Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Minnesota State Fair

State Fair Fashion Revue Competition.....the results are in!

Yesterday we got up early and went to the State Fair for the 4H Fashion Revue Competition.  We were there by 8:30 am and still had to park about 2 miles away!  (Because I was too cheap to pay for parking!)
My daughter spent the morning learning about fashion, colors, textures, etc. while my son and I walked and walked and walked!  We picked up R for lunch and decided to try some new food items, how about some Deep Fried Pizza Balls, Deep Fried Cannoli and a Deep Fried Twinkie on a stick?  Yes, that's right, the MN State Fair is famous for food on a stick!  Here are some photos:
Pizza Balls....very interesting, ok, but don't need to eat them again!
The Cannoli was ok....liked the dough better than the cream!
My son lit into the twimke before I took the picture, he liked it but said next time no chocolate, my powdered sugar instead!

And that's all the food we had on a stick, we weren't all that adventurous..at close to 100 it was too hot to eat.

Ok...so you're wondering about Fashion Revue, some of you may remember back in July when I posted photos of my daughter winning at County Fair, well.....she did it again, she won at State.....here are some photos! There were about 40 girls in the competition, they are judged all afternoon, first an interview and then they are judged while they work on stage.
Here's R (2nd from left) as she's walking up to announce her name/county
Receiving her medal

R with her friends...who were cheering her on, LOUDLY!!!

After the fashion show we celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday and finally left for home at 10:30pm!

Next...it's the State Archery Competition and the State Dog Show!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday....what's going on in your neck of the woods?

Welcome to Friday! Today, my husband and son got up early and left for an out of town Threshing Show and Auction...I imagine I'll see them sometime late tonight!

..My daughter kids and I are home alone, WOOOHOOO! I'm thinking we'll have a bit of fun, check out the new styles at Anthropologie..dream a little, get some ideas, and maybe hit a few garage sales. I'm a looking for a few specific items, so you know how that goes, I will look high and low and not find what I'm looking for, BUT...I'm going to keep positive about this!

In keeping with tradition I'm joining in some blog hopping fun, want to come along? It's supposed to be in the 90's here again today, of course it is, it's State Fair time! Anyone coming to the State Fair? I'll be there on Monday with my daughter, she'll be in the 4H Fashion Revue contest modeling her beautiful blue dress which you can see here!

Anyway, back to Friday, here's a list of the blogs who are hosting my hopping! Don't be shy, leave a comment!

...AND, if you're interested here's a giveaway for Amish Proverbs!

Smart and Trendy Moms


Ten Tips for Planning a Unique Baby Shower

Babies are FUN...CUTE...SWEET and best of all, they don't argue or talk back so we need to embrace them, start by having a GREAT baby shower! Have you been to one lately? What have you done? I have never heard of a great baby shower disaster, but I'll bet they're out there, don't let yours be the one!

Ten Tips for a successful shower:

1. Start with a plan, a list of ideas and a date, this will give you somewhere to start and brainstorm ideas.

2. Play the dirty diaper game, it's a great ice breaker and nothing is funnier than seeing a bunch of women sticking their noses in dirty diapers! What you do is melt a different candy bar into each diaper and the guests have to figure out what the 'poop' is! Make sure you give a great gift!

3. Invite people the expecting mom wants, not who YOU want...and have people RSVP..this way you can plan accordingly for the food and cake.  Make your invites exciting, go to Tiny Prints for unique invitations!

4. Plan more games than you will need, there is nothing worse than running out of fun! Have everyone guess momma's tummy size, or how many times a pre-cut string will wrap around mom and baby!

5. Put disposable cameras around the room, the mom to be will love the memories from the shower, and un-posed photos can be the most memorable.  Once the photos are developed go to Tiny Prints and make some great cards for the mom to be to use as thank you's!

6. Keep it simple, don't stress yourself and the mom to be out, that will happen soon enough.

7. If you're planning a menu, plan for enough food, check with the mom to be, see what she would like, not everything may sit well!

8. Find out if the mom to be is registered and/or what the baby theme will be so people can purchase appropriate gifts instead of items that will need to be returned.

