Thursday, May 31, 2012

How-to Guide Giveaway from Nessbow

One of my large sponsors has offered up a couple of her how-to guides to one lucky winner!

With Vanessa's Guide to Personal Style and Guide to Second Hand Shopping you are sure to discover a few things about yourself, your style and how to discover new items in a second hand shop!

To enter:
Visit the Nessbow blog, and leave Vanessa a comment telling her I sent you.

Additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
- Follow Newfoundlander at Heart via GFC
- Follow NaH on Twitter
- Like NaH on Facebook
- Follow Nessbow blog
- Follow Nessbow on Twitter
- Like Nessbow on Facebook

And that's all you have to do! You have until Wednesday June 6th at 11:59pm EST to enter. A winner will be chosen the next day.

Good luck and happy entering! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let's Catch-up!

Today I have a little catch-up post, to check in with my sponsors and see what they've been up to recently. Take a look at all the interesting things they have going on, and be sure to follow the links over to their posts!

May has been a fantastic month – one because I hit 200 sales in my shop and two because we celebrated my daughters ninth birthday this month. I’ve had some great posts on my blog this month also – come by and check them out.
~ Polly

Hello everyone! My name is Danielle and I blog over at Framed Frosting. I've been extremely busy this month organizing the Secret Blogger Swap. There are about 90 ladies involved and they are all sending a package to another blogger. In fact, we're all linking up on the blog today to share what we got. Feel free to head on over and look at some of the amazing packages! And stay tuned because I might be planning another one here soon!
~ Danielle

This month I've been keeping busy with wedding invitations and save-the-dates, as is appropriate for the season.  However, I didn't forget that next month holds Father's Day, so I have added a few cards that you can purchase for your awesome dad!  In other news, my husband has been gone all month at training (and unable to communicate with me) and he finally comes home at the end of this week!!! yay!
~ Joy

Hi I'm Tara from SewTara and I'm just counting the days until summer holidays so I can be home and create as much as I'd like! Or as much as I can with 2 little ones underfoot. I'm hoping to learn some new skills and make some big changes in my shop
~ Tara
Things have been busy over at That Mama Gretchen! We're getting ready to welcome baby #2 in August and packing to move in with my parents for a few months while our house is being built. With all this craziness I'm lining up guest posts that will debut over the summer and in to early fall, if you're interested, let me know :) I'd love to share your birth story, parenting tips, DIY, favorite recipe or any other fun idea!
~ Gretchen

I've been very busy finding and wearing vintage treasures, thinking up easy ways to jazz up casual outfits and watching The Avengers with a slack jaw.  I also attended Free Comic Book Day with my beloved in the best couples costume ever.  May has been very good to me!
~ Vanessa

It's been a busy old month, I had some surgery and I've been off my feet a while, it's been quiet in the Kitchen. However the twins and I have started Saturday Baking Club, the twins wanted to learn to bake. All the time I've been resting I have caught up on my knitting, so there will be new stock soon in the shop. Things are getting back to normal and I am baking again, yay!
~ Sallie


Aren't they a lovely bunch of ladies! I am so happy to have them as friends and sponsors :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baking Challenge: Homemade Granola Bars

The Baking Challenge started with a recipe posted by a good friend. She was unsure of how to decipher a recipe in a thrifted church cookbook, and I took it as a challenge to try it out. To see all The Baking Challenge posts, click here. And please join in and try out any that seem enticing!

Also, if you have any challenges for me please comment below or send me an e-mail. I'd love to try something for you!

So here is the recipe I left you with last time in the Baking Challenge. I actually had a chance to make these before Pip decided it was time to head to the hospital and was able to take a couple with me. We polished off the rest of the batch shortly after I made them :)
Click to enlarge - Source
I made a couple changes to the above recipe because I was a little concerned about eating too many raw oats. I decided to toast the oats and the nuts and seeds I chose to use.

