Monday, November 28, 2011

Master the Meal

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GravyMaster for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have to be honest with you here, when Social Spark sent me an offer to write about Master the Grill Gravy Master, I thought my hubby makes the best gravy around.  However, I read more about it and thought "Hmmm, maybe I will write about it."


So here it goes.  First off, you know that hubby and I are trying to eat vegetarian/vegan.  (That is a whole other post.)   And most gravies (especially hubby's) is NOT vegan at all.  Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when I read: "Gravymaster is both vegetarian and vegan, it contains NO meat."  That's good.  Second, we try to eat products that don't have a lot of junk, you know all of those additives and stuff.  So, another plus for GravyMaster is: "Gravymaster contains a carefully concentrated blend of celery, onion, parsley, garlic, caramel, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, apple vinegar, salt and pure cane sugar.  NO chemical preservatives, artificial color, flavors or additives are ever used."  What a great way to yummy up your Christmas dishes.  It is wonderful for caramelizing veggies too.

There is more information here:

I would love to make this:   only try it as a bean burger.  Or the first thing that came to mind was slow cooking our beans in it.  I tried that with BBQ sauce and they were delish!  What would you make?

Find more information here:


Master the meal

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

catching up

We went here for our 20th...

This is happening today...
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

the blog boards are by lauren reid designs and the lilypad.

Monday, November 21, 2011

good morning monday before thanksgiving.
got a good night's sleep.
will start on my thanksgiving to-do list today.

i have been planning (sort of ) a post about homeschooling, our school day, etc. 
do you have any questions you'd like answered?

off to didn't really want to know that did you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

20 years

(photos are unedited as is our marriage.)
20 years ago I married someone who would become my best friend.
We only knew each other 8 months before we got married.
We knew that we were going to much so that hubby just assumed we'd get married.  I had to ask him to ask me to marry him.  Funny, now.
We didn't really know what we were doing in the beginning, but golly, we made it work and made it fun.
I could go on and on about our marriage, but instead I will give you a list of 20 things I have learned in 20 years of marriage. (in no particular order.)
1. I am one selfish person.
2. I really need my hubby in my life.
3. Just how deep I can love.
4. How fun it is to have someone in my life.
5. Some things are better left unsaid...
6. ...unless they are kind.
7. It is such a stabling feeling knowing the same person is there with you all the way.
8. How to laugh...hubby is a character.
9. How to forgive.
10. How to press on in hard times.
11. How to get close to God in those hard times.
12. It is really nice to have someone who knows me inside and out and still loves me.
13. That two really do become one.  (I realized that when hubby went overseas in the Marines.)
14. Having a hubby makes me want to be a better person.
15. Sometimes holding hands says so much, so very much.
16. How to appreciate picking up after someone.
17. How to rest in the good times.
18. I have learned just how strong and vulnerable I am.
19. (19 already...) How to live out the vows we said..."for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health..."
20. I would do it all again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

some shots

our daughter went to a sweet 16 birthday party sunday.
they had a photo shoot.

love this girl and her precious smile.

most of these girls have grown up together since birth. 
each birthdays are within months of each other.
 while girls are girls, these photos warm my heart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

because i can

i have been able to stay home with the kids their whole lives.
for that i can't even start to express my gratefulness.
staying at home has many advantages.

my mom had to go back to work.
and a conversation with her one day brought this to mind.
all of the little things i can do because i am home, i have the time.
like cut up carrots for my daughter.

while this may seem like no biggie and i may be able to do this even if i worked outside the home, but to me it really struck my heart and gave me joy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

some crafts

remember these frames?
i finally filled them.

 son found this butterfly.  matches our bedroom perfectly!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

look what i found

while digging out the chalks, i found this.
my old art book from high school.
(i'll keep most of these small since there's so many.)

from my more depressed days.

a friend.  i drew the pink one while on vacation with their family.

one of my faves.

from this album...i think the actually picture was inside of the album.

from a tears for fears album cover.

love her eyes.  when i took it out her face looks like someone i know now.  weird.

and a later hubby.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

a right of passage

my mom used to draw.
she had this fancy chalk set.
i remember watching her take it out and drawing.
i loved the colors.
i love the square chalks.

once i got old enough she let me use them.
what a pleasure.
today they are mine.
we dug them out (honestly, dug them out) this morning for art.