9. Plan the shower around the likes of the mom to be, don't do cutesy if she's not into it!

10. Have FUN, and make sure someone writes the gifts into each card so the mom to be knows what she's thanking her guests for when it comes time to write thank you cards!

I have been to many showers, not all of them have been fun, some are pretty stuffy and who wants to sit around waiting to go home?! I think the best thing to do is just have fun, and go with the flow....also don't set the date too close to the due date!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 Tiny Prints Gift Code plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints Greeting cards (valued at $149.75). For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Flavorful Low-Sodium Family Meals

Do you eat too much salt, does your family salt shaker seem empty all of the time? We don't eat salt, much to my sister and parent's dismay, since I can never find the salt shaker when they come for a visit!

You may ask, isn't your food bland? What about flavor? Believe me, the food on my table has no blandness, and full of flavor! Why use so much salt, that's what they use to thaw the ice on the road and on sidewalks...my veins don't need that, thank you very much!

Have you tried Mrs. Dash? She's spicy, flavorful and found in tiny little bottles! You can find her here.  One of my favorite recipes to use Mrs. Dash on is fish.  Simply, healthy and delicious.

Here's what you need:
-Enough fish for the family, I like Cod, tilapia or Orange Roughy, but any kind will do.
-9 x 13 pan or size appropriate for the amount of fish
-Olive or canola oil
-Mrs. Dash lemon-pepper seasoning

Thaw your fish, best to thaw in fridge, drizzle your pan with oil and place fish on top.  Sprinkle the fish with Mrs. Dash's lemon-pepper seasonings and bake at 400 degree's for about 1/2 hour or until the fish is flaky!


There are so many ways to season your food without using salt, be creative, use your imagination and think how healthy you'll be!

Mrs. Dash has many wonderful, delicious recipes on the website, they have a monthly menu take make your life easier, and WOW how cool is this, they even have marinades...I did not know that!

Here's another recipe for you to try:

Straight from my brother the chef!

Chicken Alfredo 2 pieces of chicken breast
Alfredo Noodles
1 C Whipping cream
1/2 C Butter
Mrs. Dash Italian Medley
Mrs. Dash Zesty Garlic Herb Marinade

Marinade your chicken for an hour or so, then grill or fry and cut into strips.

Boil your noodles, and while waiting for your water to boil, melt your butter in a sauce pan, gently stir in whipping cream, let simmer and thicken while your pasta is boiling.  Feel free to spice up the sauce with a bit of Mrs. Dash, it may take a bit for the sauce to thicken but be patient! 

How about a veggie on the side?  Lightly cook some broccoli, just until tender to keep the nutritional value, and sprinkle with your favorite blend of Mrs. Dash!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here


Five simple things you can do for your child to help keep their smiles healthy and bright."

How do you keep your children(s) smiles healthy and bright? That's healthy and bright without using over the counter whiteners!

Here are 5 ideas, and I'd love to hear your ideas as well!
1. Brush Brush Brush
2. Visit the dentist every 6 months
3. Stay away from soda it stains your teeth
4. Don't forget to floss
5. Eat your veggies

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


Blog Tour: Love Finds You in Victory Heights Washington

About the authors:
Tricia Goyer: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more on Tricia visit www.triciagoyer.com

Ocieanna Fleiss: Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer’s historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. For more about Ocieanna visit her blog.

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington
Love Finds You in Victory Heights Washington

Tricia Goyer nad Ocieanna Fleiss captivated me in their newest book, Love Finds You in Victory Heights Washington.  Rosalie, engaged to her childhood friend wonders if she truly loves him as he leaves for war.  It's not long before the war takes her love and Rosalie is left feeling guilty, but the spunk in Rosalie does not let her stay down for long.

Working for Boeing, Rosalie is thrown into a series of events that puts her in the spotlight and into a relationship that she isn't so sure she wanted!  'Rosie the riveter' is one girl who charms many, and she charmed me as well.  This book brings you into the lives of the women left behind, but all is not sad and forlorn, and with Rosalie as the main character you can't help but laugh at her antics.

