Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stuff Happens

(Basket by the Longaberger Co.)

Stuff happens. And it often happens when you least expect it.

With storm season in full swing (as many of us in the Midwest experienced a few nights ago) and the economy looking iffy, now is a good time to ask yourself how prepared you are against bumps in the road of life, both personal and communal. I am not talking Major disaster scenarios here but just to be prepared.

Do you have an emergency kit? This is what I am talking about…Grab a sturdy box or basket and fill it with the essentials, just to get you through the next lengthy power outage. Fill it with the essentials:

1. An envelope with some cash and change. An amount you are comfortable keeping in an envelope in the basket for purchasing water or food or in a worst case scenario, booking a hotel for a few nights.
2. A list of all bank accounts and i
mportant documents as well where you can find them in case you need to leave your home quickly.
3. Bottles of water, snack food or energy bars, important medicines for at least 3 days.
4. A flash light or 2 and extra batteries, in case of a power outage and perhaps some candles and matches. They make it fun for making shadow animals too!
5. A spare charged cell phone. Even if it does not have a service carrier, you may be able to use it to dial 911 if necessary.
6. If you have children, having some distractions such as playing cards or a few books and small toys will make Mom and Dad’s lives easier when trying to find help.
7. And do NOT forget the first aid kit!

Our family camps frequently and as a result, we have a Food Box that we keep filled with staples such as dry pancake mix (water only necessary), canned food a can opener, paper plates and napkins, power bars, flower, sugar, and other non-perrishable items. This box has come in handy several times in the last few years as the Chicago area has been hit by some big storms where the power was out for as long as 5 days. So a stash of nonperishable food is a good idea for these situations. Also, a propane camp stove has come in handy as well.

As you are shopping and see items on sale that would fit the bill for this type of kit, pick them up and sow them away for that “rainy” day. You will thank yourself later. Resist the temptation to raid this stash. You will want it there when you need it.

And it's always a good idea to learn basic emergency skills. Everyone in your home should know how to operate a fire extinguisher, turn off gas and electricity, and perform CPR and basic first aid.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall Fun!

The weather today is cool and damp...very fall like. It got me in the mood to transition the house to fall decore. While browsing some etsy sites, I found some very inspired gift ideas and fall decor ideas. This Worry Wooly from the Spiderbite Boutique, I thought was a cute way for a small child to write his/her worries inside of the monster book.
Pacha the spider purse from Lovelia, is a cute seasonal purse for a little girl.

This adorable crocheted Orange Pumpkin Hat from My Oh My Cutie Pie, makes a really cute accessory to the fall baby wardrobe.

The Falling Leaves tags from le printemps are perfect for attaching to small gifts or as embelishing spots for scrapbook pages. Who has time to make them yourself?!
This very organic looking Ceramic Dish from Zinnia Designs, with the fall oak leaf, makes a beautiful accent for the table or for a plate rack.

This ghostly set of 3 tags from le printemps at make great little notes on halloween for your kids lunch bags. Enjoy the fall!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On the Go Wednesday Longaberger Special

You're on the road again to work, school, sporting events and club meetings. Here's a deal you can take anywhere — Woven Traditions® Travel Mugs are just $10 on Wednesday, September 23, only. At this price, everyone in the family can have their own color.

Longaberger's sturdy Travel Mugs keep coffee hot for the grownups and soft drinks or juice cool for the kids. For a longer lasting chill, place a Travel Mug in the freezer before adding your favorite beverage. For warmer sipping, fill a Travel Mug with water and heat it in the microwave and then empty it just before adding your drink. Delicious!

Get yours here on

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bits of my Weekend

Camping in Door County, Wisconsin with our good friends was great! The weather was warm, the sun was shining and the owls were singing. We made our food over an open campfire.....

we joked around (Our friend Jenene and my hubbie Don love to tease each other)........

My boys and my hubbie ham it up for the camera.....

the boys played baseball with a ball of aluminum foil and a stick (so simple, but so much fun!)...........

I snacked on a couple of tart wild apples on a short walk.............

we hiked and climbed to the top of the Peninsula State Park tower to get a better view of the magnificent area.....

