Friday, January 30, 2009

A Beautiful Pair Of Earrings

I LOVE earrings. I don't wear a whole lot of jewelry. I'm not a bracelet girl, or a necklace girl, although I will wear both on occasion. I'm not too much of a ring girl, though I wear two/three rings all the time...my wedding rings, and a blue topaz ring my husband got for me for Valentine's Day two years ago.

But I LOVE earrings! I have a hanging jewelry bag just FULL of earrings. And I have loads and loads of earrings marked as my favorites in my Etsy shops. Here is one pair that I think is just beautiful...elegant, and very Victorian looking. These are from Amber Sky and they run $34.50:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Difference Between Men and Women

I'm on this little journey this year, along with my husband. It's a journey to really lose weight and get healthy this year, and STAY that way! However, last Saturday didn't help! It was my sister-in-law's (Papa Bear's sister) birthday, and we celebrated by having dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, and then having cake and ice cream at my parents-in-law's house.

I did fairly well with dinner. I chose the fish. I can't remember the name of the dish, and it doesn't show it on their website, but it was tilapia with fresh lump crab meat, shrimp, crawfish, and mushrooms in a light butter-Chablis sauce, served with seasonal veggies. The veggies were yellow squash, carrots, and broccoli. Pretty healthy, right? I didn't have any appetizers, although I did snag a few french fries from Brother Bear's plate. And I did have a bite of Papa Bear's Queensland Salad.

But it was the cake and ice cream that got me. I didn't have a lot, but it was enough. I had a small piece of birthday cake, and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Then, I saw that my brother-in-law (Papa Bear's brother) wasn't having cake and ice cream. This is what he said, "I'm just thinking of my workout today. I don't feel like ruining it.". In response to that, my husband said, "That's why I allowed myself the cake today. I planned for it.". Who thinks like that? Like, "I just worked out, so I'm not going to ruin it by eating wrong.".

Here's how I think: I walked today, so I can have that scoop of ice cream and not feel bad about it. Right? Is that how you other gals think, or is it just me? Do you justify that candy bar, because you worked out? Let's hear it!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

100 Things About Me

I got this idea from a blog where I have a Project Wonderful ad...Deuce's World. In Casey's own words: There's a wonderful lil' meme going around with 100 things on it. Out of the 100 things, you're supposed to mark off what you've done in your life so far. Here's mine!! The things that I've done are in red!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (but is it really more than we can afford? Really?)
7. Been to Disneyland [okay, Disney World]

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (does a quilt square count?)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day


Feel free to "borrow" this and post it on your blog. But please let me know, so that I can read yours too! :-)

A Movie Review -- Fireproof


Have you seen this movie? If not, you really should. If you are married, it will really cause you to look at your marriage, especially if you are a Christian. This movie stars Kirk Cameron, and was the highest grossing independent film of 2008. One of the coolest thing about this movie, is that ALL of the actors, including Kirk Cameron, did this movie for free...without pay...as volunteers!!!
Here's what wikipedia says about the "Box Office":
Fireproof's advance sales accounted for 40% of all Fandango sales before the film opened. In the week prior to opening, Fireproof had pre-sold more than $1 million in tickets. Fireproof was released on September 26, 2008 in 839 theaters. In its first weekend, Fireproof grossed $6,836,036, putting it in fourth place at the box office. It's per-theater take was $8,148, putting it in fifth place that weekend. As of January 26, 2009, Fireproof has an estimated domestic gross of $33,415,129, more than tripling the lifetime earnings of its predecessor, Facing the Giants, and moving it into the top 5 Christian films by earnings.

