Friday, August 31, 2012

Oh Eugene!!!

I've talked about my cousin, Little J before. She's my 2 year old cousin. Not long ago, we had a "Date" to the mall. You know, to do all the things she enjoys. Riding the rides, shopping, and getting a yummy snack.

Before this little adventure, we were not too close. We just hadn't spent much time together. But I'm super close to her grandma. My 1st cousin. Little J's mom, is my 2nd cousin. Prior to this day, we'd seen each other. Played together. But we weren't super close.

But on the this day, we got to spend a few hours together. Being girls. Little J is all girl! She LOVES princesses, jewelry, and shoes!!! Little J, well she takes a little while to warm up to people. But in just a few minutes, I had the girl chatting away.

We talked about it all. Coloring, train rides, and Eugene. Oh, Eugene!!! Have you ever watched Tangled? If you have, then you know Eugene. Who just happens to be Little J's favorite guy! :)

Since our "Date," Little J and I have met a few more times to play and hangout. We've made trips to the mall, to ride the rides. And may have just had to have lunch, at her favorite place. Um, 4 times. :) But the topic that always comes up, is Eugene.

I got a call from Little J today. To let me know that she was watching Tangled. And playing with the dolls I bought her. And all of a sudden, she puts down the phone. And I hear, "Go Eugene, Go! Go Eugene, Go! You're doing it!" Little J was so excited!

Later, I find out that Eugene was climbing Rapunzel's hair. She was cheering for her "boyfriend." Wow! It was too cute. Do you remember having any "crushes" when you were that young? I just think it's too cute! Little J ALWAYS gives me an update on Eugene. ALWAYS!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fun Finds!!!

We've been spending a lot of time in the SW. Which I'm honestly LOVING!!! It makes for a heck of a lot of traveling. But it's well worth it. :)

I'm doing a lot of the "finishing touches," on our home in my hometown. We've had friends over. And a few of my family members. It's really turning into our "Dream Home." But there are still things we are putting up. Little things we need to buy.

That lead me, to K-Mart. I'm not a regular shopper there. When I was really little, my parents shopped there. But then when I was 5 o 6, we stopped shopping there. I don't know why. It just happened. And over the last 11 years, I've gone for very specific things.

Mostly things in their "Garden Center." Years ago, I like to shop for Martha Stewart home goods. When I can't find a movie, I head there. Once in a while, I find some cute clothes, shoes, or accessories. But it's not a store that I gravitate towards.

We need some sheers, for a very sunny room. I searched everywhere! Online, in stores, anywhere I could think of. Then while talking to my cousin, she told me they had some at K-Mart. Nice ones. For cheap! So I headed over.

My Guy and I spent hours there. Not lying! We bought 6 outdoor chandeliers, some flower baskets, various kitchen goods, our sheers, and I literally stumbled on the "Clearance Toys."

With all my Goddaughters, nieces, and my friends' little girls...I'm ALWAYS on the hunt for some cute toys. I buy stuff, and save it for birthdays and Christmas. Well, I dug around. And I found something.

Fisher Price's Minnie Mouse's House! I know a little girl, who would LOVE it! 2 actually. So we dug around some more. Found 2 more. The sticker said $20. Marked down from $40. I thought it was a decent deal. Nothing to be calling people about. But when we went to pay, it was $10!!! Yes, we got 3, for less than the regular price of 1!

When we got home, I looked up the toy. Found out they are back ordered until February 2013. What? I wrapped one up for a birthday present. Another for a Christmas present. And the 3rd, I took out of the package. My little cousin J, was coming over for a visit. And we don't have many toys around here.

Well, she adored it! Played for almost 2 hours with it. And only stopped when we went outside to the pool. I think it was a great hit. And a lesson learned by me. ALWAYS go check out random stores. For their "Clearance" section. Not just your favorite Target. :)

I headed back to another K-Mart. The next morning. Since I let Little J have the house. And I picked up 2 more. Along with some princess dolls, Bratz dolls, and a few tea sets. I felt like I was robbing the place. Literally 25 toys, for under $100. I'm well on my way to completing my "Christmas List" early! ♥

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stunning Shawl: Week 2

Hi everyone! Welcome to "Week 2" of our "Crochet Along!" This is the week, we actually crochet. That is exciting, all by itself!

Our goal for this week, is going to be to work rows 1-9. That means we're starting our Stunning Shawl. And working a second "section." Not too bad. And this will allow us all to ease into our projects. I know school has started for most kids/people. This should be an achievable goal for the week.

I got a few questions this week. All about yarn. Individually, I answered the questions. But I thought I'd post something about it here. I was asked if you could use the "One Pounder," from Lion Brand. As in the "Baby Yarn." Yes, you can. It will make your shawl a little more "delicate." Probably a little smaller, and lighter as well. You might also have to go down a size in hook. Just to make your work look neat.

And I've gotten a few comments about Red Heart's large skeins of "Super Sport." That would also be a great way to go. Then you wouldn't have to hide extra threads, from connecting the 2 skeins of yarn.