So I used:
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 cup quick cooking oats (feel free to use
1 cup combined: sunflower seeds, coconut, slivered almonds, chocolate chips

I toasted the oats, sunflower seeds, coconut and almonds at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes - make sure to watch them you don't want them to burn. And then I followed the recipe as it reads above. I would recommend waiting a little while before adding the chocolate chips, mine were a little melted.
I wrapped mine in parchment paper. They get a little soft when left out, so storing them in the fridge seems to help - if they last long enough! I would definitely recommend these, so tasty and all good wholesome ingredients. If peanut butter is an issue in your some feel free to replace with another nut butter or something else similar :)

And here is a little challenge for the next couple weeks. Since it claims to be impossible I figured I would give it a try, and it seems simple enough that I can find time for it in between feedings! :)
Did you try the granola bars? And how about the impossible pie? Going to give it a try? I'd love to hear how you do :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Great Giveaway Items Here!

This is a little late coming, but I have some great items up for grabs from a few wonderful ladies! All items will go to one lucky winner!

From Ashley at After Nine to Five
 Blog 101 E-Book

From Polly at This Enchanted Pixie
Large Ad Space 250x150
Blog :: Shop

From Karen at Hodgepodge Arty
Choose a pair of button earrings from the shop!
Blog :: Shop

From Chrissy at Whimsical Poppymsic
Large Ad Space 200x100

To enter: Please leave a comment below, and let me know what you are excited about this summer!

Additional Entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
You have until Saturday June 2nd at 11:59pm EST to enter. A winner will be drawn and announced on Sunday. Good luck and happy entering! :)


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Helping Out Mama: with Hodgepodge Arty

While I'm waiting for baby to arrive and enjoying those first few moments once Pip has arrived I've got a few wonderful ladies looking after my blog. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and get ready to meet some fantastic people! 

Hello, beautiful readers.  I'm Karen from Hodgepodge Arty, here to share a little DIY for nursery rhyme finger puppets. Nursery rhymes are a wonderful way to sing, tell stories, and rhyme with your child - with or without a book.  And, I love the imaginative play with children that comes along with using finger puppets in addition to songs and stories.   I flipped through my beloved treasury of nursery rhymes, picked out some favorites and made some puppets for you:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...

Rain, rain, go away...

I eat my peas with honey...

Once I saw a little bird...

Bread and milk...

I could go on and on, but I've already had to edit my puppets to the ones posted above!  The possibilities are endless, so have fun making finger puppet friends - and if you have children old enough, they can make these themselves by stitching or gluing.  What are your favorite nursery rhymes?  

Be well,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dear Pip: Welcome Home!

The first half of this letter I had written two weeks ago, and meant to finish and schedule it for Wednesday May 16th, and well Pip had other plans :)

Dear Pip,

Today is your due date! Mama has had some rather strong contractions as of late, so I'm hopeful we will get to meet you soon :) Your baby nook, crib, and car seat are all in place and ready to go. And all of your clothes and blankets have been washed and are waiting for your arrival! I even made you a little oatmeal/herbal mix to use in the bath. And, our bags our packed and ready for the hospital! I thought perhaps I would share with some of our lovely readers what we are taking to hospital, and that way I will always remember the outfits we took with us :)
I figured it wasn't so interesting to share the clothes I took for myself, but as you can see I took lots of snacks. I had many people warn me it was a long time between dinner and breakfast and having snacks would be a good plan. As well as some juice and water, just in case. And wrapped in the white parchment paper are some homemade granola bars, which will be shared this coming week :). I also packed a few cute outfits for you Pip, some diapers (as extra, just in case) and toiletries for me and daddy.

Now it's funny because I finished packing our bags on Monday (May 14th) in the evening. I had been having contractions at work in the afternoon, but not strong or really regular. Then daddy and I went to sleep Monday night, thinking we still had lots of time. On Tuesday morning daddy got up early to try and get a turkey before work, and almost two hours later at 4:45am I woke up with rather strong contractions. After about an hour I sent daddy a text message and said that I thought I might be in labour, and after a little bit he called me back and headed home. In the meantime I used an online site to keep track of my contractions and realized they were getting longer, stronger and closer together. When daddy got home, I decided we should head to the hospital and once there they hooked me up to a monitor to measure the contractions as well as your heart rate. A little while later one nurse did an internal check and found that I was 5-6cm dilated - more than halfway there - and things started to move very quickly.