In each of Fireproof's first four weeks in the box office, it gained in theater counts. It had 839 theaters in its first weekend, 852 in its second, 875 in its third, and 905 in its fourth. During this time, it lost many theaters, bringing its total down, but also added some through this time, keeping it among the top box office films. As of December 12, 2008, it has lost more than half of its theaters, at 346.
I guess that just goes to show that sex, a lack of clothing, violence, and bad language aren't what everyone is into. You can make a good movie that doesn't have all the unnecessary garbage in it.
Kirk Cameron plays Caleb Holt, who is a fire captain, who has the phrase "Never leave your partner behind." ingrained in his mind. But when it comes to his marriage, that phrase doesn't even come into play. Struggling with a temper, no desire to show gratefulness to his wife, and dealing with a pornography addiction, Caleb's marriage is in danger of bursting into flames...and not the good kind! Caleb's wife Katherine is also dealing with a lot, including helping her parents out every week because of her mom's stroke, holding a full time job, doing everything around the house, and falling for a co-worker's attentions.
Caleb's parents are new Christians, and his dad encourages Caleb to go through a 40 day "course", called the Love Dare, to get his marriage back on track. Each day is a struggle, until Caleb figures out the only way to get through it, and to repair his marriage. The cross, and Christ.
I hope that you will buy or rent this movie. It is definitely worth it! Take it to your church and ask them to do a showing of it. Invite some friends over to watch it. Show it at your home group. Discuss it. I think that you will be glad you did.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Omaha Steaks--Somewhat of a Disappointment


For Christmas, Papa Bear got this big styrofoam cooler box of MEAT from Omaha Steaks. There were gourmet hot dogs, steaks, pork chops, more steaks, sirloin burgers, and ground beef burgers. What you see above is the ground beef burger, although, for all intents and purposes, it could be the sirloin burgers too.
See the spoon? That is just a regular dinner spoon. Not a big serving spoon. See that "ring" around the burger? That's how big the burgers started out. I was thinking "Yeah! Omaha Steaks! Burgers that won't shrink because of a high amount of fat in the meat!" Wrong! This is NOT a lean ground beef burger. It is the incredible shrinking beef patty! We could fit one and a half burgers on each hamburger bun! And you can see that we had to break our American cheese slices (yep, the ones you get in those handy-dandy little plastic sleeves) into four pieces to get them to fit on the burger.
The redeeming value of these burgers is that they were tasty, and "smooth". When I say smooth, I mean that the consistency of the meat was good...not too "rocky" or chewy, or chunky. To be honest, I would rather make the burgers myself with extra lean ground beef.
Well, brother-in-law, we thank you anyways, because your gift was super generous, and it definitely filled our tummies!
Mama Bear

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tasty AND Healthy?

I've always sauteed mushrooms in butter or margarine. Always. I mean, what better way to sautee? Right? Well, now that Papa Bear and I are really working hard at getting healthy and losing weight, I have been trying to come up with new ways to do things. So, I thought, "hmmm....I wonder what would happen if I sauteed some mushrooms in beef (flavored) broth." I had the beef broth left over from making Rachael Ray's Cheeseburger Chili Mac, and we had mushrooms left over from salad, so I thought I'd put the two together. OH MY GOODNESS!!! You wouldn't believe the flavor!


Here's what I did: Put a carton (or whatever you have left over) of whole mushrooms in a small skillet, and add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup beef broth. (Ours happened to be "beef-flavored" because that's all that Papa Bear could find at Whole Foods. He saw chicken broth and vegetable broth, but not beef broth...only beef-flavored broth. Weird, huh?!) Bring to a low boil over medium heat, and let simmer.


Every now and then, give the mushrooms a stir, so that all sides get cooked evenly. Continue to simmer, and you will see the broth start getting a little thicker as it "disappears". Start stirring constantly at this point. The beef-flavored broth caramelizes on the mushrooms.


Once all the liquid is gone, take the skillet off of the heat. Let the mushrooms cool down a bit, and then ENJOY! These reminded me of some fried mushrooms we used to get at a little drive-in called the Panther Drive-In in Knob Noster, Missouri when I was a little girl. The flavor seemed to taste the same. Of course, mine didn't have the breading and frying.



Mama Bear

Recharge Your Battery!


I cannot say enough about the Sony BCG-34HRMF4 Battery Charger with LCD Display and 4 AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries! We go through batteries like crazy. We have a wireless keyboard (AAA batteries), a wireless mouse (AA batteries), two digital cameras (AA batteries), and more things around the house which eat up batteries.

Back in August, hubby found this battery charger on Amazon.com. We have used and used and used it! When you buy this charger, you get four AA batteries with it. The great thing about this charger is that you can charge both the AA and AAA batteries in it. You need to use the batteries that they call for, which are the rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. Amazon.com sells the AAA ones too, so don't worry that this set only has the AA.

You will be SO glad you switched. We have even told some friends and family about this recharger, and some have purchased it too. In this day and age of battery operated everything, it is a moneysaver! And who can't find that attractive?