Remember, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to contact my Mom or I. You can also e-mail us at CraftyMomLoves (at) aol (dot) com. Or SweetNightingaleSing (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also send us pictures, of your shawls. That's always fun to see! Have a wonderful week. And we'll see you next Sunday!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Counting Our Blessings

This has been such a busy weekend. Good and bad. We've enjoyed lots of "Q-Time" with our friends. But then there was some tragedy near us. We're all praying for the family. And the families of the Empire State Building shooting. Wow! It's just been so up and down lately.

It makes what this man does for a living, seem a little...well "unimportant" this morning. His words, not mine. When you see the "Real World" crashing down around you, sometimes it just makes you think. But we're trying to get our heads on straight.

This guy has to work tonight. Not tomorrow. Like during a "usual week." It kind of throws off our schedule. But that means we have tomorrow off. And what are we going to do? Have a "Date Day," in Tennessee. Should be fun!

Until then, this guy is clowning around. We're watching Baby C this morning. As her momma, isn't feeling well. And well, this Nono is having a blast! Singing this song to her...

And she just thinks it's that best thing ever! I've got to admit, it's fun to watch him sing and dance around. With not a care in the world! Because tonight, he will be very serious, at work. And I'll probably be having a blast with Baby C. Maybe we might get a little nap in too!

But more than anything, today is about counting our blessings. With all these tragedies that are happening, and knowing that my own grandma is experiencing some health issues, we must count our blessings. Our family could really use your prayers right now.

God is GREAT! We just need to believe in him. And remember he is here, to help us carry our hardships. Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

What a Good Day!!!

Today was one of those days, that I'm just grateful for. You see, we travel at least 40 weeks a year, for this man's job. Honestly, at times, it's a bit overwhelming.

The weeks usually go like this. Monday we wake up exhausted. It's our ONLY day off. And we usually stay in bed 'til noon. I'm not going to lie, sometimes later. Then we laze about the house. I make a HUGE meal. And we catch up on our favorite TV shows, and movies. Tuesdays we are back to work. I leave the house at 3AM for work. At the hospital. This guy heads into work, around 8AM. We're lucky, to both get home before 10PM. Lucky! Wednesday is usually a repeat. I also have to cram in study time, family time, and a little work (that pays MY bills).

Thursdays are ALWAYS a whirlwind. I leave at the same maddening hour! I get off at noon, sometimes 2PM. Rush home. Quickly pack our bags. And we're leaving on an airplane before dinner time. This is usually the ONLY day, that we eat out. If not, we wouldn't eat!

Fridays usually leave this guy working. Say 7AM to 6PM. Give or take, depending on what he's doing. Saturdays, he works 7AM to 4PM. And Sundays, he's working 7AM to 5PM. Give or take. Some weeks are different. But most are like this.

And on the weekends, I tend to get most of my studying done. Most. I write papers, do research, all that good stuff! And I hangout with this gal. Who also happens to be My Bestie. And get lots of "Q-time" with Baby C!!!

But rarely if ever, do we leave "where our guys work." You see, we stay in some pretty fancy "Homes on Wheels." Also known as "Motor Homes." And we stay in them, all weekend. Hanging out. Cooking. Napping. Things like that.

This week, I was dying to do something fun. Something out of our "Comfort Zone." I wanted to go hiking. And hiking we went!!! I also convinced some other friends of ours to go. We called in lots of sitters, for the kiddos. Let the guys know, they were on their own for meals. All day long! And we headed out.

It was magical!!! The mountains were AMAZING!!! The fresh air, felt so good. And the workout, left my body craving more. We also got to have lots of "Girl Time." With friends, that we don't usually spend this much time with. We laughed. Ate. And just had a good time.

It was something we don't do often. Something I truly wish, we'd do more often. Because, we all do so much for our men. And rarely take the time to "Recharge Our Own Batteries." Today was definitely that kind of day.

And when we got back, our men had cooked us dinner. Got the kiddos cleaned up, and in their PJs. Oh, and our "Homes on Wheels," were still in one piece. Yes, I don't think we could have asked for much more.

Our friends left about 30 minutes ago. I've taken a steaming hot shower. And just sat down. Waiting for this guy, to finish up my little treat...

Yes, that would be an "Orange Soda Float." A new LOVE of mine! Perhaps I can also convince him to give me a massage. And maybe watch some sappy movie. Because this man's girlfriend, is in a pretty good mood tonight. And is hoping for an early night. Yes, our Friday was pretty wonderful! How was yours? ♥

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Little Secret

Apparently, I've been holding out on you. And you. And you too! I totally forgot to blog about this. And recently, my friend Annie, reminded me of it!

You see, about a year and a half ago, I went to Walgreen's. I went to transfer my Dad's prescriptions there. We were having some issues with the pharmacy, he had been using. While I waited for his prescriptions, I went to look through the makeup. Particularly, the nail polish. Revlon's was on a BOGO. And I had a coupon!!!

Well, I totally got caught up, in searching for other things, and was startled when my name was called. So I quickly picked up 2 nail polish colors. Liked the colors, but didn't notice anything else.

