Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kathleen Making Pizza at out Local Pizza Restaurant :-)


There is such joy in discovering and learning new things! As you know Kathleen enjoys cooking and when we go to our local pizza restaurant sometimes on the weekends, she enjoys sitting on the stools by their window area and watching them prepare and cook the food. They have noticed her as well and are always interacting and very pleasant to us. Their customer service is amazing! This past weekend they invited Kathleen behind the counter to make her own pizza! She was so excited and it was a memory to last a lifetime! In the picture is Sal, the gentleman who taught her how to make her first pizza from scratch in a restaurant! ;-)


                                         You can watch her in action here on YouTube. :-)


       The pizza is always amazing here and this one was just as delicious!! Great job Kathleen!


She wanted to do something nice back for Sal and his staff members so the next morning she got busy making her red velvet cake from scratch! ;) It's a big hit when she takes it in to Jerry's work.


                                                 She also made her own buttercream frosting :-)


Her next goal was to make it look like a pizza so she colored some of the icing to look like sauce and then grated white chocolate to sprinkle on and make it look like cheese :-)


                                                                 Amazing job Kathleen!!!


Sal was very happy to receive the cake and he said it was Father's Day in Italy and that he was celebrating with his family at dinner that evening. He said he would share the cake there :-)


So proud of you Kathleen for always thinking of others and giving back and for making such an amazing cake!!



I also posted 2 more posts today if you'd like to read them :-)



                                                                            Blessings,
                                                                                 Jill

Book Review for a Great Cause: About the House by Jenny Slate & Ron Slate and Giving Back to Others


I learned about this book reading opportunity from reading a blog post from Katie at Preppy Empty Nester If you haven't visited Katie's blog yet, you'll have to stop by and say hi! She shares a variety of great things and has a wonderful sense of humor and an absolutely gorgeous home :-)

I received this book called About the House by Jenny Slate & Ron Slate for free from Concord Free Press. Basically they give you a free book to read (the book offered will change after they run out of copies of a particular book) In this case this book is no longer available but you can visit their web site for more details on their next one. All they ask in return is you donate to your favorite charity or do a kind deed for someone and then you can share about what you did on their website. Then when you finish reading the book you pass it along to someone else for them to do the same. It's a wonderful concept and I hope you are able to check it out, especially if you enjoy reading :-)


About the House is quite an interesting story written by a father and a daughter about their experiences with this particular home. That may or may not have some hauntings going on... you will have to read it to find out more as I don't want to give a lot away in the story! It was an enjoyable read. :-)

We selected a local humane society to donate to and spent some time visiting the animals while we were there. Resisting the urge of course to adopt them all! :-)


We thought these statues inside were pretty neat too! The Humane Society was very neat and clean and the animals were well cared for. The staff was very friendly and helpful. If only we were able we'd rescue them all! All of our animals we have now are rescues and we wouldn't change a thing!



If you get a chance to participate in this awesome opportunity, let me know :-) I'd love to hear your thoughts on a book and how you are giving back. Be sure to follow up on their web site afterwards and let them know who you helped in return. Have a wonderful day!!!

"At the end of the day it's not about what you have or even what you have accomplished....it's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back"  Denzel Washington

                                                                            Blessings,
                                                                                  Jill

Book Review: Organizing For Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

I have always loved to organize things :-) I think it makes life run so much smoother having everything in place and helps to cut down on stress having to look around to find things,especially when you are in a hurry. When items have a place, everything is able to be put away nice and neatly. :-) Of course before having kids.... organization was a lot easier to keep on top of, lol. After kids it can be challenging so I do my best to teach them good habits so they can carry the tips with them throughout their life.

I always enjoy sharing my tips as well as getting new ideas from other organizers. It's wonderful to get fresh ideas and new perspectives when it comes to organizing. I was contacted about reviewing this book called Organizing For Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller and I was more than happy to read it and write my review. :-)




The author Jane does a wonderful job writing about how to organize items such as clothing, shoes, kitchen items, towels, accessories and more in sensible and effective ways. Jane writes from a single lady's perspective so the book doesn't cover about organizing toys and children's items; however the practices she mentions can work for those items. "Organizing is a lifestyle, but it isn't one-size-fits-all. Incorporating organizing habits into your life shouldn't ultimately, involve changing who you are, but rather maximizing it. Organizing is a lifestyle, but it needs to be your lifestyle" (Stoller, pg.129).