Mama Bear

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Giveaway on "Thrifty & Chic Mom"


Want to win this sweet necklace from Pampering Beki? Find out how by clicking HERE. Beki is an online "buddy" of mine, and she has some GREAT items in her Etsy shop. Hair clips, necklaces, earrings, and much more. Go check out Pampering Beki, and see for yourself. And don't forget to go over to Thrifty & Chic Mom to enter to win the necklace.

Mama Bear

A Really Great Video to Watch!

Cheeseburger Chili Mac from Rachael Ray


Yesterday, I did something that is SO rare...I watched a portion of the Rachael Ray show. She was making Cheeseburger Chili Mac, and I thought I would try making it for dinner last night. But I made some changes...I didn't use the chili powder, but instead used Taco Seasoning because that's what I had on hand.. And instead of extra sharp cheddar, I used Mexican shredded cheese, again, because that's what I had on hand. Sorry for the itty bitty picture. I didn't take a picture of ours last night. We were hungry!

Truthfully, I liked it, but I would've liked it better if it had been more "saucy". And it DEFINITELY needed the sharp cheddar cheese! YUM-O!

Want the recipe? Click HERE.

Mama Bear

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Paper & Pics Prize Pack from Mom Made That!


Want to win one of our premade Photo Greeting card designs? You can enter to win this giveaway over at Mom Made That! With this prize pack, you can also get some note cards, some photo note cards, a digital scrapbooking kit, and a paper scrapbooking kit.

Mama Bear

Sunday Morning Bible Reading

Today, I am home from church with a sick little guy. He's taking a nap, so I figured I'd post this.

I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:1-3

Oh no! This is About as Wrong as You Can Get!!!


Seriously! This is just WRONG! The only way it could be worse, is if you were to add chocolate!!! Don't you know I'm dieting? How could you do this to me? Well, this might just have to be a one time, one can thing. These are doughnuts made with canned biscuits, butter, sugar and cinnamon. I found them through The Mom Buzz, who found them at Southern Plate. Wanna know how to make them yourself? AND get little doughnut holes too? Just click on Southern Plate up above, and you'll magically find yourself in the Land of Good Food!

Mama Bear

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Am Sorry to Say...I Am NOT the Biggest Loser.

UGH! Today was weigh-in day for The 15% Club, and I didn't want to weigh in. I thought I had been doing pretty well, because I have been walking nearly every day! But I didn't lose anything. In fact, I GAINED one pound!!!! NOOOOOOO!!! I really need to push the envelope. I need to walk more. I need to do some weights and some cruncehs to go along with it. And I really need to get serious about what I eat!

I have this cookbook:


And I want to get THIS cookbook, because it says it's a budget-friendly cookbook:

If you click on each picture, you'll go to where you can purchase these on Amazon.com. The reviews on Amazon are really good, and we put a lot of stake in those reviews. I would love to hear if anyone else has the Family Cookbook, and if so, how you like it.

I am ready to try some new, yummy, healthy recipes! So, if you're trying to lose weight and get healthy, I challenge you to get one of these books, try some of the recipes and then let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from ya!

Mama Bear

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Our Super Duper Special Offer: Refer 3 people to purchase a Photo Greeting from us, and we will give you a "premade" photo greeting for FREE!!! These people MUST purchase in order for you to get your free greeting. Premade refers do just that...not to custom photo greetings.
See some of our designs:



Twitter Moms: The Influential Moms Network

Mariani Premium Ultimate Apricots


There used to be a time when I thought I didn't like dried fruits like prunes and apricots. That was a LONG time ago. Now, I'm so glad my tastes have changed. We have a super tasty, healthy superhero when it comes to helping us lose weight and get healthy....Dried Apricots.
Here's what the back of the bag says: "Bursting with flavor, Mariani Premium Ultimate Apricots are specially prepared and slightly sweetened with a natural fruit essence. Sun-ripened to full maturity, our apricots are tender and juicy. Spectacular in color and flavor, no other Mediterranean apricot can compare!"
That's kind of what I said too, when I first tasted one. Seriously. I actually told my husband "It feels like I'm biting into a bit of sunshine." I know. Corny. It's ok. These apricots are SO yummy that I have to be careful how many I eat. I will sit there and snack on them, not thinking about how much fiber I'm taking in!
The Mariani apricots have no added sugar, have 0g of fat, 400mg of potassium, 6g of Dietary Fiber, and even 1g of Protein! And that's just for a 1/4 cup serving.
I would encourage you to try some Mariani Apricots too. We got ours at Costco. YUM! YUM!
Mama Bear