After getting everything home to my parents, I headed to the hotel, where I was staying. Exhausted! I quickly polished my nails, hung my hands over the edge of the bed. And went to sleep.

The next morning, I smelled raspberries. But couldn't figure it out. The color was Raspberry Rapture. I got ready, and as I was putting on my makeup, I smelled it again. That day, I must have asked 10 people, if my nail polish smelled like raspberries.

That night, I polished a second coat. And this guy asked if my nail polish smelled like raspberries. Yes, that's what it was. I LOVED the color, the slight scent, and the price. With my coupon, I actually made $1 on every bottle. Um, I went back, and bought all of them!

I thought I had blogged about these polishes. But when I met Annie recently, I realized I hadn't. I don't even know what we were talking about. Or how we got on the subject, of my nail polish. But I told Annie about my little discovery.

She told me it wasn't on my blog. And we searched and searched. Sure enough, nowhere to be found! So I started writing. And over the next 2 days, I was talking to everyone about these nail polishes. Including my Mom. Who LOVES to do her nails! I'm pretty sure, I just sold Revlon at least 20 bottles!!! Funny how that happens. I guess it's better to share with you all late, than never at all. Now let me think of what else, I've missed telling you about... ♥

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Be Our Guest

I have to admit something here. I'm a HUGE "Beauty and the Beast" fan. HUGE!!! It doesn't matter if we're talking Disney, or the Fairy Tale. There's just something about the story, that has always melted my heart. :)

When I was 8 years old, Disney's version was all over town! I was in love! Made this guy's mom, take me 20 or more times, to see the movie. I made my poor parents eat at Pizza Hut every single week. So I'd get the Beauty and the Beast puppets and puzzles.

Heck, when my parents got their cabin, I knew what my room was going to be decorated like. Can you imagine? I had the bedding, dolls, pictures, books, and even a lamp! I was in heaven!!! And over the last 11 years, watched my VHS, until I was sure, you couldn't watch it anymore.

So this year, when it came out in DVD, I snatched 1 up. Actually, My Guy bought me 2, and I had already bought 1. :) Little did I know, Little K, and my cousin J would fall in love too! And since I've been enjoying some good "Family Time" lately, can you imagine what we've been doing?

Well, when I'm home, Little K and I have watched our favorite movie many, many times. Then I found a few toys. Including this one. That I just had to buy!

Oh ya! I did. :) And it's helped host hours, and hours of fun! Then when I headed home to the SW, I bought another. For our home. And when my little cousin J came over, she was in love!!! It didn't hurt, that we had a few goodies from the Disney store too.

Yes, our little tea set, has been one fun toy! Brought me back to being 8 years old. And has helped me, to connect with the "younger" generation. Oh, there may have also been a little library recreating. And maybe, a little dressing up too!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Not going to lie here. I've been in a bit of an "amigurumi" mood lately. Like for the last 2 months. I've been making all sorts of things. Everything from fun toys, to yummy food.

Today, I was chatting with My Guy 's sister, K. She was telling me, that Little K is all about ice cream right now. I know what you're thinking. All kids love ice cream. But this girl, is a little obsessed. She wants to make everyone, a nice treat. All the time.

So I was thinking. There has to be some fun ice cream crochet patterns out there. Something I could make. And she'd enjoy playing with. Something that didn't involve "real" ice cream. All it's calories. And mess. Look what I found. :)

This afternoon, I whipped up all the parts for 6 cones. I just need to put them together. Which would mean a quick run to the store. I'm all out of stuffing. :( But honestly, this is such an easy pattern! You have to try it out. I'm sure your little ones will enjoy it too!

Bestest Burger Ever

Are you like me? You LOVE burgers. Especially in the summer. When grilling is the ONLY way to cook. Well, in my opinion. :) I try to come up with different "recipes" all the time. I experiment a lot! And I'm grateful, that My Guy enjoys trying new things too.

Actually, I was wondering what in the world, I was going to make for dinner tonight. And then, I came across this recipe. Oh, how I LOVE Gooseberry Patch! And their Free Recipe of the Week! Because this sounded way too good. We had to try it out!!!

Bestest Burger Ever

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. dried basil
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
1/4 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
6 slices American cheese
6 onion rolls

Mix together beef, onion, salt, pepper and basil. Add teriyaki sauce, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; mix well. Divide into 6 patties. Grill to desired doneness; top with American cheese. Serve on onion rolls. Makes 6 sandwiches.

OK, that isn't the burger in the picture. But I needed a picture. And I'm still suffering from my "Food Coma." Yes, that is how good, this recipe is! There is just something fun, and interesting, about the different flavors. Things I would have never put together. Oh, and I made some sweet potato fries. And a little fresh fruit salad.

It was so delish, that immediately, I put on my PJ pants. Because, I ate way too much! Then we snuggled up, for a good movie. You know, after a meal like this, you don't want to do much. Just relive the delicious meal. Over and over!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012


This has been the roughest Summer, I've had in a long while! I know I put on a brave face. I smile at everything. Tell people everything is roses. But it's been tough! So much so, I debated not taking classes this semester. I'm just worn out. Between my health, trying to help my parents, and our constant traveling...I'm barely above water.

