Monday, October 31, 2011

Scenes from our Week - Week 4

We had another busy week at our house, starting with Pat's birthday.  Unfortunately I have no pictures of that.  We had friends over since it was such a gorgeous day and spent the evening on the porch!  Fun times!

The rest of the week flew by and suddenly it was time for trick or treating!  Our town did its trick or treating last night, which I like.  The boys have basketball practice tonight and that way, we got our trial run through with the costumes before they take them to school!  We celebrated Pat's birthday again with his sister and family and everyone but me went trick or treating.  I LOVE to stay home and pass out the treats.  It is so fun to see all the kids in costumes and chatting with them.  I always get a variety of treats to hand out.  I love to pass out play doh for the little ones who don't need all that candy, but I have realized play doh is a favorite among all ages and I always run out.  I also get the mini oreos as well as some favorite candy.....Hershey's, Twix, Reeses Pumpkins, and the Halloween and White Chocolate Kit Kats.  It was a very busy evening and I easily handed out over 200 items.  It was wonderful to see all the kids and families in town.

Reagan wanted to be Smurfette and rather than buying a costume, we used a white skirt and tank top we already had.  I bought the white gloves and white hat and the blue Under Armour.  I couldn't find blue tights so we had to stick with white.  We opted not to paint her whole face blue.  Knowing my child, I figured she would come home with all of her white clothes stained blue as well.  She was excited to be able to have her cousin, Ali put on her makeup, including glitter.  I even got her fake eyelashes, but those lasted about 30 seconds.  She said they itched, so we opted for mascara.  I thought she was a pretty cute Smurfette anyway!

 Bennett really struggled with his costume, making a list of possible ideas including a lawyer, and a construction worker.  From the construction worker idea, we formed the Lumberjack.  All we had to get was a flannel shirt!  I already had the makeup to do his beard.  Pat got an axe handle and fashioned an ax from some grey foam we had in the garage.  This is one of our favorite costumes from all our Halloween years!  I think he looks very authentic!

Patrick, being a 6th grader, wasn't sure if it was cool or not to still go trick or treating.  We didn't push him and let him decide for himself.  Once he decided to be a 70's Basketball player, we were on the hunt for costume items.  They found the shorts at Goodwill and the sweat band and socks at Dick's Sporting Goods.  He put his costume on so I could take photos last night, but chose not to trick or treat and just walked along with the family.  He did take his costume to school today to dress up for the party there. 

We usually take great pride in our pumpkin carving, but this year we kind of petered out and ran out of time.  Reagan knew she really wanted a Hello Kitty pumpkin, so Pat took care of that one for her.  I wanted to try drilling a polka dot pumpkin...seeing lots of neat ideas on Pinterest....and since the boys didn't care, we went with easy jack-o-lanterns.  So this is what we came up with this year.  I still think they are fun and decorated our entry way to welcome our trick or treaters!

On Friday, I, along with our librarian took our Storytime kids around to our downtown businesses.  We had about a dozen kids all decked out in costumes ranging from Wolverine to Caption America to a Bumblebee to Thing 1 and Thing 2.  I read a couple Halloween stories and we went for our walk.  I couldn't miss the opportunity to dress up, and our librarian did too.  I look forward to Storytime every month and was glad we could squeeze in a Halloween celebration as well. 

Happy Halloween everyone!  Be safe, have fun, and don't eat all your kids' candy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Things I Love - My Insulated Mug

Things I Love....................

This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

Today's love is............................My Insulated Mug
I was given this mug last year by my Sister-In-Law, Deb.  Now, I know, I am sure you are all wondering what is so special about this particular mug.  Well, I have 4 of them in various designs including the one in the photo above because I love them so much.  These mugs are the BEST because they are STAINLESS STEEL!  These mugs are 15 oz of Stainless Steel as well as double wall vacuumed so the hot stuff stays hot!  I have filled this up with coffee and driven to my parents house which is 1 hour and 45 minutes away and STILL had HOT COFFEE when I got there!  I do not like it when my coffee cools off, which happens quickly because I add cream to it.  Not when I use these mugs!  The coffee stays hot for hours!  One time, I poured hot chocolate into in for a friend and when she went to take a drink (thinking it had cooled off), she had to spit it out because it was still so hot!