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blog Love from Sydnei over at Simply Sentimental


Oh my goodness! I was a bit surprised to find that I've been given some "blog love"! I mean, I've only had this blog up for about 3 weeks! Thanks Sydnei! Right back at ya!
So now I'm gonna pass on the love to others whose blogs I love to peek at when I am able, and have a little time to waste.
I'll add two more in a bit. Right now I have to go get ready to take Baby Bear to "school".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Little Milkman

So, last night, we had gotten home from a day out. Papa Bear cut Baby Bear's hair, and I gave him a bath. I put fresh diaper and PJs on him, and gave him his milk cup. He was watching a little Barney and dancing around giggling. I was at the computer. Papa Bear was in the back and Brother Bear was in his room.

I hear this little maraca-sounding noise, for quite awhile, and a lot of silliness and giggling. Then, I looked over (like 5 minutes later), and see this:

...along with milk all over the carpet, the entertainment center, and even on the TV. Baby Bear has figured out how to bite hard enough on his sippy cup lid (a soft lid), to disengage the "spill-proof" widget that's inside. And he loves that shaking noise, so was shaking the cup, and in the meantime shaking milk all over himself and everything else. Needless to say, I was NOT thrilled with him, and even fussed loudly at him, which in turn, made him cry. That's why he's not giggling in the picture above.

What's a Mama Bear to do?

Friday, January 9, 2009

By Popular Demand -- Our Posole Recipe

Posole is one of our very favorite things to eat. It is a soup or stew that is made with pork, hominy, red chile, and other seasonings. We garnish with various different things. Well, Papa Bear has never made it, and it's been about a year since we've had it, so last Saturday, he decided to make some. He called his mom and asked her how she makes it. (I've made it before, but it's been a LONG time!) Here is her "recipe"...the quick and easy version:

5 pounds of trimmed, bone-in pork shoulder (no excess skin or fat!)
Roughly 6 quarts of water (so now you know you need a BIG POT)
Season with PLENTY of salt...like 3 Tbsp. (the pork needs that flavor brought out)

3 to 4 28oz. cans of hominy (undrained)
3/4 of a 28oz. can of Las Palmas red chile sauce (med., unless your family likes HOT)
1 Tbsp. oregano
2-3 tsp. cumin

GARNISHES:
Shredded cabbage, lemon or lime juice, chopped onions, chopped radishes, chopped cilantro, avocado, etc. Whatever is to your liking. We typically use the cabbage, lemon juice, and onions.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER:
Cut up pork (cut off the bone) into 1"x1" cubes...bite-size pieces. Cook pork, along with the bone, in water with salt, in a big pot (about 10 quart size), for about 40-45 minutes or until pork is tender and cooked through. Scoop out about 1 quart of broth (you can save this for another recipe at a later time, or add back in to the posole), and set aside.

Add hominy, red chile sauce, oregano and cumin to the pork and broth. Cook on medium heat...let it simmer for about 40 minutes to an hour...stirring occasionally.

Taste. Add salt, additional herbs/spices, or red chile sauce if needed. Dilute with the set aside pork broth if it is TOO spicy.

Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired. My favorite garnishes are the chopped red onion, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and a little more oregano.

We love to spread a little sour cream on some tostada shells, and sprinkle on a little salt. These are the perfect match for your bowl of posole.

Now go and make some, and let me know how it turns out! It's PERFECT for a cold wintery day! By the way, we ended up with about 2-3 quarts of leftover posole after eating our fill!

Here are our bowls of posole:



Papa Bear's Bowl: Shredded cabbage, chopped red and yellow onion, fresh lemon wedges, oregano

Mama Bear's Bowl: (already mixed in) Chopped red onion, fresh lemon juice, oregano

Brother Bear's Bowl: Fresh lemon juice, oregano, and shredded cabbage

Now, while Baby Bear can't quite handle the textures in the posole, he LOVED the broth! When I let him try some, he promptly signed "more"!

