Showing posts from April, 2015

Mother's Day Giveaway!

Mothers are so deserving of our attention, not just on Mother's Day but every day!  What do you do to give your mom attention throughout the year?  One thing I like to do is call my mom on a daily basis.  We live about 3 hours apart, and this keeps me in touch with her day-to-day life.  Sometimes we miss a day, but we don't let much time pass without talking!   I created this little subway art to share with you and your moms.  Download it to your computer, save it as the size I did on this file and you can make it into a photo (up to an 8" x 10" size), frame it and give it to your mom.  A little gift from me to you!  To get the download go HERE! And that's not all!  Check out this amazing giveaway we have going on!  You or your mom could win up to $140 in gift cards!  Keep on reading for more details! Tammy from My Life Abundant and Tammy from Creative K Kids have gotten together with a few of our bloggie friends to have a giveaway!
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The Summer Secret to Enjoying Your Garden: Parties!

Welcome to the Summer Garden Blog Hop!  At the end of this post you will find many fabulous ideas about summer gardening just waiting for you!  I suggest you visit each and every one!   There's a good reason why people say "stop and smell the roses!"  Gardeners know no end of things that need to be done in a garden, and my husband and I are no exception.  We hoe, weed, water, store seeds, and do anything but relax unless we make time to enjoy it.  The summer is the perfect time to sit back, invite some friends over, and enjoy the work we did in the spring! The key to having a successful summer backyard party is to plan out the details.  There are two sets of details that need to be worked out:  the food and the maintenance of the garden.  In our house, my husband does the outside work while I get the fun task of inviting friends and planning the food! For the backyard maintenance, my husband will mow the yard a couple of days before to have time for the dust and
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Peach Cooler

Last night I served this refreshing drink as a punch for my P.E.O. sisters.  When they left and I settled down for a nightcap, I made it into a wonderful cocktail.  I hope you enjoy it both ways, too! To make it as a punch: 1 2 L bottle of Sprite or 7up 1 qt of Peach Nectar (purchased at my local Dollar Tree Store) 1 bag frozen peaches Mix gently the soda and the nectar.  Add frozen peaches.  The peaches will float to the top.  Serve with one frozen peach per drink.  The frozen peach keeps the drink cold! To make as a cocktail: To 8oz of punch add 2 oz Limoncello or Citrus Vodka.  Stir gently.  Serve with a frozen peach as garnish. Hanging out with Pam at Tipsy Tuesday  and Kristin at Thursty Thursday!  
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Midwest Loco Moco~#SundaySupper

My family was fortunate to be in Hawaii during Thanksgiving in 2012.  We loved Hawaii and will be always looking for ways to get back there.  While we were there, we tried every local food we could find, and one of our favorites was Loco Moco. What is a Loco Moco?  That's the same question we had!  It is simply white sticky rice with a hamburger patty on top, with a fried egg on top of that, covered with brown gravy.  What?  You don't think that is tropical? I can tell you that when we make it at home, I can see myself sitting in the restaurant in the open air, alongside a white sand beach, with salty breezes blowing across my face!  We had this several times, as different restaurants have different versions that they are famous for.  One even includes Spam! So what makes this one midwestern?  For one, I have lightened up all the ingredients with the exception of the egg.  I use cauliflower rice instead of sticky rice, a ground turkey burger, a fried egg, and then v
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Spring in New Town

I love our New Urbanist neighborhood!  As I was headed away to do errands, I did a photo journal looking for signs of spring.  The result was this collage.  Happy Friday!
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Featured Blogger at Missouri Women Bloggers!

In lieu of a regular post, I am going to send you over to The Missouri Women Bloggers page where you can see me as a featured blogger writing about Retirement as Renewal.  Happy Wednesday! Taken in Jefferson City, Missouri
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Cardinal Spirits

Bloomington, Indiana is a wonderful food environment and the same goes for their spirits.  While we were visiting with our daughter, she took us to the new Cardinal Spirits, a new distillery near the B Line walking trail. We came for the spirits!  The waitress offered up a sample of the vodka and as a special surprise, a taste of the gin that will be featured on next week's menu. My husband, the gin drinker, really liked it and that's all we are going to say about that since it hasn't been officially introduced to the public. The vodka sample was delicious.  The vodka has a floral aroma that hits you first before you sip.  The smooth taste ends in a citrusy bite on the tongue.  I was eager to try it in the Bloody Mary, which was my drink of choice from the menu. I ordered the Bloody Mary, because if you can't do a fabulous Bloody Mary in a distillery, well, then...and  I have to say, I LOVED the homemade bloody mary mix that they use.  While I felt the garnishes w
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Chocolate Amaretto Creams #CreativeCookieExchange

There is nothing like a sandwich cookie! My first experience with them was an Oreo. I love taking the top off (or is it the bottom?) and scraping the filling off with my teeth, letting it melt in my mouth while I dunk the first of the two cookies into milk. Ahhhh, that is the way to eat an Oreo! These sandwich cookies, however, just beg you to take a bite with the cookie intact. Two soft chocolate cookies, with a creamy, buttery filling, coats your mouth with the essence of almonds. Delicious! Enjoy these with a glass of milk, but don't enjoy them with kids! These cookies contain a liqueur called Amaretto, so they are for "adults only." These cookies are easy to assemble, just make the cookies, make the cream, pipe the cream on, put the cookies together!   Chocolate Amaretto Creams by Terri Steffes Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Ingredients (15 cookies) For the cookies 1 devils food cake mix 1 stick butter, melted 2
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Around the Garden: Roasted Radishes