the colors still delight me.
though this morning i was the one saying, "be careful" and "put the colors back in the right spots."
this morning i passed on a right of passage to our children.

we were to draw those pears.
they seemed WAY too much for daughter.  she switched to an apple.
here's what we ended up with.

daughter's ended up looking the best.  maybe we all need to do a bunch of complaining for our art to turn out so nice.

son turned a practice pear into a punk avocado.

we ate the model pear i used tonight.

son did two.  here's his black and white version.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

to my hubby.
to my brother-in-law.
to my uncle. my cousin, my father-in-law...and ALL those who served past and present.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

going vegan...?

so, my hunting, meat loving hubby and i are trying out the whole vegan thing.
now, we don't hug trees...we cut one down every Christmas.
we are trying it out for health reasons and nothing more.

so, i am going to blog about our progress into the vegan world.
i know there are anti-vegans out there, we were two of them.

i have made a few almost vegan meals.  (chicken and beef broth make them almost)
breakfasts are easy.
lunches pretty easy.  though we still are eating tuna.
dinner is the tricky part.
soups have been the easiest thus far to make vegan.

the other day i picked up a package of vegan hot dogs.

why not?
how were they?
not too bad, weird shaped but nothing i am going to crave anytime soon.
they would be better in a soup then in a bun.
though son ate three of them.

funny story.
daughter is already skeptical about what is served at dinner, since hubby hunts and we eat game.
after one bite she says, "what kind of hot dogs are these?"
me: "they are a different type of meat."
dd: "are they organic?"
me (looking at hubby): "yeah, organic."
dd: "is there grass in there?"
laugh, hahaha
later when we told her what they were..."i knew i tasted grass.  GROSS!"

tonight, i made a vegan cornbread.
(sorry for the blurry pic, this was the best one.)
here's what i replaced:
applesauce for the shortening
flax seed meal for the egg
wheat flour for the white (has nothing to do w/vegan cooking)
and flax milk for cow's milk

it wasn't bad at all.  daughter actually liked it.
it was a bit crumbly and a bit different texture, but still good.

i found a whole cookbook on vegan cookies that actually sound pretty good!

if you have any vegan hints please pass it on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

honey we got a new dog...

I had to pick up hubby.  I told him I'll bring our new dog.
His reaction was classic.  Something close to "WHATTTTT!"
Anyway, we only got our dog, Charlie groomed.

He was pretty much like this when we got him.
We have tried to keep up on his dreadlocks, but really to no avail.

So, he had to get shaved very short.  He actually isn't unhappy, just a bad shot.

We are still getting used to his new look. 
He is so soft and easy to brush.
He just gets cold so easy now.
I will have to take some pics of his clothes!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

getting organized

Last Friday hubby and daughter went to a concert 3 hours away.
Son went to a concert 1 1/2 hours away.
I stayed home and hit our photos.

This is only part of the stash that we have here and there and "where is that one photo?"
So, I checked out three stories on CD and went to work.

I took four shoe box size boxes, plus loose pics, grouped them together...

...remember these?  Grouped these all together.

Fit them into these two boxes.
Not close to being done, but I had to stop after 5 hours.
I want to eventually want to get the photos like Paislee Press'(If anyone wants to donate, I am open!  heehee!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cute Factor Plus

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Ultimate battle...Baby vs. Puppy.  Who has the most cute factor.  

Look at these two...don't you just want to squeeze them?  I do, you know I do!  I just love chubby babies and soft puppies, but I digress.

(internet photo)

Animal Planet is having an online contest from now until November 23rd.

The winning puppy or baby will get $5,000!  How's that for a prize!  Wonder what the puppies are going to buy?


Which do I think is cutier?  Hmmm...that's a tough one, but it will have to be puppies.  Almost all breeds are cute as puppies, but not all babies are cute.  Every time I see a puppy, I can't help but do the "Ahhhh, I want one."  Babies don't do that for me, anymore.  Speaking of dogs/puppies, our dog, Charlie is at the groomers, getting all handsome.  Oh, I bet he was a cute puppy, but our kids were pretty darn cute too.  Maybe, I have to change my opinion and side with the babies.


What about you?  Babies?  Puppies?

Cast your vote here: Puppies vs. Babies or here: Puppies vs. Babies online contest




So, who'd you vote for?

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