To be honest, I really didn't want to go back to school either. I'm just "Burnt the Heck Out!" And tired. Exhausted! Yes, it's exhaustion at this point.

I started doing all the paperwork, to take a semester off. Yes, at this point of my program, I have to ask for permission, to take time off. Had the envelopes addressed. All that stuff. Then on my way to the Post Office, I made a quick stop. And I found these...

Yes! And so much more! And it got me thinking about school again. How I can suck it up. I can do this. I have just enough money, to cover my down payments, books, supplies, insurance for my internships, and all that good stuff.

I decided to do this again. I figure, if it's too much, I have until the end of September to withdraw. If my health doesn't get better. If my parents need me. If I'm spread too thin. I've got around 6 weeks, to make this decision.

And for me, maybe it was the school supplies that encouraged me. Maybe it's what I needed. Just that little push. You know, to get me motivated again. Because honestly, this "defeat," is not part of my character. I'm just praying for another good semester. Because sometimes, being a "Grown Up," is really hard work. ♥

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stunning Shawl: Week 1

Welcome Back! It's "Week 1" of our little "Crochet Along." My Mom and I are impressed by all the interest!!! Looks like everyone likes the Stunning Shawl. As of this morning, we have 59 people signed up. Yay!!!

This week, we're starting off easy. You just need to print out this pattern. And buy your supplies. You'll need a size H (5.5mm) hook. And 2 skeins of your favorite yarn. About 14 oz.

I went with a new yarn. I have no clue what it's called. I know it's by Red Heart. But the wrappers were all taken off of the yarn. It's not the "regular" Red Heart "Super Sport." Something new, that Wal-Mart had. And it's super soft! I bought 2 skeins of plum.

Next week, we start our crocheting. :) Just wanted to start off easy. If you have any questions, or still want to sign up, leave my Mom or I a comment. And we can't wait to see you next week!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fishy Fun

I think by now, you know that this guy and I, are quite hilarious! Looking for fun items for our homes. So it shouldn't shock you, that I got an e-mail from this guy...with this picture...

"Perfect for Florida!" I've got to say this much, this man has a GREAT sense of humor. But this time around, he's not kidding. You see, he's had his home in Florida for 10+ years now. Last February, he decided that it needed some love. And upgrading. And after we were there in July, the work has begun.

Yes, we've worked on lots of things together. Made plans. I've flown out there a few times. Work is going great! And everything is going to be super fun. A little different from our "normal" tastes. But definitely fun!

This sink, just makes me laugh! Could you imagine what people will think? Well, I guess we don't have to wonder. Because this guy, just ordered something similar. A little larger. But similar. And where on Earth did he find his inspiration? On Pinterest! See what happens, when he's 1000s of miles away from me. And here I thought, he'd be having late nights with his buddies. ♥

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oh Lion!

We are currently surrounded by babies. No lie! Between My Guy's family, friends, and co-workers. Then you have my family, friends, and co-workers. I swear, it's like it's "Raining Babies!"

But it's definitely a good thing! I LOVE babies!!! Why else, would I want to be a pediatrician? I especially LOVE snuggling up, with all these tiny babies. Smelling them. I swear, someone needs to bottle up the "Newborn Smell!"

I also LOVE to make stuff for the little ones! Ask anyone that knows me. Including the hospitals where I work. I make everyone, something. The kiddos at work, get some sort of amigurumi toy. Little ones that I know, are showered in all things baby! Sweaters, booties, hats, blankets, and toys. So when I took a minute to look around Stitch 11 again, I about died!!!

Just look at this hat! Oh my goodness! I don't even know where to begin. Or how to put it into words. But I just have to make one. OK, maybe 10! Definitely, Little Nephew will be getting one. And so will my little cousin. Now when can I start crocheting?

Busy-Day Lasagna

I have a little confession to make here. I LOVE Italian food! The real stuff. My grandma, was Italian, so I know real, and good food, when I see it. And more importantly, when I taste it!

But sometimes, you just don't have the time for it. The good stuff, always takes hours and hours to make. And let's face it, most of us are really busy. All the time! I myself, have come up with some ways to try and accommodate our busy schedule. Like doubling or even tripling the amount of sauce I make at once. Then I freeze the leftovers. Makes for a super easy spaghetti dinner, on a busy night.

I've also grown to LOVE lasagna rolls. Pretty much you boil the lasagna, make the filling, then roll everything up. Place the rolls in a baking dish, and cover with your favorite sauce, and cheese. Yum!

But there is also a new idea in town. Well, maybe not so new. I first heard about it on one of Rachael Ray's shows. About 5 years ago. You use ravioli to make a quick lasagna. Now I've seen it done, many times. On TV. But I've never tried it.

