Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Blueberry Picking Time!!!!!

Blueberry picking is a HUGE family tradition for us.  I've been going with my Gram since I was just a wee little girl.  I've tried to continue that with my kids, because it was such a special memory for me.

So, each year, usually on the first weekend in August, we drive over to Muskegon to pick berries.  It's been wonderful and the kids really enjoy it!

This year, things got a little crazy and the weather is crazy and life is crazy and well, the berries came in a bit early.  So instead of driving across state, we went in our own area.  And man....was it great!

Despite the super-hot weather, we found a pretty cool morning to go.  And the bushes were loaded. And it was an organic farm.  And the berries were bigger than quarters!  And so sweet!!!

We only picked about 18 lbs this round.  We'll have to go again later this weekend to finish up as I usually do up about 25 lbs a year.

We're working on getting them cleaned and frozen now.  I have a special process for that.  It works really well to help the berries retain their shape and not get too mushy.  First you have to layer them on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Pick out all the stems and leaves and yucky pieces.  Then place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 45 minutes or until the berries are firm.  Take them out and measure out two-cup groupings of berries.  Then place in bags and put in freezer again.  I've been using my food-saver and vacuum sealing them, which works well and saves space in the freezer.

Now we're ready for berries all year long!!!

Read Comments

A Meal Plan for the Week - Finally! (July 18th)

What can I say?  It's been a busy week. I feel like I never have computer time anymore and when I do there are so many other things calling my name.  Plus, our meal plan this week is a bit crazy as we're running here and there and everywhere!  =)  But here it is:

Scrambled eggs w/toast

Lunchmeat sandwiches
mac n' cheese
ramen noodles
chicken nuggets

Grilled Brats/hot dogs
chicken wings
grilled steaks
Read Comments

Monday, July 11, 2011

You're Invited!

You're Invited to our Grand Opening/Mystery Hostess Virtual Workshop!!!!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently became a consultant with Heritage Makers, a digital storybooking/scrapbooking company.  I've used their programs and recieved their products for several years and love the service and the products I've made and recieved.

Here is a link to the Heritage Makers website: Heritage Makers.

I'm really excited about my new venture.  I love the products and I love scrapbooking/storybooking and I love to share my books with other people.  Plus, as much as I loved paper crafting, I find that I just don't have the time to sit down at my craft table anymore - or when I do have time, I just don't have the energy.  Heritage Makers is perfect for that - it's all on a computer. I can work on it anywhere and anytime!

Right now I'm hosting a Virtual Grand Opening/Mystery Hostess Workshop to celebrate my new business venture.  Eveyone who particiaptes will receive an entry into the Mystery Hostess drawing and by doing extra "events" will earn extra entries into the drawing.  At the end of the week, I will have one of the kids draw a name out of a hat and that person will become the Mystery Hostess Winner and receive all the hostess benefits earned during the week!!!

And even if you particiapte and don't win the Mystery Hostess, you can still be a winner because of all the great Heritage Maker products you'll be introduced to and begin to work with.  At the end, you'll have a family heritage book (or canvas or calendar or deck of cards or other exciting project!) to share your stories with friends and families.

Every picture tells a story.  Every story deserves to be heard.
Wouldn't you like to share your stories?
I can help!

Please check out my Grand Opening/Mystery Hostess Virtual Workshop this week (July 10-15).  Ask me how to start a FREE Heritage Makers account and get started sharing those important stories!!


Read Comments

Meal Plan Monday - July 11th

It's been a while since I posted a meal plan and boy, you can tell looking at my pantry and refridgerator!  It seems like the weeks that I don't post a meal plan, or even worse, don't have one written down anywhere I'm a mess when it comes to mealtimes.  Add to that the craziness of our last month with weddings, baby showers, wedding showers, visits from relatives and lots of travel and it's just a mess!