Over the weekend we spent time in Indiana with our daughter who lives in Bloomington.  She has been there for several years now, and one of our favorite things to do is to go to the Farmer's Market, which is probably the. single. best. Farmers'. Market. we have been to, and we've been to plenty.  Part of what makes it special is that the local restaurant scene comes out in full force so there are plenty of food options available as well as vegetables, plants, honey, eggs, meats, flowers, and even bamboo poles. As we were looking around, I spotted this beautiful bunch of radishes.  I have always thought radishes were beautiful, but wasn't particularly fond of their peppery taste.  A little in a salad goes a long ways for me.  At a $1.25 a bunch, this was also a good economic choice as you can eat both the radish and the greens. I had recently read about roasting radishes and I decided to give them a try.  We were picking up bread, cheese, meat and fruit at the Far
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Smoked Turkey Salad~#SundaySupper

My family loves to picnic!  We picnic in the summer, we tailgate in the fall, we smoke in the winter and we al fresco in the spring!  Such a great way to enjoy nature and just being outdoors heightens your appetite! We've learned a lot of tricks over the 37 years we've been married and had picnics!  We have a picnic basket all ready to go at all times: glasses, napkins, plates, utensils, and a corkscrew!  That got added when we turned 21! (yes, we were baby newlyweds!)  At a moment's notice, we can throw together a picnic and get on the road towards a good time! One of our favorite recipes is this Smoked Turkey Salad that we just recently started using on picnics.  We attended the Cardinal's Opening Day baseball game and took this as our lunch. Smoked Turkey Salad by  Terri Steffes Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  30 minutes Ingredients  (2 cups) 3/4 c cooked broccoli 1/4 c light cream cheese, softened 2 T Italian dressing 1/2 t Italian s

Spring into Pictures Sweepstakes

With summer vacation finally here, all of us want to catch those precious memories with our friends and family. Moments like a child’s first trip to the beach, or that hilarious girls’ night out listening to your best friend make a fool of herself during karaoke. While we know our smartphones can take an amazing picture, wouldn’t it be great if you had a camera that could truly capture those precious moments? Luckily, we know just the camera – the Nikon D3200 24.2 MP DSLR camera! With this innovative Nikon camera, you can bring all of your pictures to the next level. This compact DSLR has the power of a more expensive Nikon camera without the bulk, allowing you to take high quality images or cinema quality videos in FULL 1080p HD. Best of all, this camera is easy to operate, letting you use built in filters to make every photo look amazing in any type of light or situation. To learn more about this amazing camera, make sure to check out the Nikon D3200 on the Nikon website or wa
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#BundtBakers: Balsamic Strawberry Filled Bundt Cake

When I joined Bundt Bakers earlier this month, I was so excited to get to bake a cake at least once a month.  Then my husband reminded me that I was watching my points.  Spoil sport.  Oh well, now my neighbors will enjoy the fruit of my labors!  Win/win for all! The theme for April is "Hidden Surprise" - Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices.The only requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside. Anshie from  SpiceRoots  was our host for this month. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to . I have had strawberry cake on my list of cakes-I-do-well for a long time.  I make a layer cake that features a strawberry jam filling and chocolate covered strawberries as decoration on the top.  It is a yummy cake and so I wanted to recreate that to some degree.  I also love using balsamic vinegars with fruit and I wanted to inco
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CanvasPop GiveAway!

**I received a free canvas from CanvasPop to give my honest opinion about their product.  The following words are my own. I was approached via e-mail by CanvasPop to do a review of their product.  They would send me a canvas of my own photograph in exchange for a review.  They would allow me to do a giveaway of a canvas and offer a discount to my readers who would like to order one. I received my canvas in short order after ordering it, approximately 8 days.  The canvas was a 16 by 20 of a photograph I took this winter of the farm in New Town on a cold but bright winter day.  The canvas was stretched good and tight, and was wrapped around the frame in good order.  The frame itself wasn't too heavy but did have good weight.  The frame had a wire stretched from one side to the other for hanging, which is nicer than other canvases I have ordered that just had the sawtooth holder.  The back has nice rubber feet where the frame touches the wall.  Another very nice feature.  Other re

Around the Garden

Sunday was a lovely day to take a drive into South St. Louis and garden shop!  We love the nurseries along Barrett Road and make an annual trip to visit them.  Today we were pleased with the selection and we were not the only ones who were thinking about their gardens! When we returned home, we got busy planting!  We planted in the front, side, and back gardens.  We planted flowers, herbs, trees, bushes, hostas, and vegetables.  We pulled weeds, raked mulch and finally just had to stop!  We still have a few more left to put into the ground! I have started to love succulents!  This wreath is adorable! Sherwood Nursery created figures from bushes!! This one is a butterfly! Our newest garden, cora bells, hostas, lavender. When I saw this rosemary bush, I had to have it! Our purple coneflowers have not liked this spot for two years.  We are trying Shasta Daisies this year! None of the flowers in the front have blooms yet, so will save those for a l
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