Then I read this week's Gooseberry Patch, Recipe of the Week. Um, hello! I knew I had to try it out! And it's super easy. Definitely what I needed last night. :)

Busy-Day Lasagna

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 to 1-1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 26-oz. jars favorite pasta sauce, divided
2 25-oz. pkgs. frozen sausage and cheese ravioli, divided
12-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained, divided

Combine cheeses in a bowl; set aside. Spread a layer of sauce in a lightly greased "13x9" baking pan. Arrange a layer of ravioli on top of sauce. Spread a layer of spinach on top. Add a layer of cheese mixture, completely covering the spinach. Spoon some sauce over cheese. Repeat all of the layers, ending with a layer of cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce has reduced a little. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

So we're pretty lucky. Around here, we have a cute Italian shop. That has tons of fresh ravioli every day. I picked up our favorite. And thawed some of my yummy sauce. In no time, we had a yummy meal. Salad and dessert included! I also picked up some crusty Italian bread. :) You have to have some. It's the ONLY way to soak up the sauce. :)

What a super easy meal! That tasted like it took hours to make. Honestly, besides a quick run to the store, it took 5 minutes to put together, and in the oven. Yum! This is definitely going to be a regular on our "rotation."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Perfection in a Suitcase!

The one thing you should know about My Guy and I is, we're hilarious! We have a funky style. And we are always looking for fun items. Things that are "outside the box." And just different.

This could be why, our homes are taking forever to finish up! We want unique pieces. But also pieces that are inviting, and comfortable. Do you know what I mean? This has meant, ordering lots of things. And I swear to you, every single time I get on Pinterest, there is trouble. Because, then we want a million more things, for our homes...

We're getting close to being finished. Close. But there are still some key pieces missing. Things that just make our space, well "ours!" And like I said, I troll Pinterest, blogs, any place I can think of, for inspiration. That's where I found this chair!!!

And oh, I want one. For our library. How fun would that be? To put next to a window. And get lost in a good book. Oh my goodness! Hello!!! I even have the perfect suitcase. So I called up Joe, to see if he could help a girl out. And he said yes!!! Now I'm just wondering, when I can sit in my new chair? Can you tell how happy I am?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Crochet Along: Stunning Shawl

Do you remember when I told you about a new "Crochet Along?" Well, my Mom and I have been debating a pattern, for about a month now. I know! But there are so many choices. We thought about something with thread. Because she's awesome at it! Me, not so much!

Then we thought about an amigurumi project. You know, because I've now got her addicted to the stuff! Or maybe something for Fall. Maybe something to decorate with. Something for our homes.

But there was this one pattern, that we just kept going back to. One that was calling us. One that we couldn't resist. That would be, Red Heart's Stunning Shawl!

Do you love it? Do you want to be a part of our little "Crochet Along?" Well, you just have to leave my Mom or I a comment. Or an e-mail. My Mom's e-mail address is CraftyMomLoves (at) aol (dot) com. And mine is SweetNightingaleSing (at) gmail (dot) com.

That's it! From the time we start crocheting, to the end of the project, should be 6 weeks. Every week, we'll post a "goal." You are welcome to work past it. And it's OK, if you don't work quite as fast as our "goal."

This is just going to be a fun little group, all working on the same project. A cute shawl, that should come in handy this Fall. If you're like us, you're still battle the high 90s, and random triple digits. But soon enough, it will be cool. The perfect weather for this shawl.

We hope to see you next Sunday! Don't forget, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us. Now, or when we start our projects. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What a Cute Zebra!!!

One of the dietitians that I work with, is expecting twin girls. In December. How exciting! And she's been asking me about different things, that I could make for her girls. Which makes me so excited! One thing that she asked for, was 2 Zebra hats. Since the girls are going to be born in the winter. She wants something cute, and warm. :)

I started searching. And kept finding basic hats, that are just black and white. Some have little ears. But nothing too exciting. Then I stumbled on this cutie! I do think the nose makes the entire hat! And that hair!!!

Immediately, I sent the picture to Amber. She LOVES it! She doesn't care if I make them pink. Or the more "traditional" black and white. So I'm going to try both.

Anyway, whatever Amber doesn't get, I can sell to another friend of ours. That is obsessed with all things Zebra. OBSESSED!!! I can just imagine if she saw this. She'd order it immediately. For her cute granddaughter! ♥

Mom's Blackberry Jam

I have something to admit. I'm a HUGE fan of berries. All berries. And of homemade jams, jellies, and preserves. I've only made them a handful of times. With My Guy's grandma. She is so good at it! Never uses recipes. And ALWAYS comes up with wonderful treats for us!

For a while now, I've wanted to make my own. And just couldn't think, of what type I'd make. I bought some apricots last week. Then I ate them all! :) Then I tried raspberries. Oh, but those were delish too!

As you can tell, I've had this on my mind,m for a while now. My Mom and I, had also been talking about making some preserves. Maybe peach. Because one of their employees, brought them a few sacks of peaches. Yum!

Well, all of this made more sense, when I saw this week's Gooseberry Patch, Free Recipe of the Week. Blackberry Jam! I immediately knew, I had to make it. I ran to the store, bought all the blackberries I could find. And when this guy got home from work, we had jars and jars of Blackberry Jam!!!

Mom's Blackberry Jam

4 c. blackberries, washed and hulled
4 c. sugar
4 1/2-pint canning jars and lids, sterilized

Place blackberries in a large Dutch oven; just cover with water. Bring to a rolling boil; add sugar. Boil until mixture drips thickly from a wooden spoon, about 30 to 45 minutes. Spoon into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims; secure with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes; set jars on a towel to cool. Check for seals. Makes 4 jars.