Jenene's and our boys, loved the look-out tower overlooking Green Bay......
We enjoy our annual trips to Door County, Wisc. each year, that as soon at the opportunity to book the next trip comes up, we do! The same weekend, and same sites each year. We wouldn't miss it for the world. The phases of our lives continually change, but we will always find the time and spend the effort to reconnect with our dearest friends. Even after the kids are grown and gone, Jenene and Don and I will continue our tradition of early fall camping together. Who knows, we may add a few more weekends to the calendar!
I look forward to the next trip.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Affirmation Day

Mug by the Longaberger Co.

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.

-Horace Friess

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Danielle!


and now......

My daughter Danielle has grown into a beautiful caring young woman. It was her 18th birthday yesterday, and I could not help feeling that time flew by like the snap of fingers. People always told me to hang on to each day,because before you know it, they will be old enough to leave the nest. We are not quite there yet, as she is a senior in high school, but everyone was RIGHT! The time has certainly flown by and I don't know where it has gone.

When the kids were little, I was to say the least "frazzled". After all, I did have 3 kids in 3 years span of time. I wanted them to at least grow to where they did not need me to carry them everywhere, referee them, or panic when they were out of site. Now, I want all that time back and I never want to let it go.

Danielle will be off to college this time next year, and our house will be one person short...the following year it happens again and then again 2 years later. Don and I will be empty Nester's before you know it. I am thankful for every moment I am with my kids. Yes, even the past curfew arguments, the, "I want a Chi hair straightener" demands, the bumps and bruises, the, "I'm hungry, what's for dinner" wales and everything else that goes with it. I am a Mom and I love my job. I love to be needed. I hope Danielle is never to old to need me.

Happy Birthday Danielle! I love you!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I am trying to organize my house before the cool weather and fall arrive. I have decided I have to have a place for all of my jewelry making and craft magazines/catalogs. Since this beautiful basket goes on sale on Weds., I am adding this beauty to my collection. I think it will fit the bill exactly right. It will work for these uses too:
*Holds blanket by the chair or firewood on the hearth,
* Paper recycling center,
* Toy basket or shoe catchall,
* Potatoes on one side of the protector divider and onions on the other,
* Hold file folders next to the desk in the office or cookbooks in the kitchen,
* Hold my 12 " scrapbook and 12 X 12 papers for upcoming pages.
One basket and so many uses!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Affirmation Day

Photo by:

Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Green Beans and Basil


FYI: This summer was not a good summer for my vegetable garden. The Midwest has had a cool summer, and that translates to a "lean" garden harvest. In fact, my garden this summer has only produced 2 ripe tomatoes to date! Beleive it or not, the green beans have just started coming in! The Basil too, since it was planted on the south side of my garage, is doing fairly well. So the question is...what can I make with green beans and basil? has a recipe that sounded great! Even my hubbie thought it was good! I added parmesan cheese... just because. Give it a try.
1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed (about 3 cups trimmed)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chopped leaf basil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation:Cut green beans in halves. Heat oil and butter in a skillet; sauté onion and garlic until softened. Remove garlic from the skillet. Add green beans, salt, basil, sugar, pepper, and boiling water. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Add a little more water, if necessary. Finish with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Green bean recipe serves 4.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School Checklist

Today was the first day of school for my kids. This school year, as always, I pledge to be more organized. Really I do! I came across this great idea at Family Fun Magazine online and thought I would share. Even though my children are older, this fantastic idea could be tailored for almost any age…I think I want to make one for myself! Table your constant stream of morning reminders with this clever place mat, which allows kids to take responsibility for their own must-dos.

Decorative paper
Glue stick
18- by 12-inch sheet of poster board
Clear Con-Tact paper (or have it laminated at a copy shop)
Nontoxic dry-erase marker
Adhesive-backed Velcro dot

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Cut three 6- by 12-inch rectangles from decorative paper. Use a glue stick to affix them side by side onto the poster board.

2. Write a "Do at Home" checklist on the left rectangle and a "Take to School" checklist on the right one (leave a few blank spaces at the bottom of each list for write-in reminders).

