.  I found the recipe a few years back in Country Woman Magazine.  I am pretty sure I remember reading that the original recipe was submitted to either The Farmer's Wife Magazine or Farm Wife Magazine in 1971 by a mid west farmer's wife .  I don't know about you, but in my book that kind of recipe is pure home cooked goodness and worth a try!

So why goodbye mac & cheese?  I can't have it for awhile, not never again, but not for a while.  I am on a new weight loss involving a hypnotist and an advanced version of the South Beach Diet.  I have tried many options and unfortunately I have this problem with finding all the weight I have lost.  Every time, without fail.  I love food, but I love being thin more.  I have tried to do it myself, but well, I need a little help.  So, I got hypnotized and will be following her weight loss plan.  The mac & cheese will once again become a treat, but not quite yet.

I will keep you updated on my progress (I am currently in week 2 and doing just fine!).  Until then, please make your family a big batch of my mac & cheese and enjoy every bite for me.

Rich 'n' cheesy macaroni
2 -1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
6  tablespoons butter (divided)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp sugar
2 cups milk
3/4 lb cheese ends
1 - 1/3 cups small curd cottage cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 -1/2 cups soft bread crumbs

cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.  Place in a greased 2-1/2 qt. baking dish.  In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter.  Stir in flour, salt and sugar until smooth.  Gradually stir in milk.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Reduce hear; stir in cheese until melted.  Stir in cottage cheese and sour cream.  Pour over macaroni.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Melt remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs; sprinkle over top.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 deg. for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  6-8 servings (of pure cheesy goodness)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

it's a great day for a parade!

The Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade is a family tradition.  I have memories as a child watching the parade as the beautiful floats went by with the Irish princesses riding high atop.  The bands marching by playing Irish music, the Mummers, Shriners, and all the festivities of the day.   I marched in the parade with my high school band my freshman and sophomore year, and as the majorette (although not a very good one) my junior year.  My Senior Year...I had the privelege of riding on one of those beautiful floats, as an Irish princess...the experiences of that year, I will carry on forever.   In my college years I was close enough to car pool down with a bunch of my sorority sisters and crash the many house parties along the parade route.

Flash forward 20 years (yes, it has been that long).  I am carrying on that tradition with my kids.  In these parts, or at least in the circle I was raised, being Irish is a pretty big deal.  Each of the surrounding towns holds a Colleen Contest to choose a Colleen and Court to ride on the float that the town enters in the parade.  In my town, we have 20 - 30 girls each year entering the contest for 5 coveted spots.  Year after year the float committee builds a grand prize winning, Parade of Roses worthy float.  Since my experience as a court member was such a vivid memory from my teenage years, I am lucky enough to be on the Colleen Committee for the Irish club in my town.  This year, the kids and I accompanied the girls to and from the parade.  The kids also had the honor of carrying the banner for the Westfield Parade Marshall...who just happens to be their uncle.

While taking pics of the kids and marchers, I also thought it would be fun to take pics of the parade watchers...

It was the first day of Spring and a great day for a parade!

from the top left to right:
Kelsey with her big bright Irish smile; Kelsey & JT carrying the banner for the Uncle; JT taking a break along the parade route: Westfield's Grand Prize winning Float; Westfield Colleen and her court; the float again; because every parade needs a chicken; party house; me and my sister in law Lisa.

Monday, April 4, 2011


We are in the process of looking for a new family dog.  We lost Sammy almost a year ago and I think we are all ready for a new member of the family.  The problem is we can't decide on what kind to get.  Bob wants another lab.  Sammy was a yellow lab, and I just don't think I can go there...unless maybe it was a chocolate lab, which seems to be the only one we can all comfortably agree on.

The kids and I are pulling for an Old English Sheep dog, but Bob is totally against it.

I could go for a Golden Doodle.  I am sooo in love with my bloggy friend Meg's dog Waffle.  But the boys don't want a golden doodle and I think Kelsey only agrees with me because having a dog named Waffle is kind of cool.

Now they are trying to convince me that we should get 2 dogs...a big one and a little one.  I really don't think that is going to happen.  I do not want to own a small dog.  I think they are cute, and love to look at them when other people own them, but I am not a small dog owner kind of person.  For me, the bigger the dog, the better.  The bigger, fuzzier, crazier the dog the better (which is why I am so in love with the OES)....when we first started looking I was bent on a Newfoundland...that is my kind of dog.

Kelsey wants a Maltipoo so she can put pink ribbons in its ears...ummm cute, but no.

 She also wants a bunny and would trade a dog for a bunny eventhough she really wants both.

Since my criteria is for a big dog with large paws and she wants a bunny...I think I found a compromise.

Seriously, I think a chocolate lab it will be (or maybe a chocolate doodle)...with big furry paws...I'm just saying.

Friday, April 1, 2011

snow much fun & tasty treats

It's April 1st.
It's snowing.
We are 13 days into Spring here Mother Nature.
I do love snow.
I love to ski.
I love snowmen.
I love winter.
But winter is over.
Enough already with the snow.

And since I haven't yet shared the pics from our day of sledding during February vacation, I felt that a snowy day in April would be the perfect time.

I loaded 4 kiddos in the car and went to a local golf course with a great hill for sledding.  We spent most of the morning sledding and had the hill to ourselves.  I happened to spot a 4 person tobaggan in the garage before we left...lucky find, it was perfect!

The conditions on the hill were good.  A bit bumpy for my taste, although my body's jiggle factor is a bit higher than the kiddos...if you know what I mean.  I was able to make a few runs down, to pull the little ones up, but thankfully they decided to walk (err...crawl) up themselves (or at least with just a little help).

Erica decided that she really didn't need a sled and proceeded to roll down the 100 times.

While JT and Abby found an icy patch and flew down on the double sled again and again then tried sledding down on their bums...which worked too!

We were treated to a fly over...thank you 104th!  The kids thought is was their own personal airshow.

When it was time to leave, not everyone wanted to go...although, some were more vocal than others....

and every snowy day deserves some yummy treats


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