A few weekends ago, while tailgating, I decided to try this mug out for cold drinks as well.  It worked great!  It was a hot and sunny day and it kept my drinks cold.  I even found ice inside of it hours later!

So, if you are like me, and are looking for a travel mug that will actually keep your coffee hot this winter, check out  They retail for $14.99 and are worth every cent! 

BlueQ also donates 1% of the purchase of each of these mugs to The Nature Conservancy.  The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since their founding in 1951 they have protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide - and operate more than 100 marine conservation projects in over 30 countries. *Blue Q guarantees a minimum contribution of $50,000 through April 19, 2011.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Product Review: Nature's Hand Granola

Nature's Hand French Vanilla Almond Authentic Granola

Nature's Hand Wild Blueberry Authentic Granola
I was given the opportunity to try Nature's Hand Granola.My favorite ways to eat granola is either just with milk or on top of my yogurt.  Thankfully Nature's Hand sent me a coupon for some yummy CHOBANI yogurt.
They also sent along one of these cute CRATE and BARREL bowls for me to eat my yogurt and granola in!
Nature's Hand Granola was founded in 1971 by Hans Sadlak, a German-born immigrant in Burnsville, Minnesota, who customized his own blend.  Since then it has become an American tradition known for its oven-baked taste and texture.  Nature's Hand is an all-natural, good-for-you granola that is perfect for moms and their families.  It features fewer, simple, natural ingredients with no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, no sodium, and no trans fats.  Nature's Hand comes in six unique granola blends:

Vanilla Almond
Cranberry Delight
Wild Blueberry
Raisin Hazelnut
Cinnamon Apple
Maple Pecan

The suggested retail price for Nature's Hand granola is $4.99 and can be found at supermarkets, specialty grocery stores, and online.  Check out their website HERE to find a store near you.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

I really loved the granola.  I had it on top of my CHOBANI yogurt and I loved how the granola stayed crunchy and it had a nice subtle flavor that enhanced my raspberry yogurt. 

You can see the nice big chunks of granola and big pieces of almonds! YUM! The granola also comes in a bag with a zip closure to keep it from going stale.  But, it won't stick around long enough in our house for that to happen!

The French Vanilla Almond and the Wild Blueberry were both only 140 calories per 1/4 cup serving!

Thanks to Nature's Hand for sending me the granola, coupon and bowl in order to facilitate this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  This review is my honest opinoin.  I wouldn't review anything that wouldn't benefit myself or my family. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

For Your Little Pumpkin

When our oldest was 2, a bunch of us moms that attended a mommy and me class continued to get together with all of our kids a few times a month.  Oh my,I just realized that was 9 years ago!  My how time flies! Anyway we made these adorable shirts for our kids and since then our other two children have worn it.  But now, our youngest is 6 and this shirt has become the halloween shirt for Reagan's Build-A-Bear.  It was just too cute to part with and it reminds me of all those moms who I relied on during those first scary years of parenting.  We moved to a different town and I don't see those moms anymore, but I credit them with keeping me sane during those early years.

All you need is:

White T-Shirt
Orange Clothing Dye
Black Paint, non-washable
Sponges Cut to desired shapes

Fold or twist your shirt however you want your design and follow the directions for tye-dying the shirt.  This could be a two day project depending on how long you want your dye to set.  It is best for the color to sit for 24 hours to get the desired brightness.  Once the shirt has been tye-dyed and dried, then dip your sponges into the non-washable paint.  Place them on the shirt according to your desired Jack-O'Lantern look.  Let dry.

Check out the hundreds of other awesome ideas over at Tip Junkie by clicking the button below!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Scenes From Our Week - Week 3

There was no school on Wednesday so the kids and I spent the day shopping. The kids needed clothes for this upcoming cold weather.  We needed birthday gifts.  We needed pumpkins.  We needed groceries.  So we embarked on an all day adventure.  We went to the outlet mall, the regular mall, Earl May, and Target. After an exhausting day, the best reward was Coldstone ice cream!  The kids had oreo cream filling with various mix-ins. I varied from my usual raspberry/cheesecake/white chocolate chips variety to swap the raspberry for PUMPKIN! Oh My Goodness it was soooo yummy!

On Friday night, Reagan and I baked our pies for our annual church dinner.  She loves to run the apple peeler/corer/slicer and help with the pie making. 

