Archive for the ‘Weekend Reading’ Category


This week I have been trying some yummy recipes that I found on Pinterest. I started with this delicious Pumpkin French Toast Bake from Minimalist Baker. It was perfect for the cool autumn mornings we’ve been having and stored and reheated wonderfully. The only tiny tweak I made to the recipe was to add only 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice because I’m always afraid of ruining a recipe with to much clove or ginger taste. oh and I only let mine set in the fridge for maybe 30min because I missed the part of the recipe about letting it set overnight, but I love the idea of being able to fix it in the evening and just pop it in the oven for breakfast the next morning.

I’d been craving Chinese and a way to get my Husband to eat more vegetables without needing to dip them in BBQ sauce so when I found this great recipe over at Chef in Training for Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli I was totally stoked. It’s a super savorty recipe and made such a easy diner that I hardly had to think about it after I threw the ingredients in the crock pot. I ended up using beef broth instead of consomme because it’s what I had on hand.

And to finish off the week I made a wonderful spin on traditional lasagna… Mexican Lasagna made from a recipe I found at Sugar & Spice by Celeste. It was SO GOOD and the leftovers made lunch quick and painless for the next few days! Since the produce was good this week at the grocery store I used all fresh ingredients instead of canned substitutes.



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After having my daughter I was eager to get back into shape. I’ve always been a fan of workout videos and love to do Yoga from the comfort of my own living room. I checked out a Fitness DVD from my local library just because it looked fun and ended up falling in love with this absolutely beautiful woman named Hemalayaa Bell. Not only was she a charismatic fitness instructor, she also was a sort of spiritual leader and I deeply needed that at the time. The DVD was The Bollywood Dance Workout and I have since purchased my own copy and do it about once a week. That’s why when she announced she was offering FREE online classes through the month of February I jumped at the opportunity to join her and signed up for every single one!

If you don’t know about Tiny Buddha now is the time to head on over and check it out. It’s a wonderful web site full of uplifting and thought provoking blogs to get you through your toughest days. I used to spend hours reading through the compilations of post about Happiness, Peace, Love, Challenges and Change. And I always came away with a sunnier disposition and a new found optimism for the universe.

And finally to wrap it up this weekend I’d like to take a moment to talk about SwagBucks! SwagBucks is my new internet guilty pleasure and if you’re not familiar with it… you should be. Basically SwagBucks is a site compiled of special offers, online surveys and lots of other way to earn SWAG POINTS which you can then trade in for all sorts of gifts and prizes or my personal favorite AMAZON GIFT CARDS! And the best part is it’s perfectly legitimate, safe and Free (plus they reward you for things you already do like search the internet). So if you’re interested in turning your free time into Gift cards you should Click Here and sign up today! (did I mention I made 10 dollars in less than a week? It may not sound like a lot, but that’s a whole 10 bucks more than I had and all I had to do was fill out a few surveys here and there)

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

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The Adventures of Pinky the Giant Orange Clothe Pin is a clever new blog that follows a giant orange clothes pin through it’s travels and day to day life. Told from the perspective of the clothes pin it is a lovely refreshing take on objects in the first person. Pinky takes trips to the park and has play dates with his best friend Dinky (the giant yellow clothes pin) and I’ve heard from an exclusive source that Pinky is headed to San Fransisco with his good friend Pirtle (the giant black clothes pin) this weekend. Sure to become one of your weekly blog favorite keep your eye out for Pinky’s Adventures!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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This week I’ve been trying to save some money (Honestly I’m always trying to save some money) and I came across this great site called Money Saving Mom. It’s a wonderful blog that posts daily about coupon deals, free product promotions, and various ways to save money for your family! I love it and I follow them on Facebook which keeps me absolutely up to date.

I’ve always been drawn to crayola crayons. (hahahahahha drawn *face palm) When I was younger I just loved them. I’d arrange all my crayola sets on my bedroom shelf displaying them artfully to the world and letting everyone know how proud I was of their sharp unused tips. Fast forward 10 years to adulthood and recently I unpacked a box full of unused crayons and had absolutely no idea what to do with them until…   I found this great post over at 52 Kitchen Adventures that I just can not wait to try! All you need is crayons, a blow dryer, canvas/cardboard (some sort of artistic surface), and glue! When I finally get around to giving it a shot I shall share it with you all.

I hope everyone has a completely wonderful weekend!

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He sits helplessly on the ground staring up at the apple thief as it devours its plunder in a near by fir tree. Our poor dog Leon can do nothing to protect the fruits of the family orchard and is left to watch as bits of forgotten apple are dropped carelessly from the branches above. He’s a good guard dog but there is nothing he can do to protect us from the delicate pilfering of a crafty local squirrel.

And on a completely unrelated note: This week we enjoyed Pork and Lentil Stew out of my new crock pot (who’s name is Jasper). I left out the parsnips because I didn’t have any, and substituted a jar of spaghetti sauce for the tomatoes and it turned out wonderfully!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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I’ll admit it, I’m a big fan of Target. I live in a relatively small city and it’s one of the only big stores we have and I frequent it fairly often. What can I say… I enjoy the color red, but this week they did something completely out of the ordinary and didn’t publicize it or catch attention with flashy light, they just did it like it was the most normal thing. Target used a model with down syndrome grouped in with all the other child models… dare I say Included with all the other child models? It was brilliant and beautiful. Plus by not saying anything at all it’s been an incredibly positive campaign that I’m sure has brought lots of business. If you want to see the ad and read a very nice post written by a father of a boy with down syndrome  head on over to Noah’s Dad and check it out.