Daddy and I both found it hard to believe that you would arrive on that day, we so expected you would take your time. Mama got an epidural to help with the pain, and rested and waited. Around 1pm the doctor came to check on me and since I was fully dilated at this point she broke my water. Then things moved very quickly, I could feel the contractions coming quickly and  they were very strong and after about an hour the nurse told me I could start pushing. I pushed for about 1 1/2 hours until the doctor arrived and with an episotomy and vacuum assistance the baby was on my chest before I knew it!

It was a pretty amazing experience, even the scary and painful parts, but I think I'll wait a little while before doing that again. So Pip, after a slightly traumatic delivery for you, and a few extra days in the hospital to help your jaundice go down you're home, and we couldn't be happier!

A few of your first photos, lots more to come!
8lbs14oz, no wonder you had trouble getting out!
First snuggle with mama.
Sleeping peacefully :)
Wearing your UV blanket (aka 'glow bug suit') to reduce your jaundice.
You are perfect Pip, and we love you!
Love always, 

Helping out Mama: with After Nine to Five

While I'm waiting for baby to arrive and enjoying those first few moments once Pip has arrived I've got a few wonderful ladies looking after my blog. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and get ready to meet some fantastic people! 
  • 16oz of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • Two jars of spaghetti sauce (any flavor)
  • One 12oz package of Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles
  • One package of Barilla No Boil lasagna noodles
  • 16oz of Mozarella Cheese
  • Two medium eggs
  • Mushrooms (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 375° and lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking pan
Beat eggs together in mixing bowl. Add in all of the Ricotta, 2 cups of Mozarella cheese, and all of the Parmesan. Mix thoroughly.
Microwave the entire bag of the Boca Crumbles in a microwave safe dish for 2.5 minutes. Let sit.
Spread 1 cup of sauce in the pan
Lay 4 noodles, slightly overlapping, over the sauce.

Spread 1/3 of the Ricotta mixture from Step 1 over the noodles

Spread half of the Boca Crumbles over the Ricotta mixture

Sprinkle 1 cup of Mozarella cheese over the Boca Crumbles
Repeat steps 3-6
{1 cup of sauce, 4 noodles, 1/3 of the Ricotta mixture, and the rest of the Boca Crumbles}
Repeat steps 3-5 - 1 cup of sauce, 4 noodles, and the rest of the Ricotta mixture
Repeat steps 3-4 - 1 cup of sauce and the rest of the noodles
Spread the remaining sauce and top with mushrooms if you'd like. My husband loves mushrooms, I don't. ;)

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top
Cover with foil. A pan underneath isn't necessary, but works well in case it boils over at all. Bake until bubbly, between 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes to melt cheese.
Remove from over and let sit 15-20 minutes
Slice and serve. I can easily get 16 servings out of ours.

From Ashley, at After Nine to Five

Friday, May 25, 2012

Helping out Mama: with This Enchanted Pixie

While I'm waiting for baby to arrive and enjoying those first few moments once Pip has arrived I've got a few wonderful ladies looking after my blog. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and get ready to meet some fantastic people! 
Hey there! I'm Polly and I blog over at This Enchanted Pixie I'm here today to share my super simple chocolate fudge recipe with you. My {almost} 9 year old can make this pretty much by herself, it's quick and easy to make, incredibly tasty and makes a great gift!
All you need:
75g full-fat cream cheese
350g icing {powdered} sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
75g chocolate drops
40g butter 6in square cake tin

step one - beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and cocoa.
step two - melt the butter and sugar then stir into the cheese mixture.
step three - spoon into the greased cake tin, place in the fridge for around 2 hours until the fudge is firm.
step four - cut the fudge into square {this recipe will make around 36 squares} and try not to eat it all at once ;)
I hope you try it out! Let me know if you do - stop by my blog and say hello!!