Saturday morning 17 of us from our church went around our small town and raked leaves for about 3 hours.  We call ourselves the Community Crew and even had shirts made up! We were able to complete 7 lawns and had a lot of fun doing it!  Since not all of the leaves have fallen, we just may have to do it again!

We we moved into our house nearly 8 years ago, one of the things we absolutely loved were our backyard trees.  We have been so grateful that the previous owners invested in these gorgeous trees. They have provided us wonderful shade in the summer and beautiful leaves in the fall.  If you are looking for a tree for your backyard, I highly recommend the Autumn Blaze Maple!

May you all have a wonderfully blessed week!

Book Review: Mai Tai One On by Jill Marie Landis

By Jill Marie Landis
Book 1 of the Tiki Goddess Series
Published July 1, 2011 - Book
August 24, 2011 - Kindle

Six months ago, if anyone would have told Em Johnson she'd end up divorced, broke, and running the dilapidated Tiki Goddess Bar on the magical North Shore of Kauai she would have told them to shove a swizzle stick up their okole.

As if all that isn't bad enough, when an obnoxious neighbor with a grudge is found dead in the Goddess luau pit, suspicion falls on Em and the rest of the Goddess staff. With the help of a quirky dance troupe of over-the-hill Hula Maidens, Em and the cast of characters must ban together to find the killer and solve the mystery before the next pupu party.

I purchased this for my Kindle when there was a .99 cent special.  It sounded fun and came highly recommended by authors I love like Kristin Hannah and Carly Phillips.  This isn't my typical genre but with the low price, I was willing to take a chance. 

I was expecting a little more "romance", but it was mostly mystery with a comedic twist.  Since I have never been to Hawaii, some of the terms and way of life described in Hawaii was new to me.  I could see those who are familiar with the Hawaiian life-syle would appreciate that part of the book more.  I did appreciate the author making one of the characters from Iowa and not making her too "hickish". 

Since there were a couple murders and an attempted murder in the story, you were easily drawn into finding out who was the next to fall and who the murderer was.  Even though the story leads you in several directions, I did guess the murderer early on, but it didn't change my interest in finding out if and/or how that person would be caught. 

This was an enjoyable light read.  It is perfect for a weekend getaway or for taking a break from heavier reading.  It will make you laugh and make you wish you were relaxing at the Tiki Goddess bar yourself!  The fun part is, the author includes some signature Tiki Goddess drink recipes at the back of the book.  I may have to try out some of those!  I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. 

Check out this fun book trailer:

Check out the website  HERE for more Tiki Goddess information and to stayed tuned for information on Book 2 of the series! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Deliciousness

I spent my Friday baking for our annual church fall bazaar.  I did some internet surfing and found some recipes that I wanted give a shot.  I am always searching for the perfect banana bread recipe.  I have plenty of ok ones in my stash, but I am always looking for THE ONE.  I found this Martha Stewart Banana Bread recipe from Amberly Place Cooking Corner .  Why hadn't I ever considered Martha Stewart before?  Maybe because usually her recipes are difficult or multi-step recipes.  Well, not this one.  WAY easy AND I had all the ingredients.

Martha Stewart's Banana Bread

1/4 Pound (1 stick butter), room temp
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c mashed very ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1/2 c sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F, butter 9X5X3" loaf pan. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs beating well. Sift (yeah right) the dry ingredients together and combine with the butter mixture. Blend well. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in the nuts and pour into the pan. Bake 1 hour until a cake tester comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

I made one batch of 4 mini loaves and one batch with a regular loaf and mini loaf and added mini chocolate chips.  They turned out practically perfect. 

Next up were Picky Palate's Itty Bitty Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies.   Jenny at Picky Palate is always coming up with something new and amazingly delicious. If you aren't following her blog yet, you should be.  I just wish I had all the time in the world to bake and no worries to eat all of her scrumptious goodies.  When I saw these I knew I had to try them and surprise my kids with them.

Click on the recipe title above for the link to the recipe.

I used one scoop of cookie dough, divided it in half and then folded it around the mini oreo.  My cookies also took closer to 13 minutes in my oven, so be sure to check after your cookies often.  The kids we excited to have cookies after school but when they took a bite and said, "Mom, are there oreos in here?"  I could tell they were excited.  I got "These are awesome!", Wow, thanks Mom!", and "How many can I have?" as responses.  I handed one to Pat when he got home and he was pleasantly surprised by the oreo in the middle as well. 