Eat Well!

Mama Bear

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Not-So-Blog Blog Birthday Bash Giveaway

Want to win a Photo Greeting Card design from me...PhotoGreetings.etsy.com? Here's your chance. Get on over to the Birthday Bash at The Not-So-Blog Blog, and find out how you can enter to win. Not only will you get one of our Photo Birthday Invitation designs, but you can win a birthday cake flag banner from Blackbird Letterpress AND a very cute handmade cupcake pinata from Birchangel!





Hurry! The giveaway ends at 11:59 CST on January 13th!

Pineapple Banana Smoothie -- Homemade

I am going to be starting my days with a smoothie every morning that I am able. Today, I had a Pineapple Banana Smoothie. Here is my recipe. Please note...I'm not a measurer...I just add what I feel like adding, or what is available. Also, please note that this makes about 3 servings.

Pineapple Banana Smoothie
1 cup pineapple juice
2 bananas
2 Pink Lemonade Emergen-C
(for added vitamins and minerals)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup light vanilla yogurt
(because that's what was in the fridge; normally I use non-fat, plain yogurt.)
1 to 1-1/2 cups frozen pineapple
(Whole Foods has some for a reasonable price)
1-2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
(for added fiber)
Blend until mixed well. This will be THICK, so you may have to stir in a few times, especially if you don't have a heavy duty blender. Ours is medium duty.
Mama Bear

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm POOPED!

I have this list of things to get done today. I was so proud because yesterday I went out and bought a day planner...one that has a WHOLE PAGE for each day! That way, I can write down what I want to accomplish for the day. Yesterday, I ended up crossing off 14 out of 19 items. Pretty good, huh?! Not so with today.

Baby Bear just started back at "school" today, after not being there for a whole month. I put taking him to school on my list. I didn't count on the fact that 1/2 hour after I put him down for his morning nap, he decides it's time to go "stinkies" in his diaper. So of course, he's not sleeping...even though I really need him to sleep because he has school at 12:15! So, with diaper changed, I put him back down for his nap. I didn't get much done between that time and the time I had to go get ready to leave.

Then, after school, we went back to the house to get the stroller so that we could walk today. No, the stroller wasn't in the trunk, where it normally is. Yes, I had to go and get it, and put it in the trunk. Yes, Baby Bear got upset when the stroller went into the trunk, instead of him going into the stroller. He didn't understand that we had to drive before we could walk. I drove down to the local park, nearest Brother Bear's high school. We got said stroller OUT of the trunk, and walked the almost full mile to the school. When Brother Bear got out, we walked the almost full mile BACK. Yes, I'm POOPED! I don't get much exercise. That's going to change this year, but it didn't help much for today. I do know that I will sleep well tonight! Unless I happen to fall asleep while typing...................................................................................huh? what? who said that? Oh, sorry, I guess I dozed off. I think it would help to get to bed earlier tonight!

So, now that it's almost time for Papa Bear to come and get Brother Bear for jujitsu, I've still not gotten much done. Bed is not made. Dishes are not done. Laundry isn't done...just started. Prescription didn't get picked up. Only 3 of the 14 things on my list have been crossed off. Dinner is nowhere near being ready. Can we call in for pizza? Papa Murphy, are you there? Yeah, we'd like to place an order. Papa Bear, can you pick up some pizza on the way home? You know, the one WE cook. So it actually looks like I cooked dinner tonight? Thanks! Love ya!

Mama Bear

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day From Your Teacher...

Nope! It's still January. Don't worry! But I wanted to share with you some unique and fun Valentine's Day Cards that I have created and have for sale in my Etsy shop, PhotoGreetings.etsy.com.

Whether you're a teacher or a student, a family, or grandparents, these Valentine's Day cards will be so fun to send. And they're easy to order and print. All you do is purchase, send me your photos and text, and then I'll send you a .jpg file that you can have printed at your local photo processing center for just around $0.12 to $0.20 each!

Print these out as 5x7's, and then cut to make 3-1/2x5 inch cards!






Thanks for looking!

Mama Bear

Oooooh! Pick Me! Pick Me!


I like pretties. Especially pretties with pearls and pinks and all that. So, I'm posting about this giveaway in hopes that I might win it! So, go check out Gabrie's Shop and find out how you can enter to win it too!