Heartbreak, hope and love are what this story is about and you won't be disappointed as you travel to Seattle in the year 1942 and shoot rivets with Rosie!

For a list of blogs in this tour visit here:


And to win one of Tricia's prize packs visit here:

**Thank you to Amy Lathrop and LitFuse Publicity Group for providing me with a review copy.

You can purchase the book here:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Horse Troubles and some Awesome new plants!

Chance...isn't he gorgeous?
We have been looking for a new horse since spring, now....with all of the horses around you wouldn't think this to be such a problem, but believe me, it isn't easy, and here's why:
-My daughter does English, we do not live in a state where English is overly popular.
-Daughter wants to jump with the horse, which means finding a tall, good horse
-Dad isn't into horses and doesn't want to break the pocketbook
WHOA....found a horse!
-17 HH, 4 inches=1 Hand, Saddlebred gorgeous, HUGE, sweet horse
-Put $ down
-2 days later owner called to say she wanted to keep him
hmmmm.....so why is the horse no longer at her house if she wanted to keep him? grrr.
WHOA....found another horse
-16.2 HH, sweet, gentle HUGE Thoroughbred, ex. California race horse
-No messing around, brought him home right away
-Called trainer, hmmm horse has arthritis and possible lameness
-Returning Horse

So, in the middle of all of this I found some happiness, some gorgeous, monster sized Hibiscus plants, these came home with me, they're not sick, not lame, and they're staying!

HUGE....these are about 12 inches across!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: His Finest Hour: A Biography of Winston Churchill

His Finest Hour: A Biography of Winston Churchill
Have you ever wondered about Winston Churchill, what he was REALLY like, then this is the book for you!  His Finest Hour, by Christopher Catherwood is a biography of Winston Churchill that will take you into Churchill's life and learn about historical issues that can be rather confusing,  only Catherwood writes in a way that makes History remarkably clear!

We don't always learn about all sides of important figures, their thoughts, the reasons behind what they do or did, but this book takes you deep into the life of Winston.  I have never been much of a History buff, but I still like to read and learn about important events, they are after all, what made the World what it is today.

From being stubborn, to adventurous, to being a great leader Winston Churchill was a man of importance and as we know, he had a big job in front of him...if you want to learn more about Winston Churchill, or even the events surrounding him, this is the book for you!  I think that this would even make a great addition to a home school library.

About the Author:

Christopher Catherwood, as consultant to the Blair cabinet's Strategy Unit, worked in the Admiralty building where Churchill was based (1939-40) as First Lord of the Admiralty. He teaches history at the universities of Cambridge and Richmond ( Virginia ), where he is annual Writer in Residence. His books include Why the Nations Rage: Killing in the Name of God, Britain's Balkan Dilemma in World War II, and Christians, Muslims, and Islamic Rage.

*I would like to thank Esther at Skyhorse Publishing for sending me a complimentary copy of this book for review.

If you would like to purchase this book go here:


Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review: What We Have, by Amy Boesky

What We Have: A Family#s Inspiring Story About Love, Loss, and Survival
What We Have: One Family's Inspiring Story About Love, Loss, and Survival
Author, Amy Boesky writes a Memoir that is heartbreaking.  What We Have is a story about a family struggling to overcome cancerous genes and a life of fear.

Can you imagine living your life, even as a young child, knowing that your life expectancy is 45-50 years old?  Amy and her two sisters do just that as they marry, and rush to have children before they are 35 years old...the age where they have their ovaries removed to help prevent cancer.  Each of the sisters is quite on track but life becomes hectic and heartbreaking when a child is lost before birth, a sister moves away and a parent becomes extremely ill.

How far can a family go, does fear need to take hold and does one live with fear, or find a way to live beyond the fear and lead an ordinary life?  We need to take "what we have" and cherish it as if there will be no tomorrow regardless of our heritage, our genes or our beliefs.