Now you can either bake these yourself, or come on out to the Salem UMC Fall Bazaar Dinner Saturday night.  Get the banana bread and cookies before they are gone.  Hmmmmm, maybe I should sell to the highest bidder!

Things I Love - My Favorite Droid Apps

Things I Love....................

This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

Today's love is............................My Favorite Droid Apps
I have had my Android Samsung Galaxy S cell phone for about 2 months now and I LOVE it.  I used to be a Blackberry girl, but I've moved on.  I don't miss my Blackberry at all. 
1 - Scrabble
You know how much I love Scrabble.  It has been something I have played since I was a young child.  I must have Scrabble with me at all times!  It is my release, my time-passer, and frankly my time-waster.

2 - Words with Friends
Several of my friends and family got me started on Words with Friends.  It is very much like Scrabble but with a slightly different board and slightly different point value for the letters, but played in the same way.

3 - gReader
I can keep up with all my favorite blogs right from my phone.  It sends all the blogs I follow to my gReader app on my phone and lets me know when there has been a new post.  I has been much easier for me to keep up with my blog reading.

4 - You Version Holy Bible
I love that I can pull up any verse, any translation, any devotion for just the situation I am looking for or need.  It is right here in front of me whenever I need encouragement, reassurance, or to feel calm.

5 - imdb App
If I am at a movie and can't figure out where I know that actor/actress from, I can look it up.  If we are out to dinner and can't remember the name of the movie we want our friend to see, I can look it up.  If we are trying to remember how old I was when "Purple Rain" came out, I can look it up.  I love using this app and finding out all sorts of neat stuff.

6- World Webcam
At anytime in my day I can select a webcam view from numerous places in the world: Paris, Ground Zero NYC, Panama Canal, Mount Everest, Mount Fuji, Cape Town, Denver, Bora Bora, Tampa Bay, Madrid, Loch Ness, Yosemite Park, and many more.  This morning I tuned in to Bora Bora and viewed a breathtaking sunrise.  Sometimes when I need to just take a moment and escape the stress of the day, I travel to Paris or Bora Bora and dream of visiting there. 

All of these apps are free and are available to download to your Android phone.  What are your favorite Android apps?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wine #2 Oktoberfest

Last spring my husband and I visited the Eagles Landing Winery in Marquette, IA.  I really wanted to try their wines because one of their vineyards is very close to my parents home.  The first acre was planted in 1999 and has since grown to 3 acres in size.  They currently produce 4500 cases per year.  Their goal is not to be the biggest winery in Iowa, just the best. 

photo courtesy of Eagles Landing

As I was going through the wine fridge a couple nights a go, I found a bottle of Oktoberfest, which I had totally forgotten that we had.  We had brought it home after our visit there and has been in the fridge since. Oktoberfest is a white wine.  It is a special blend of fragrant & aromatic white grapes (Edelweiss, Muscat) and makes a sweet, seductive harvest wine.   It earned a Gold Medal at the 2011 Tasters Guild International. It sells for $9.95/bottle and is available in numerous Iowa stores as well as Wisconsin.  I really like the light sweet flavor of the wine.  Perfect to enjoy while cooking or during a relaxing evening.  I will have to stock up on some more Oktoberfest soon. 

photo courtesy of Eagles Landing

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thoughts on Sin

Galations 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

I felt the need to write about SIN today.  I remember the first time I learned that in God's eyes Sin is Sin.  He doesn't give a heirarchy to sins.  No one sin is worse than any other in God's eyes.  In our world of judgment and labeling, we tend to give a severity to sins....child molestation, affairs, and murder seem much more detestable than taking God's name in vain, jealousy, or greed.  But in God's eyes all sin is the same.  According to Him, we must repent for ALL sins.  He is the only one who is allowed judgment.  He is the only one who can redeem us.  He is the only one who can give us that complete forgiveness and unconditional love.  

John 8:7
"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

None of us are without sin.  If you drove over the speed limit on your way to work today, you sinned by not following the laws of our government.  If you just said to your friend, Oh my G*d!, you sinned by taking His name in vain.  If you secretly are wishing you house was a nice as your neighbors, you are sinning by being jealous of and coveting what your neighbor has.  

Matthew 7:3
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

Since none of us are without sin, it is not our place to judge against someone else.  It is up to them to ask for God's forgiveness and up to God to give it.  God knows what is truly in each one of our hearts.  He knows if we are being truthful and heartfelt in our request.  