Have a good week!
Mama Bear

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Recipe For Snickerdoodles

Our good family friend, Eric, came over for a tamale dinner the Sunday before Christmas. He and Brother Bear made Snickerdoodles together. I hope you enjoy our little slide show. Baby Bear wanted to help too, but he thought greasing the cookie sheets was a little more than he could handle. He got some shortening on his fingers and fussed until we wiped it off!

Here is the recipe they used for the Snickerdoodles.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup shortening

1-1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Add vanilla. Sift together the flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended.

3. In a small, shallow bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in the sugar mixture. Place cookies 2 incehs apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should be slightly golden at the edges. Remove to cool on wire racks.

*This recipe was adapted from the "Snickerdoodles V" recipe on Allrecipes.com


A Tip for Tea

I don't know if anyone else has ever thought of this before, but I just had this little lightbulb go off in my head. I wanted to make some iced tea, and normally, I would boil the water and steep tea bags in it. I wanted a good container that could withstand the boiling water, and I happened to see an empty mason jar on my counter, with just the ring part of the lid. I thought, "Aha!", I can put it in the mason jar. And better yet, I can keep the tea bag tags on the outside of the jar by screwing the ring part of the lid over the strings! Voila! Perfecto!



Friday, January 2, 2009

Win an ESV Study Bible.


Tomorrow is the last day to enter, but Papa Bear wanted me to blog about it, so I am.

Click HERE to enter to win.

A Recipe As Promised

I promised that I would post a recipe, but I didn't promise which one. Well, I have chosen a unique way to post my recipe...through my Scrapblog. I created a Scrapblog for "Fantasy Fudge", including the recipe and photographed steps on how to make this fudge. Enjoy!

Created By Mom (.com)

I am a mom. I make things. I sell things I make. I love doing that.

I think that I have an entrepreneurial spirit. For as long as I can remember, I have been crafting. I remember sitting with my mom, while she sewed on the sewing machine, making little things with the scraps of fabric that she didn't need. I remember Vacation Bible Schools where my favorite part of the day was doing crafts. I remember sitting year after year at schools and churches for craft shows.

I have made and sold everything from baby bibs, to bath and body products, to fudge and peanut brittle, to handmade jewelry, to handmade kid's "boutique style" clothing.

And now, the internet! I started my own website, where I sold my handmade jewelry and kids' clothing. I also sold handmade greeting cards. I even tried my hand in the "custom boutique" craze that is on eBay, and even sold quite a few outfits. But, the website didn't do so well and eBay was getting a little pricey, and I wasn't getting what I needed to get for those outfits.

I was so excited to find out about Etsy.com in October of 2006. I opened up a little jewelry shop called "Ambrosia Delights" , and then promptly proceeded to forget about it. I knew nothing of promoting my shop, or hopping onto the forums to just chat, to get my name out there. I knew nothing of blogging.

Then in April of 2007, I got an email that said I had sold something. I thought, "Wow! Someone saw my website and bought something!" But, no, the sale had come from Etsy. Oh wow! I had totally forgotten about my Etsy shop! But I had just sold two pairs of earrings! Woo Hoo! I decided then and there that it was time to ramp things up. So I started learning about promoting.

I didn't sell MUCH more jewelry or baby blankets, or burp cloths, or kids' clothing, or anything else from that shop. (In fact, now my Ambrosia Delights shop is a destash shop where I sell sewing patterns and fabric. I will be adding jewelry making supplies soon!) I decided to try my hand at Etsy shop banners, because I accidentally found out that I could create banners and such with my photo editing software. I put some banners in my jewelry shop, and they started selling! So I decided to open up a separate shop just for banners. I opened "Rio Oso Designs" in May of 2007, and since then, I have had over 600 sales, and have met some pretty incredible people!

Then in November of 2008, I decided to branch out even further, and so I opened "Photo Greetings" on Etsy. In that shop, I sell photo greeting card designs that you can get printed at your favorite photo processing center. It's a wonderfully easy and convenient process, where you can get as few or as many photos printed as you need. We currently have designs for birthdays, baby showers, birth and adoption announcements, Valentine's Day, holidays, "Save the Date" announcements, and Memorial Cards. We can custom design a card to suit your needs, no matter what the event. I hope you'll check us out.