So let me be honest with you, it was wonderful! Super easy to make. And if you've ever wanted to try your hand at canning, this would be the recipe to try. It's ridiculously easy! And delish!

Oh, and it doesn't hurt, that I have a GREAT history with blackberries. Growing up, our neighbors had a HUGE blackberry bush. For days and days, maybe even weeks, my friend and I would eat blackberries. Straight from the bush. We didn't bother washing them. They were that good, and sweet!

Now that I have this under my belt, I think I'm going to try some more. I'd LOVE to make some strawberry preserves. Or apple butter. And my Mom wants to try something with those yummy peaches. Oh Gooseberry Patch, I think you created a "Canning Monster!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Little Confession...

As I'm laying in bed, I'm starting to realize something. A little shocking and surprising to me. I've developed a bit of an addiction. To Knott's cookies...

It doesn't matter the flavor. Just that they are Knott's. When I was in high school, I used to buy these. A few times a week. From the vending machines. It was definitely a treat. One that I looked forward to. All the time! There was just something about that buttery cookie. And that sweet jam. Makes a girl smile, just thinking about it.

Well, the other day, I was super busy. And had no time to eat. It was 3PM, and I hadn't had a thing to eat! When I ran to the gas station, and then had to run in to get a receipt, I took a quick look around. I was starving! So I picked up a lemonade and some nuts. Then I turned around, to see these cookies staring at me!

I couldn't help myself. I bought 5 bags. I'm not proud to say this, but I ate all 5 bags, within days! Days I tell you! Then I had to make a quick run to Costco. And I just thought, "They have to have my cookies here." After loading up on fruit, veggies, and paper goods...I headed to the snacks. And found my favorite cookies!

That leads us to tonight. For about 2 weeks now, I've gone to bed with a book...and some cookies. Yes, I know! But I can't help myself. I've added another 1/2 mile to my daily run. And I skip my mid-morning snack. Just for this sweet treat!

My Guy, thinks I'm hilarious! But I really can't help myself. And I've promised myself, after I finish this box...I will not buy anymore. Because I can't control myself. Maybe in 6 months...I'll buy myself some more. But no sooner! Because honestly, I could gain 100 lbs very easily!!! ♥

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We've been working really hard, on our home. In my hometown. Trying to make it "complete." There are a few things, that I've really got my heart set on. Things that I've ALWAYS wanted!

One of those is a "Rose of Sharon." In my hometown, they are everywhere. In beautiful shades of pink, white, purple, red, and blue. I've ALWAYS wanted one. Wished and wished for one. And now, we're going out to the nursery. To pick up 9!!!

We have the perfect little garden area. Outside our library. That I'm turning into a flower garden. A little oasis to sit, and soak up "Nature's Beauty." I can't wait to see what happens, when everything is in. And growing well. Oh, I just love beautiful flowers!!! ♥

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Fun!

Last month, I blogged about "Island Coral." It's such a pretty color! I've actually, absolutely fallen in LOVE with 2 colors, from Sinful Colors. "Island Coral" and "Cinderella."

I've worn "Island Coral" pretty much since I bought it. I LOVE that it's soft. And more on the pink side, than orange. And this week, I'm trying out "Cinderella." It's a beautiful blue/aqua color. Reminds me of the tropical blue oceans. Oh so pretty! With just a hint of sparkle. Not crazy, chunky glitter. Just some sparkle. That catches the light, so softly. Perfect for some Summer fun!

While hunting for a picture of the nail colors, I've come to realize something. I'm not alone. There are tons of women out there, that are in LOVE with these 2 colors! They're not your "typical" bright Summer colors. But not pastels either. Some beautiful mixture of the 2!!!

For me, I was just looking for something fun. A color other than pink. And white. I'm pretty sure, everyone is sick of seeing my nails, painted white. So I picked up 2 colors. Colors that I wouldn't normally wear so much. But I'm so glad that I bought them. :) They've made my Summer, so much more fun and colorful!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


You should know something about me. Growing up, we had cable. 100+ channels. We were cool. Because it was the 1980s. And most of my friends, didn't have cable. When I moved out, I NEVER got cable. I couldn't afford it. There I said it. I was a college student, quickly becoming a medical student. Who was supporting herself. Did I mention? I didn't just move out of my parents' home. I moved 3+ hours away. And bought a house!

So I NEVER got caught up in the Hallmark or Lifetime movies. Maybe I should have. But I just didn't have the time. Or the money. Yes, I've dated men who had cable/satellite/digit. Heck, we've got 300+ channels now. And honestly, there is little time to watch TV, now when I've got a few hundred channels to watch. When I do watch TV, it's usually on the computer. Yup, I catch up on my shows, weeks later. Lame, but true.

Another thing you should know is, we are movie people. Big time! We travel A LOT!!! And with that, we have very unpredictable schedules. We honestly end up in places, that sometimes don't even have cellphone reception. Places where our internet connections, are similar to the ones we had in 1988. Yup!