When a sin occurs, remember those times where your choices may have hurt yourself or others.  Be there for each other.  Offer your love, kindness, and forgiveness.  Pray for them.  But don't judge. You can hate the sin, but still love the sinner.  Stop and take a moment or two or three to repent for your sins today.  I am.  It isn't easy to do these things, but with God at your side, you can do anything!

Romans 14:10
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.

Click on this button to read more on parenting, homemaking, marriage, finances, recipes, organization, and more. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Scenes From Our Week - Week 2

As part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge, I wanted to capture our life in pictures at least once a week. Here is what I captured this week.

Patrick has become attached to his skateboard lately.  We decided to take him to a skate park on Sunday and let him try it out.  A lot diferent from our driveaway!

Somehow, I took some sort of 2 part action shot with my phone.  Don't know if I could do it again, but still pretty cool.

Our After School JAMS program decorated pumpkins this week.  The pumpkins will be used to decorate the church during our annual Bazaar Dinner on Saturday.  They will also be available for sale.  We will have over 25 original and adorable pumpkins set throughout the tables.  The kids used washers, drawer pulls, screws, nails, yarn, ribbon, beads, paint and anything else they could find to decorate their pumpkins. 

What an awesome group of creative kids and their pumpkins.
 Here are our kids with their pumpkins. 

While out shopping on Saturday, Patrick and Reagan decided to try on some hats! 

Bennett spent the weekend with my sister and her husband doing all kinds of fun things like hunting turkeys, canoeing, and gator riding.

Bennett and Uncle Ken canoeing down the Volga River

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Pretty Neat by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch

The buttoned-up way to get organized
and let go of perfection
By: Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch
Published:  October 26, 2010

About the book:

Negative self-image. Fantasy-induced overspending. Marital tension. A new kind of airbrushed concoction is wreaking havoc on homes and psyches, and Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore have a name for it: org porn. It’s in magazines, coffee table books, advertisements, and TV shows, promoting a perfect — and entirely imaginary — world in which everything is always pristine, serene, and flawlessly organized. Pretty Neat is a handbook that embraces the chaotic reality that lies beneath org porn’s glossy veneer, offering pithy anecdotes and candid advice from experts and real women alike on tackling organizational inertia. Most importantly, Pretty Neat insists that women need to stop holding themselves to impossibly high standards, and focus instead on defining their own, realistic organizational goals.

I received an autographed copy of the book from author Sarah Welch and was tickled to find out she is also from Iowa.  I love to organize and I regularly read lots of blogs and websites all about staying organized.  But, I think this book is by far, the best I have read on the subject.  I have read this book over several months because I really wanted to soak everything in and focus on the tips in the book.  PRETTY NEAT isn't unrealistic in its expectations of women.  It expects us to not do everything suggested, it does ask us to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on organizing gadgets, and it gives us real tips from other women just like us.   I guarantee there will be a woman featured in the book that you will say, "Hey, that's me!"  I think I learned the most from their interviews with women throughout the book.  Those real-life examples of what works and what doesn't gave me some excellent ideas to put into place in my home.  For example, I now have a notebook on my counter at all times.  It is a small spiral-bound notebook, not the school notebook size.  I divide the page into two sections listing To Do Now and To Do Soon.  Then I also have a small section for my future blog topics or reviews I need to post.  As I have something that needs to be done, it gets put on the list.  Then I work from that list and as it gets done, I move to the next page and start a new list.  It has helped me stay focused on what needs to be done without clogging up my calendar pages.  I keep my calendar and notebook side by side so I can cross-reference when needed.  There were many, many more ideas that were helpful from the book as well.  You can take a tip and adapt it to work for you.  The book also focuses on being organized at your job.  Maybe your home is organized but your office is a mess.  This book will help you there too.  I literally had 20 pages marked to go back to.

I had several quotes from the book that were helpful to me as well.

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." Stephen Covey

"Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."   George S Patton

"Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes to quickly and not saying no soon enough."  Josh Billings

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.  It was extremely helpful for me and is something I will keep handy and refer to often.  If you want to learn more about Alicia and Sarah, check out their website  There they regularly post tips for staying organized as well as sell products to keep you organized.