Jane also has a section about organizing and tips for traveling. One of her tips for preventing wrinkles in your clothes that I hadn't heard before was this: "another way to prevent wrinkles is to wrap clothes in tissue paper or put tissue paper between clothing layers". (Stoller, pg.106). Great idea especially for those of you who may be travelling for business.

Overall the book is well written and easy to read and even offers a little quiz to help you determine your organizing style and tips for getting started. It is one that will stay on my book shelf for a reference to refer back to when I need it. :-)

                                                                         Blessings,
                                                                               Jill




           *I received this book for free and all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced*


Sunday, March 19, 2017

St Patrick's Day and Recipe for Irish Cream Cake


My sweet Kathleen always thinks up creative ways to catch that tricky little Leprechaun and somehow he always manages to escape. ;-) I loved her creativity this year and here she is the night before with her new plan all set up and ready to go.



This was what we found the next morning... some mischief with over turned chairs, he also got into the vitamins and avoided getting caught by the trap!!


                                     He made quite a mess and left a little message behind too.  :-)





   However for her efforts he did leave her some gold coins and $5.00!!! A nice little treasure :-)

 If you'd like to read my posts about trying to capture him and her trap  from last year you can find them here and here


I made corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot with onions, carrots and red potatoes. I don't eat red meat but Jerry and Hayley really liked it. It's actually one of Jerry's favorite meals. For Kathleen and I, I cooked chicken, veggies and everyone had a fresh salad as well.



Found a little picture of Kathleen on her first St. Patrick's Day. :-)


Now she's growing up so fast... she had a couple outfits to celebrate St. Patrick's day in for a couple days. :-)




                                              A few of our decorations around the house...



I also made this Irish Cream cake for Jerry to take into work for St. Patrick's Day. I made it very late at night so was a little impatient waiting for it to cool, lol. So overlook the lack of beauty... it was still delicious ;-)


Irish Cream Cake:

3 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups brown sugar firmly packed
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs

GLAZE:

2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
3 Tablespoons water (plus more as need)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Grease bundt pan

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl mix Irish Cream and milk and set aside.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.

Then to the butter mixture, gradually add half the flour mixture, then half the milk mixture. Repeat until well mixed.

Pour batter into prepared pan then smooth batter evenly. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or use a wooden skewer.

Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan, then remove it to plate or serving dish to cool completely.

Meanwhile make the glaze by combining sugar, Irish Cream and 3 tablespoons of water, adding more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth. Drizzle cooled cake with glaze and enjoy!! :-)


                  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by :-)

                                                                             Blessings,
                                                                                 Jill

Thursday, March 16, 2017

On the Mend and Kathleen Plans a Harry Potter Breakfast Party :-)



I'm finally getting a few moments to do a new post. Whatever this virus is, it has not been fun and I haven't felt up to doing very much. On the 27 th of  March I also am having surgery so I'm trying to get rid of the cough, congestion and tiredness before then! I found this quote to be very true and just had to share. Jerry keeps telling me I need to rest so I can get better, but I also know having the surgery I will be down for a bit so I'm trying to get things done before hand. I don't think moms are very good with resting and slowing down, lol.


Kathleen surprised us the other weekend with planning out a Harry Potter themed breakfast. She took most of the following photos of different things she had planned out. As always she did a great job with her amazing creativity and imagination :-) Always puts a smile on my face.

               These were rolled up into scrolls so she set something on them to get good pictures.



In the bucket is some of the wands she made using pencils and Rainbow Loom bands, they turned out really cute, wish I had some better close up pictures of them.


She had signs all over the house to guide us through different things and tied in to what happens in the books and movies. We have the second part of the 7th movie to watch still :-)


                                                 She set the bank up in our guest room :-)


                                          Love this picture, she's so stinkin adorable!!!