Therefore, we watch a lot of movies. Always have a few good ones, on hand. And a few new titles. But Friday night, this guy totally shocked me! You see, we're in the middle of nowhere. But by some miracle, we have cable. And our friends, who usually come over for dinner, decided to stay in. So we were on our own. And this guy, had the idea to watch a movie on the Hallmark channel! I know!!!

I quickly whipped up some snacks, soaked in the sound of pouring rain outside, and settled in for a long snuggle with my favorite guy! It's probably the longest amount of time, we'll have all weekend, to just "be together." And that movie we watched was..."The Engagement Ring."

Such a cute movie! A somewhat "Italian version" of Romeo and Juliet. It had some history, of 2 families, who had once been friends. But a misunderstanding, made the 2 families fight for decades. Now, a younger generation is involved, and falling in love. As the "real story," from decades ago, works it's way out.

Really, this is such a cute movie! One that I'm glad, My Guy suggested. Who knew? Usually, I save these types of movies, for nights when I'm crafting with my Mom. It was definitely a nice change of pace for us. Something we're definitely going to have to do again. :)

I'm sure, this guy will agree to it. As long as I don't make him, watch something too sappy. And we ended our night, talking about what we're going to do, when we get home. Home...I miss you! So much. We miss you!!! And I can't wait to crawl into our HUGE and comfy bed again!!!

Wise Owl Tote Bag: Week 5

And it's our final week! :) Are your bags looking cute? Why am I asking? So many of you, have sent me the most adorable pictures! And I'm inspired to make a few more bags. Because I want to try your color combinations. Please keep sending me your pictures! :)

This week, Cari reminded me that she starts school in 8 days!!! I guess it's a good thing, that we're almost done with our Wise Owl Tote Bags! This week, all we have to work on, is the heart. The one that goes in the middle. And well, if you need to catch up, this is the week to do it!

I also received lots of e-mails, about how I've sewn on the various pieces. Well, with the eyes, I sewed the buttons on the "white part." Then attached that part of the eye, to the larger piece. That larger piece, is the part that I actually attached to the bag itself. If you try to sew from the largest to the smallest, it gets a bit "bulky." And the inside of your bag, can look a bit messy.

Now for the beak, don't over stuff it. That will make it too "bulky" for this project. I then sewed the end shut. Making it slightly flat. When it's sewn together, it's easier to attach to the body.

Once I attached the beak to the body, I didn't like how it "bobbled" around. So I tacked the entire beak down, from the inside of the bag. I did this, in a small triangle. Smaller than the size of the beak, so the stitches stay "hidden."

I hope that everyone has enjoyed this "Crochet Along!" I'm already planning our next one. With my Mom!!! And if you have any questions, please send me an e-mail at SweetNightingaleSing (at) gmail (dot) com. Or leave Cari or I a comment.

I hope you enjoy your Wise Owl Tote Bag! I know I've enjoyed making mine. And know, a very special little girl, is going to LOVE my finished bag too! ♥

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hello Princess!!!

It's been a little rainy around here. OK, really rainy. And we're in the middle of Nowhere, PA. It's beautiful. But really, we're in the middle of nowhere. And this guy, has a full schedule today. Which means, I have to find ways to entertain myself.

For once, I completely went through my e-mail, associated with my good 'ol blog! Thanks to everyone who writes me. I wish I had more time to do this. But I'm so glad, to finally get through all my e-mails.

Somewhere in there, was an e-mail from a co-worker. She's expecting twin girls, in December. And asked me, if I could make some fun things, for her girls. My brain went into overdrive, and the list is now 25 items long. I guess I should e-mail it back to her. And find out what ideas she likes. :)

But during my search, I found 2 wonderful things. A new crochet blog, Stitch 11. That I'm in LOVE with! And this cute pattern.

Hello princess crowns! About 7 years ago, I made a few crowns. With the cutest pattern. Then I lost the pattern. :( And I've spent all this time looking for another. This one, is just too adorable! And for a baby. I've got some coral and pink yarn, the colors of the nursery. So I'm going to try my hand at 2. While watching the rain. And waiting for my bestie to come by. Or this guy to come back home! Happy Saturday!

Golden Macaroni & Cheese

I don't know about you. But I LOVE me some mac 'n cheese!!! Seriously, you'd think I was 3 years old. :) I try not to make it too often. Because I'd be the 400 lb woman!

I have 1 recipe, that I turn to every single time, I'm craving mac 'n cheese. 1 recipe, that is my absolute favorite. Never fails me. And is just perfect! But I also like to try new recipes. Look for a little twist on my mac 'n cheese.

When I opened up Gooseberry Patch's Free Recipe of the Week, my smile couldn't have been any bigger! This was a perfect match, with our BBQ chicken last night. You definitely need to try this recipe!

Golden Macaroni & Cheese

10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. mustard
1/8 t. pepper
3 c. elbow macaroni, cooked
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 c. French fried onions

Blend soup, milk, mustard and pepper in a lightly greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Stir in macaroni and 1-1/2 cups cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and onions; bake 10 additional minutes. Serves 4.