I received a copy of the book for review but was not compensated in any other way.  This review is my honest opinion.  I wouldn't review anything that wouldn't benefit myself or my family.  Thanks to Sarah for sending me an autographed copy of this book.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things I Love - Breast Cancer Awareness, a Movie and a Song

Things I Love....................

This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

Today's love is............................Breast Cancer Awareness, A Movie and a Song

I have always been interested in breast cancer awareness and efforts to fund research to combat this disease.  I have had family members and friend battle this disease and win and for that I have hope that this disease will be conquered some day. 

This week I watched a movie on the Lifetime TV network, called FIVE.  This is what Lifetime TV says about the movie:

The groundbreaking original movie “Five” is an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. “Five” highlights the shared experience each short film’s title character endures from the moment of diagnosis, through an interconnected story arc that uses humor and drama to focus on the effect breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis have on relationships and the way women perceive themselves while searching for strength, comfort, medical breakthroughs and, ultimately, a cure.
Directed by Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore, Independent Spirit Award winner Patty Jenkins (“Monster”) and Penelope Spheeris (“Wayne’s World”).

Each one of these short films touched me in a different a mom, a daughter, a friend, and a sister.  I was deeply moved by each one and was brought to tears many, many times.  These really must be watched and I encourage you to tune in this weekend to watch them.  Lifetime will be replaying the movie this weekend on Saturday at 7PM Central and 11PM Central and  on Sunday at 3PM Central.  If these times don't work for you, check out their website for other showings or you can actually watch it online at any time.  Go HERE to watch online or get more information about the film.

Along with Breast Cancer Awareness I wanted to share a song with you.  One of my favorite artists is Martina McBride and her new CD, ELEVEN came out on Tuesday.  Pat surprised me by bringing it home for me yesterday.  One of my favorites from this CD is "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" and is about a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer.  The first time I heard this song, I remember I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day and our local radio station played this "new song" from Martina.  I had to redo my makeup because I messed it up by crying during this song. 
Martina's video encorporates survivors as well as celebrity survivors sharing how people loved them through it.  I dare you not to cry while watching this video. 

Unfortunately, it is very likely we will be affected by breast cancer through someone we know or love.  The more we can give of our money or our time to those who are suffering from this disease, the more chance we have of stopping it before it gets to our children and our children's children. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10 Day Give - Day 10

Yesterday I started the day subbing.  I wasn't scheduled but ended up subbing for my friend who was wishing she wasn't scheduled to sub that morning and since I didn't have anything going on, it did it.

That afternoon I spent time catching up on and finishing my Bible Study.  I really enjoyed the quiet house and the gorgeous breeze blowing through.

Last night I attended our planning meeting for starting up a choir in our church parish.  It looks like I will be giving of my vocal talents in the near future!

Nothing over these last 10 days was life-changing. I don't always think that giving is all about the extraordinary or the jaw-dropping thing that you do.  It is more about how you live your life, carry yourself, speak to others, and show you care.  There was nothing extraordinary in my giving these last 10 Days.  It was just regular everyday stuff that maybe took me a few extra minutes or took some extra effort on my part.  Isn't that really what giving just a little bit extra.  Giving that extra smile, that hug, to let someone know you care. 

We get so focused on the next task, the next practice, the next meal, the next meeting, the next load of laundry that we forget to stop and take the time to notice our neighbor sitting on his porch or the woman sitting alone at church or the child who is especially quiet.  We are so focused on running to the next errand that we forget to smile at the check out clerk or hold the door for someone.  My hope is that this 10-Day Give has inspired you to stop give that little bit extra - your time, your gifts, your talents, your money, your smile, or your kind words. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wine #1 of 40 Before 40 Challenge

While shopping on my birthday with my husband at Target, I noticed this bottle in the wine section.

Beviamo Sparkling Moscato
I LOVE Moscato wines and thought it would be fun to try this out too.  This wine differs from the moscato d'asti because it is more like a champagne.  It is very sweet and has notes of ripe stone fruit, tangerine, and honey.  I could definately taste the fruitiness while drinking it but wasn't sure which fruit until reading about it.  The grapes are hand harvested from their vineyard in Northern Italy.   I purchased it for $12.99 at our local Target.  This is a less expensive champagne wine for that special occasion and perfect for those who like the more fruity sweetness in wines.  I wouldn't hesitate to try their other wine offerings.  Check out for more information.