I found a great site this week through a link posted on Facebook, and if you like word games you’re sure to love it! It’s a vocabulary game where you’re given a word and you have to choose another word that means the same thing… pretty simple, but the real kicker is… for every answer you get right 10 grains of rice are donated to help stop world hunger. FreeRice is run by the United Nations World Food Program and is most certainly worth checking out.

As a child my Mom was always listening to Audio Books. She’d listen while she did the dishes, or while she worked in her studio and always seemed really happy with it. I preferred to read books, to hold their crisp pages in my hands and feel the tight binding as it rested in my palm all the while soaking up the sweet smell of fresh ink on pressed paper, but now I too am a mother and find myself with little time to actually sit down and read books, so when I stumbled across a site called Books Should Be Free and found hundreds of Audio Books to download for Free I decided to give audio books another chance, and you should too! I’m starting out by putting Alice and Wonderland on my ipod today.

Have you found any good links this week?

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I go in and out of being interested in using my photoshop program. Sometimes I’m totally into it and want to learn everything I can, and sometimes I just want my picture to be beautiful all on its own. Well this week I’ve been interested in light leaking, and how to fake it in digital photography. Above is a picture I took on Ford Island off the coast of O’ahu while my husband was in the Navy. I used this great tutorial that I found over at What Katie Does to add a rainbow, leaked light effect and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s super easy so you should give it a try!

I dabble in just about any medium I can get my hands on, and have been pretty passionate on and off about Polymer Clay so when I saw these photos of miniature Fimo food I was absolutely blown away by the how incredible realistic these micro dishes were.

What caught your eye this week?

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What do you do on Thanksgiving to pass the time? In my family we play Nintendo Games, Ping Pong, Apples to Apples and eat lots of chips, dip, crackers and cheese. But to add to all that excitement I found this cute little Thanksgiving Dice game which will be wonderful for children and adults with imaginations still intact! It’s called Roll A Turkey and you can find it over at A Lemon Squeezy Home.  The rules are very loose and basically you can just do what you want with it, but I think we’ll play it as a turn based game where the paper is handed around and each person rolls the dice to find out what part of the turkey they will be drawing. After a few loops around the circle I think we’re bound to end up with some monstrous zombie turkey for sure!

I want to send out a special thanks to Nature’s Baby Organics for being so kind as to allow me to review and giveaway one of their products! The lucky winner of a brand new bottle of Lavender and Chamomile Conditioner is…

Sammi (I will be sending you an email with details today)

Thank you everyone who participated!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Is it really November already?

It feels like 2011 just started, and here we are less than two months from New Years Day.

I can hardly believe it!

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas, and what gifts I’m going to give. I prefer not to spend a whole lot of money if I don’t have to, and if I can get away with making someone their gift that’s even better! But I must say I am a strong believer in only giving handmade gifts if the person is really going to like it. Because otherwise you’re working hard to make something that’s just going to be stowed away and forgotten.

I was recently turned on to this wonderful blog called The Daily Telegraph and this great post about things to do with plastic animals really struck my fancy. There’s one piece in particular where she uses the heads of decapitated plastic animals to make jewelry hooks and I can’t wait to make my own! View that post here.

About a week ago I wanted to surprise my husband with his favorite cookies so I whipped up these super yummy Chocolate Dipped Orange Sugar Cookies I came up with last year! They are really good and can be made with Oranges, Lemons, Limes or even Grapefruit!


Have a wonderful weekend!

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How many times in your life do you get to have a cake with the number 100 on it?

Whatever your answer is I’m going to have to imagine it’s not a lot. So how could I pass up the chance to have the number 100 on a cake just for me?

On February 5th, 2010 I posted my very first blog. It was an ode to the place I grew up and what it was like there. I was currently a newlywed living in Hawaii with my Sailor husband and trying to find something to occupy my spare time.

I used my blog as an outlet, a place to share various childhood experiences from growing up in the rural hills of northern California, and by “childhood experiences” I mean the slightly disturbing inflictions that have made me who I am today and built my slightly deranged yet totally loveable back woods country character.

Having grown up in California and moved to Hawaii my blog was an opportunity to share places and experiences with my friends and family who were unable to visit as often as we would have liked. My new husband and I spend many a weekends driving around the island and visiting places like the Valley of the Temples and the beautiful Byodo-In that was nestled at the base of it.

Then my husband and I conceived our first child and I was able to reach out to other bloggers and mothers to share fears and experiences, and was so happy to overcome my own birthing experience by sharing with it here.

100 posts later I am the mother of an 8.5 months old girl (SweetPea) and celebrated my two year wedding anniversary with my husband in September. We are back in rural Northern California and about to depart on the next chapter in our lives.

I would like to thank everyone who reads my words, whether it has been from the very beginning or just recently I appreciate all your time and support!


Here’s to another 100 posts!

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