           This was to enter the dining room. Have you read and/or seen the Harry Potter movies?


                     She even displayed the secret notes and made the seals on the back herself!





She set the table and told me she could only find my Christmas tablecloth, lol ;-) It works fine though.


                                   She had Jerry help her make spectacle shaped pancakes!!


Here's another photo of her with her wand and the hat she is wearing is the one she made :-) Great job as always Kathleen, wish we had even more pictures of all the activities, but we got wrapped up in the moment. Thank you for such a special breakfast and for always being so thoughtful!! I know you and  Hayley read my blog now and you know how very much I love you and all that you do!!!


Hope everyone is doing well! I'll be visiting blogs today as much as I can. Have a wonderful day!!!

                                                                              Blessings,
                                                                                    Jill

Monday, March 6, 2017

Catching Up and a Recipe for Chocolate Lasagna


The flu has found me these past few days and it has NOT been fun. Ugh... nothing worse then being laid up when you have so many things you want to get done.


Mirabelle has been faithfully by my side as I travel between the bed and my lounge chair.... such a sweetheart :-)


Thought I'd make this a little catch up since not feeling so well. This picture of Kathleen on the cart was from when we were shopping at Lowes to replace the toilets in our house. She was tired of walking and waiting...lol.


The same weekend we were pricing some items to get started on our garden and I came across these harnesses for walking chickens! I was pretty surprised as it hadn't really occurred to me to walk a chicken.... we've talked about the portable yards to move them from place to place during the day... but never to walk them, lol. Has anyone done this with their chickens??? I'd love to hear how it went.


I made this Chocolate dessert for our company a couple weeks ago and it was a big hit so I thought I'd pass along the recipe ;-) No calories of course... LOL

Chocolate Lasagna

1 package, 36 Oreo cookies
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/4 cups milk, plus 2 Tablespoons divided
1 tub of Cool Whip
2 (3.9 ounces) packages of instant chocolate pudding
Mini chocolate chips


Use a food processor to crush up Oreos. (or place in large bag and roll over with rolling pin to smash them up finely)

In a medium bowl pour crumbs in with the melted butter and stir until completely mixed.

Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and use a spatula to press crumbs evenly into dish.

In the same bowl add the cream cheese and beat with hand mixer until fluffy. Add 2 Tablespoons of milk and the sugar and mix well.

Fold in half of the Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookie crust and place in fridge for at least 10 minutes.

While it's setting, in a large bowl add the pudding mixes and 3 1/4 cups milk and beat on medium speed until pudding starts to thicken.

Spread pudding mixture over the cream cheese mixture and put in the fridge to set at least 15 minutes or longer.

Once set spread the remaining cool whip over the top and add the mini chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge or 1 hour in the freezer before slicing.

Enjoy!


Trees are blooming even more around the yard and I love capturing their early blooms!! This is a weeping cherry in our front yard... Jerry's favorite tree :-)


                        Sun was just beginning to rise today as we headed out to the bus stop :-)


Jerry has been so great helping around the house this weekend with the girls and cooking meals and running errands so I could get some rest. I am so very blessed to have him by my side :-) He even managed to go out and start some of the never ending yard work like raking up all the pine needles around the yard and adding it around the base of the trees. Definitely a cleaner look to the front yard and this is just a small section.

You may remember this post from last summer. Kathleen worked hard with my dad and then with Jerry to uncover what was hidden under all that ivy and they rebuilt the brick planter and added mums and more recently tulip bulbs to it. You can now see the green of the mums as they are coming back and soon we hope to see the tulips bloom! I love how it turned out and all the hard work, love, sweat and effort that was put into it :-)

On some sad news something got to one of the ducks and sadly Kathleen was the one to find him dead... pretty traumatic for her. We so love the animals.... The neighbor said he had them for 20 years... but they are always in our yard and 3 stay in our pond all the time. There were 8 total and now to 7. The even sadder thing is there were eggs destroyed right by her so she must have been protecting her nest. So heart breaking....

                                   Hope you all have a great week! Thanks for stopping by!


                                                                          Blessings,
                                                                                Jill