I said all of that to say this: I am in 100% favor of supporting "mom shops". I am a part of Etsymom, which is an Etsy "street team" full of moms who sell what they make. I think our economy would probably improve quite a bit if more people bought from "little" businesses like these.

On Twitter today, I found out about a great site: Created by Mom. This site has tons of products made by moms. I hope you will visit them, and even buy. They have gifts for everyone in the family! Their website is attractive, with a simple layout, and is easy to get around.

If you are a "mompreneur" and you want a little additional promotion, just drop me a line! I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!
Mama Bear

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My New Experience--Pink Lady Apples

Papa Bear went to Whole Foods yesterday and brough home two apples...in different bags. Normally he will get a bag full of apples, but not yesterday. I asked him, "What are those for?". He said, "We're going to do a Food Network taste test." "Hmmm...", I thought, "...this could be interesting."

The test: Organic Pink Lady apple VS. Organic Honeycrisp apple

This apple originated in Western Australia, a natural cross between the Golden Delicious Apple and the Lady Williams Apple varieties.
This yummy apple has a crispness to it, with a thinner skin than Granny Smiths. It has a tangy flavor, but also a wonderful sweetness. I would describe it as a sweet tart. Absolutely delicious! The Pink Lady has a long shelf life when refrigerated correctly. It is said that this apple will make the perfect "salad apple", because it doesn't brown nearly as quickly as other apples. Personally, I think the Pink Lady apple would make one tasty caramel apple!

The Honeycrisp

While not as tangy as the Pink Lady, this apple is just as sweet, and a bit more crisp. Thus the name Honeycrisp. If you click on the "Honeycrisp" name above, you will find the website, which touts this apple as one that can be stored in a refrigerator for up to four months! We cut our Honeycrisp apple around 6:30pm, and right now, at 10:00, the apple still has not gotten brown!

I'm willing to bet this apple is one that even the youngest apple-eating kiddo would love.

All in all, we had a favorite by far: The Pink Lady. Papa Bear will be going to Whole Foods tomorrow to get some more Pink Lady apples! It's a good thing it's on the way home from his work.

I hope you'll go out and try both of these. They sure make a tasty, very healthy snack.

Mama Bear

A New Experience

Today, I had my first experience with a Pink Lady. Anyone want to hazard a guess at what it is?

Let's Go Shopping!

I love Coldwater Creek! Not only to they have clothing in my size, but their clothing is beautiful (well, most of it), and it is well made. The only barrier that keeps me from filling my closet with their lovely goodies, is their prices. OUCH!

Well, Coldwater Creek gave me a real treat this week. I got an email saying that through e-mail only, I could get 70% off of ANYTHING in the store through January 5th!!!! Now, THAT I can afford. I just had to use the code WXH6452. So I bought a skirt and a pair of pants. I have a really difficult time finding pants that I like, and that fit right, because of my body shape, so I hope they work! I got both of those items and only paid $0.51! That's right, just fifty-one cents! I had a $50 gift card from my birthday in August, and that covered everything, including tax and shipping. Pretty good, huh?

If you visit the Coldwater Creek website, you will see that they are offering 50% off of everything in their store. Use the code SAVEBIG, when you check out.

Here are the two pieces I got:




Happy Shopping!

Mama Bear

Happy New Year 2009

Well, good morning! Did you stay up to the see the ball drop? We didn't watch it on tv, because we were watching Kung Fu Panda. We didn't even watch the whole movie because we were ready to hit the hay just after midnight. Baby Bear managed to stay up until about 9:30, thanks to that late nap.


Right now, the tv is on, with the Rose Parade showing on at least 4 channels. There are some pretty amazing floats this year. The theme is "Hats Off to Entertainment" I normally don't watch it, but I did get to see a few floats...including one from my "home state" of New Mexico. This float won the Bob Hope Humor Award, for its depiction of Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.


Later on, I think we're going to go for a good walk. Yesterday I managed to get Brother Bear, and Baby Bear, to go for a walk with me. We walked 1-3/4 miles! Whew! I haven't done that in quite awhile, but it felt good. Papa Bear is going to go with us today. We have our handy-dandy little pedometers that we got from Amazon.com



What are your plans for today? I'd love to hear from ya!

Have a great day!

Mama Bear