Let's just say, this guy was a little unsure of the recipe. While he watched me put it together. But when we dug into the pan, he was all smiles. So was this guy. Who finished off the pan. :)

This is definitely different from the norm for me. About the only things that were similar, were the macaroni, milk, and cheese. But I have to say this, all the flavors worked well together. Made it interesting, without overwhelming. It was delicious. And you can bet on it, I printed out this recipe. And added to our "Favorites!"

Friday, August 3, 2012

Spanglish...Long Time No Watch

There's this movie, that all my friends have been telling me to watch. Especially Selena. And for whatever reason, I've never really searched it out. I don't know why. Because the storyline has ALWAYS interested me. And well, I really do trust my friends.

I have this list of movies, that I eventually want to watch. Because I've heard amazing things about them. Or because my friends and family recommend them. I have this list, and when movies go on sale, I always look for these titles. ALWAYS! It's how I've found many of my favorite movies! But somehow, Spanglish NEVER seems to be around when I'm looking for it.

Well, the Mr. is off working today. All day long! Doing what he does best. My Bestie is staying in. Because Baby C, isn't feeling too well. And me? Well, I'm bored out of my mind!!!

So I decided, that I need to work on a few crochet projects. Like my cousins' baby gift. She's having a little boy, at the end of the month. And I missed her Baby Shower. :( Second one for her, second one I miss. So I feel like, I really need to step up my game, with the gift.

And I got to work. I got to work, and then turned on the TV. Searching for something to watch. And what did I run across? Spanglish! Oh my goodness!!! It's the cutest movie ever!!!

Maybe because I'm Hispanic, I relate better. But for whatever the reason is, I just fell in LOVE with this movie. So I text this guy. And told him, that we NEED to watch Spanglish together. Remember, he was at work.

Well, not 2 minutes later, I get an e-mail. It was a confirmation. Because this guy, ordered it. Looks like we'll be having a "Movie Night" this week. And I can't wait!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cutest Animals Ever!!!

I don't know about you, but I'm a very indecisive person. It takes me weeks, sometimes months, to buy something. I have to look at it, research, debate if I really want it. It's sorta a pain in the butt.

For example. Every single time, I go to a craft store, I look at this book. "Easy Crochet Critters." I even put it in my basket. Then when I get to the register, I decide not to buy it. Well, not too long ago, I went shopping with my Mom. And I debated this book again. Even with my coupon. Making this book $2...

I think my Mom had had enough with me. She bought me the book. And you know what? I think it's my favorite crochet book ever! There are so many cute patterns in this book. Definitely worth the cost. And the best part, they are super easy to make! I whipped up a lion, elephant, hippo, giraffe, and monkey in one night! The monkey is by far, my favorite animal of the bunch! The face of the lion is also to die for!!!

So I've taken this book, and created a few different gifts. A musician I used to work with, has a little girl. That just turned a year old. I made her 5 animals, whipped up a little bag, and bought her an animal book. She LOVED it!

Then a friend of ours, also has a little girl that's turning a year old. I made a few different animals, and pretty much made her the same gift. I whipped up a few, to send to another cousin. Who just had a baby. And I have a list of kiddos, I still want to make a set for.

But by far, that little monkey has been the winner. I've made 10! That weren't in these sets. And I've sold every single one! I'm not even trying to sell them. But everybody is in love with them. I've got a few more ordered. And I'm starting to make some extra animals. Because in September, my Mom and I are going to sell at another Craft Fair. :) I can't wait! ♥

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Uncle and His Sweet Nieces

Happy Wednesday! How is everyone doing? I hope well. Around here, we've been crazy busy. But we're trying not to get too lost in everything. And a cute call from our "Little Nieces" always brings us back to reality!

These 2 little girls, sure do know how, to work their uncle. You see, when they really want something, and their parents aren't buying into it, they call up their uncle. And they schmooze him! "Uncle it's been so long, since we've seen you. We miss you. You are so handsome! And our favorite uncle. When can we go over to hangout?"

It really is cute. And they really do LOVE their uncle. And honestly, they don't call all the time for stuff. But there are just certain things, that grab their attention. Enter in...Stompeez.

These are slippers for kids. And when they walk, either the eyes, ears, or mouth pops up. They are actually really fun. How do I know about these? Last year, I bought Marissa and Mariella a pair. For their birthdays.

You see, they were with me. And we were watching cartoons. This silly commercial popped on. For Stompeez. They were in LOVE! Instantly! So I ordered 2 pairs. Well, recently that same commercial is popping up everywhere! And our "Little Nieces" saw it. While watching Saturday morning cartoons.

Well, uncle fell for it. And who could honestly resist, these 2 cuties? We just ordered 4 pairs. 2 pair for their home. 2 pair for ours. You know, we've got to keep fun stuff at our home too!

Is there anything that gets you? Something that you can't resist. An infomercial or commercial, that gets you. And you find yourself ordering something, that you wouldn't normally buy. Yes, we ALWAYS fall for these 2 little girls. I guess, as long as it's still reasonably priced. :) ♥