While reading this book you often see the lighter side of life, there is plenty of laughter, but tears as well.  It is truly amazing to read about this family and what they go through, the decisions they must make, the choices they have.  Some people in this situation may just sit back and decide to never marry, to never have children, not this family.  This memoir is truly inspirational and will force you to look at your own life, how you live it, and how you cherish those around you.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from J. Chun at Penguin Group, my review is my honest opinion and I was not compensated for my thoughts in any other way.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good Deeds

After yesterday, I need some peace!  What happened?  Well, here's the story:

First, my daughter and I went to the homeschooling store 3o minutes away and spent a bundle of $ on materials for her and her brother, then we drove another 15 minutes and went to Joann's...now that was fun!  I had a 70% coupon, PLUS the store manager gave me a 15% off entire purchase card when he found out we home school!  He is anxiously waiting for my daughter to turn 16...only 6 months to go, he has promised her a job!  Anyway, back to the coupon, I bought a dress form, woohoo....$249, down to $62 after my discounts, how exciting is that?

Next, off to American Eagle, two weeks ago we made a purchase, one of the items was a swimsuit bottom which never made it home with us.  Come to find out, there's been a problem with items getting charged but not actually ending up in the bags...hmmm?  Anyway, we went to get our $ back, that was good.

Then off to Wal-Mart to pick up a prescription, that went off without a hitch UNTIL I got back into my car....a man and woman were flagging me down and said I had a flat, REALLY, it was 90+ degrees and the last thing I wanted to deal with.  Here's the best part, this man was so nice, he changed my tire for me....I was so happy, there really are nice people out there...so kudos to the man who saved the day!!!!

Did anything wonderful happen to you this week?  Do you do good deeds when you're out and about.....let me know, it would be fun to hear about them!


Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Friday...already!

It's time again for some Friday fun.....I can't believe how quickly the week went by....are you ready for back to school?

Join me for some blog hopping fun, don't forget to leave a comment so I can visit your blog as well!


The Girl Creative
......and while you're here, check out my giveaways:
Blind Hope, ends 8/23
Lia Sophia online book party and giveaway ends 8/26
Amish Proverbs, ends 8/31


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review: Vanishing Act, by Liz Johnson

Vanishing Act, by Liz Johnson
Vanishing Act (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense)

About the Author:
            Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-becoming an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines.
            Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN , where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. Keep up with Liz's adventures in writing at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com.

About the book:
This is a book that will keep you on your toes!  Liz writes of mystery, intrigue and romance and this is very much a love inspired suspense as stated on the book cover!  Nora James is thrown into mystery and intrigue as she is kidnapped and then watches as her father is shot in an alley.  Following her promise to her father, Nora runs, and lives a life of hiding.  Soon her luck runs out and she becomes hunted, but who is the culprit?  With newcomer, FBI agent Nate, will she be able to put her past aside or will she too become a victim?

There is an unexpected twist to this story and the adventure will keep you breathless!  This was a great summer read, a great book to curl up in the warm sun with!  I recommend this book, and look forward to reading more of Liz's books in the future.

*Thank you Liz for a copy of your new book!  Disclaimer, I was sent a copy of Vanishing Act to review, I was not compensated in any other way for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Can you purchase a copy of the book here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Knitting....What's on the needles?!

Since my blog is supposed to be about knitting as well as books and reviews, I thought I'd post a photo of what's on my needles!  The summer kept me busy and I didn't get to knit as much as I would have liked, but I'm getting back into my groove now and I really need to finish up a few projects so I can start my 'pumpkin man' ( I'll post him later...but he's going to be CUTE!)

Here's the scarf....this is turning out beautiful and oh so soft, I do have another scarf on needles, it's an Eddie Bauer inspired scarf...it needs to be finished and blocked before I can post it though!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 Lessons Every Kid Should Learn

Kids, there are kids everywhere.  Rude ones, smart one, polite ones, kids that do dumb things, and those that don't, what are 5 lessons YOU think every kid should learn?

Here's what I think: (by no means is this a complete list!)
1.  Manners
2.  They should learn at an early age how to help others, kindly
3.  Don't smoke
4.  Treat others with respect, even when you're a teenager!
5.  Other people may hurt you emotionally, but you need to learn to overcome

.....add to the list!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” http://nannymcphee.twittermoms.com/about