3. Have the place mat laminated at a copy shop or cover it with clear Con-Tact paper. Your child can use a nontoxic dry-erase marker to check off items or write additional reminders. Affix an adhesive-backed Velcro dot to keep the marker in a handy spot on the mat.
Happy school year!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Budget Friendly Labor Day

I came across some last minute tips to save on food and drink at your barbecues, picnics, and other gatherings this holiday weekend. An example… go for store brands.

1. Bring Your Own Meat
This is probably one of the best ways to have a great BBQ, just ask your guests to bring the meat. This has several benefits. First of all, it saves you money. Second, you do not have to worry about who likes what. As some people are from various backgrounds, some eat beef, some only chicken, others do not eat pork, etc. By asking them to bring their own meat, everyone is happy.

2. Stock up on Charcoal
If you are planning on hosting a BBQ, stock up on charcoal when it is on sale. It lasts forever!

3. Bring Your Own Drinks
If you provide the meat, then ask your guests to bring the drinks. Everyone may have different preferences, this way you will be sure that there is something to drink for everyone.

4. Forget Paper Plates
Paper plates may seem like a good idea, and although they are easy to clean, don't do it. They are not the cheapest way to go. If you have regular BBQs, then I suggest you use reusable dishes. This will not only save you money in the long run, but will also save the environment.

5. Buy in Off Season
This tip can apply to many things in life; make your equipment purchases during the off season. Between November- April is a good time to purchase BBQ equipment it will save you some money.

6. Have Ice-Cream for the kids
If you going to a park for your BBQ, make sure you have some ice-cream for the kids. No matter how much you feed kids they always want ice cream, so having some with you will ensure you do not have to purchase from the ice cream truck for triple the price.

7. Purchase Bone-In Cuts of Meat
When looking for money saving ideas that let you do more with your budget, purchase bone-in cuts of meat. Bone-in meat will not only save you money but the bones help keep the meat from drying out on the grill and add additional flavor.

Bonus Tips
*Labor Day decorations are very easy and can be inexpensive to arrange. Draping large flags over trees, tables and chairs will do the job. Using anything you already have in the red white and blue theme works great!

* Hold your own mini parade. Have the neighborhood kids decorate their bikes with Cree paper and have them lead a procession around the block. Labor Day party favors or prizes for the kids can be anything that they can play with outdoors like bouncy balls or beach balls for the pool, all of which are on sale at this time of the year or can be found at your local Dollar Store.
Kids ideas

* Great Bargain Wines and Beers,
all $10 or less.

* How to feed a group on location—say, at a beach house or cabin—without spending a fortune or making three dozen trips to the supermarket.

* Marine Corps Railroad-Style Barbecue Sauce, a simple, inexpensive recipe made for spicing up (salvaging?) just about any piece of cheap meat, from The Dollar
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Have fun and be safe!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No sniffles this year!

This school year I will be ready! As the kids head off to school and come into contact with all the germs of the world, I have an insurance policy against sickness. I have ordered 2 Longaberger Woven Traditions Pump Dispensers and a Wrought Iron Salt and Pepper holder. I plan on putting this beautiful set on the back of the kitchen sink with hand sanitizer in one dispenser and lotion to fight dry skin in the other. Now, when the kids come in from school, they can easily sanitize away all those germs from the outside world. Get your own set here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chicago Tailgate

This evening I went to a fun event put on by the Longaberger Co. The President of the Longaberger Co, Tami Longaberger, along with former Cleveland Browns Quarterback, Bernie Kozar were promoting the Companies newest Team Spirit Baskets in Oakbrook, IL. I would guess several hundred Longaberger and football fans showed up to show their support of this newest venture. LB. company representative Tina Smithe drew names every half hour for lucky attendees to win Orange and Black (Chicago Bears colors) Medium Market Baskets.

This event gave loyal fans the opportunity to purchase many others teams colored baskets as well. Northwestern, Ohio State, Chicago Bears, Greenbay Packers and several other teams were represented. You can get your team spirit baskets here.