So let's get back to basics here. . . . I NEED to keep this going or else I have no idea what to plan for dinner all week long!!!

breakfast: cereal and toast
lunch: Tuna Pasta Salad, PBJ & Chips w/cut veggies
Dinner: Italian merinated chicken breasts w/fresh rolls and scalloped potatos

breakfast: cereal and toast, fruit smoothies
lunch: grilled ham and cheese sandwiches w/chips and fruit pieces
dinner: grilled brat burgers, baked beans and oven baked potato chips

breakfast: cereal and toast
lunch: mac n' cheese w/hot dogs
dinner: taco/nacho night

breakfast: scrambled eggs and toast
lunch: grilled brats and hot dogs w/potato salad and chips
dinner: quick dinner  - either on the run or sandwiches w/cut veggies at home

breakfast: cereal and toast
lunch: VBS luncheon
dinner: ramen noodles w/sandwiches for kids - mom and dad out to dinner

breakfast: pancakes and bacon
lunch: do-agains
dinner: speghetti w/meatballs and salad, fresh rolls

breakfast: toast and cereal/granola bars
lunch: Big Boy buffet
dinner: homemad pizza w/breadsticks and salad

Read Comments

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Date Night

Mr. CrazyLife and I have decreed this Friday, July 15th as an offical DATE NIGHT.   It's been quite a while since we had an offical date night so I'm quite excited.  You know the kind where you get a babysitter and actually leave the house without four squabbling children in tow?  Our date night lately have consisted of wrestling said squabbling children to sleep and then popping in a movie, cuddling on the couch and promptly crashing into sleep ourselves.  It's about time we took a night off.

And as some people might know . . . there is a release of a certain movie this Friday. Part 2 of a specific movie to be exact.  And we're super excited.  We're big Harry Potter fans from way back and can't wait to see how the movies end up.  In fact, we found that the theater in our town is running a double feature of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 AND Part 2 back to back on Friday!  Yippeee!!!!

I might have to sneak in some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans or something in honor of the event.

In the meantime, I'm hoping to hit all the previous movies this week to remind/catch up with the series.  I probably should really re-read them all, but let's face it.  Time and the essence just aren't with me this week.  Not to mention that Thing #1 is BEGGING to read Harry Potter #4 and I'm trying to hold her off for a bit (at least until our Hogwarts summer is over!).  If I started re-reading them, there'd be no holding her back!

So a Harry Potter movie-a-thon is on order for the week.....and I might or might not have some Harry Potter recipes set aside in honor of that as well.  Just not Butterbeer - check out this post for more on that Epic Fail!
Read Comments

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Run, Don't Walk and Buy this Book!!!!

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander was released in Canada and the United States today.  And the title of this post says it all - if you haven't read this book yet (or even if you have!) RUN, don't walk and BUY it right away!!!!

I first ran into this series of book while in college.  I was standing in line at the bookstore, waiting to pay thouands of dollars for my books (well, maybe not THOUSANDs, but close enough!).  The line was a thousand years long (again, a wee bit of exageration, perhaps?).  The book, "Voyager" was on the bookshelf near the line, so I grabbed it and bought it.  It was thick.  It was heavy.  It was cheap (ish).

Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.  I probably drove my roommates crazy because I was raving about the story.  Fantastic!  Great writing.  Great romance.  Great history.  All favorite things of mine.  Then I discovered that it was part of a series - and that it was the THIRD book?!? What in the world?

Well, of course I had to go and find the first two books and read them all in order, including "Voyager" again.  Then I went on and on and on reading.  And I still am . . . . the last book in the series has yet to be released.  I'm very impatiently patiently waiting.

But back to the topic at hand.  Today, Diana Gabaldon released the 20th anniversary edition of the first book in the series.  And it has a ton of extras with it - notes from the author, a timeline of events, a map of the area in the book and even a CD with selections from Outlander: the Musical (which is a whole 'nother topic I could go on and on and on about since I just found out about it and NEED to find out where I can see it!!!!!)

If romance novels are your thing, you'll love this book and series.
If historical novels are your thing, you'll love this book and series.
If sci-fi is your thing, you'll love this book and series.
If you love bodice ripper novels, you'll lve this book and series.
If you love books and series where you become attached to the characters and feel as if you know them as well as yourself, you'll love this book and series.

I can't say enough about it.
Don't Walk.
Nearest Bookstore.
Outlander: 20th Anniversary Edition

Read it.
Love it.
Share it.

And while you're at it - check out Outlander: the Musical - I'm listening to it now and WOWOWOWOWOW!!!!  It's an Outlander Series lover's dream!!!
Read Comments