Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

UPDATE: These are really really good, the entire batch has been consumed in less than 24 hours! Well, I do have 2 teenagers, but still...give them a try!

I thought I would share a recipe with you today, bake it up and sit down for a snack with your favorite book, best not to knit while eating it who needs greasy prints! And as for knitting, I just found the cutest patterns at Spud and Chloe, for you non-knitters, she sells some of her items in her Etsy store!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
1 c butter or margarine softened
2 c white sugar or 1c white 1c brown
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chunky peanut butter
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, grease a 10 x 15 pan
Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla and peanut butter and mix until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder and fold in the chocolate chips. Spread dough into your prepared pan and bake for approx. 15 minutes...until the bars look dry.

I found this recipe at


Make it Wear it Party!

Come join the party at The Train To Crazy! You'll find some great ideas for sprucing up your wardrobe and some very cute kids clothing!

make it wear it


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Debbie Macomber, Interview, Review and Giveaway! **CLOSED**

I would like to give a great big thank you to Debbie Macomber and her publicist Alana for giving me the opportunity to review Debbie's new book, Hannah's List, Knit along with Debbie Macomber: Hannah's List and Knit Along with Debbie Macomber A Charity Guide for Knitters!
I did an interview with Debbie last week, and met her last night at the opening of her book tour at the Mall of America! Debbie is one of the kindest, sweetest and most humble people that I have met. Read our interview, then scroll down and enter the great giveaway!

This is a generalization of our conversation!

Me: How many books did you write before you were published?
Debbie: I wrote 4 books and they were rejected so quickly they practically flew out of the mailbox and hit me in the head!

Me: What was your reaction when you saw the cover of your first book?
Debbie: I really liked my first cover

Me: Did you ever have a cover you didn't like and how much input do you have?
Debbie: One of my earlier books had a picture of the hero on the cover, he looked like he had smallpox, I do have cover approval, but for this book it was too late!

Me: How many books do you write a year?
Debbie: I write 2 1/2 to 3 books a year

Me: Who inspires you?
Debbie: My mortgage, and my parents. My mom was a farm girl who worked as a servant and my dad was a POW in WW2. My parents thought it a bit odd when I started to write, but they are very proud of me.

Me: Who taught you how to knit?
Debbie: A local yarn store

Me: What is your favorite thing to knit?
Debbie: Everything! Right now I'm working on a sweater, a pair of gloves and an afghan. I have 9 grandchildren so I'm always knitting something for them!

Me: If you could choose anywhere in the world to write and knit where would it be?
Debbie: New Zealand. It is beautiful there and they sell possum yarn, so I would never have a shortage of yarn to knit with!

Book review:
Debbie does it again with her new book, Hannah's List! A year after Dr. Michael Everett wife's death he his handed a letter that will change his life. The last thing Michael expected in the letter was a list of women Hannah had chosen for him as a potential new wife. After getting used to the idea Michael shares his adventures in getting to know Winter, Leanne and Macy, which one will he choose, will he choose any? I loved this book, it is heart-warming and genuine, one of those feel good all over books!

To complement Hannah's List, Debbie also wrote a companion knitting book. Knit along with Debbie Macomber, Hannah's List. This book is filled with 13 patterns and a story from the book to go with each pattern. The patterns are easy to read and I'm having a difficult time deciding which one to knit first!

I was also sent Knit along with Debbie Macomber, A Charity Guide for Knitters, this book has 18 patterns that are again easy to read and items that are needed for charity, but also are great for yourself or loved-ones. What's really neat about this book is the list of charities with contact information. Debbie is a charity knitter, and it's so easy to knit just one item to send out to charity...please send an item or two, or more to Debbie's knitting for charity project
Knit1, Bless2!

Now the giveaway! One lucky person is going to win all three autographed books listed above! I will also include a surprise gift of some 'Debbie Swag!'

(As soon as blogger gets over it's twitch I'll upload the photo of the 3rd book!

Leave your email address for all entries, and a separate comment for each entry!

You must follow my blog

+1 subscribe for email updates via feed burner
+1 follow me on twitter
+1 tweet about the contest and leave me the tweet link, you may tweet once per day
+1 grab my button and tell me where it is
+2 blog about this contest and leave me the link
+2 sign up for swag bucks using my little link on the left side-bar
+5 send Debbie a knitted item for her knit1, bless2 charity event, a link to the photo of your submission must be included

Contest will end at midnight on Mother's Day, May 9th! I will check all entries for validity! Good Luck
Congratulations Debbie, You're the Winner!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sweater Make-Over

I had an old sweater in the thrift store daughter saved it and told me I just couldn't get rid of it, and now I'm glad I didn't!! This is the original 5 year old sweater from the Gap. It's actually inside out in the photo because I was so excited to do my little project that I forgot to take a before photo!

Garage sales have been HOT around here this spring, I found an old sheer curtain for FREE and picked it up thinking I'd find several uses for it! So I cut a two inch piece from the edge so I'd have one side already hemmed. I sewed and gathered, then pinned to the sweater, after removing the buttons. Then I sewed the ruffle to the sweater leaving the raw edge exposed so it would have a bit of a shabby look to it. I had some edging left so I gathered it with long running stitches and sewed up a few flowers. Then I wanted a bit of contrast so I added a couple of ribbon flowers! Now I have a sweater that I'll wear. I guess I'll iron or steam it first though. : )

Here's the finished product

Friday, April 23, 2010

Glad it's Friday!

(click on the picture to get the enlarged full effect of this one!!!)

Happy Friday everyone! It's been one of those crazy weeks, more bad than good happened this week, so I figure next week simply HAS to be better! Even Bailee, the horse is glad the week is over! We can't ride her anymore but as you can see, she's still a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Bridegrooms, Book Review and Giveaway! ***CLOSED***

Allison Pittman does a splendid job of bringing her characters to life in The Bridegrooms! To read an excerpt from the book go here.

This book will greatly remind you of the classic Little Women, especially with the cover. I must admit I did have a hard time getting past the cover, I would have liked to see something a bit more original, but the story was great! Allison weaves a tale of 4 young women who's mom simply vanished, Vada the oldest was only 8 years old and was left to grow up quickly in order to care for her sisters. Each of the four sisters have quite different personalities that bring life to the book as well as spunk and humor. Their lives will never be the same after the ball team called the Bridegrooms comes to town. You see, their father is a physician and an injured person is brought to their home which results in quite a stir of activity.

A quiet house no more, and not only has the home turned upside down with the recent events of the Bridegrooms, but the mystery involving the girls' mom is solved! This is a great book, a quick read, but fun, entertaining and full of character. This is definitely NOT just a romance novel!

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Would you like to WIN this book? I was given a copy to's what you can do to win!

Please Please Please, if you enter, leave your email address in your entry so I can contact you, if you don't leave your address your entry will not be included!

Follow my blog and tell me where you met the significant person in your life!

Want extra chances to win? Here's what you can do: (Leave one comment for each extra entry)
+1 grab my button and tell me where it is on your blog
+1 tweet about the contest and leave me the tweet link
+1 follow me on twitter
+5 go to the little swag bucks button on my sidebar and join swag bucks...this will only count if you go through my sidebar button!

The winner will be drawn by and I will notify the winner via email the day after the contest closes! Contest will close at midnight on Friday, April 30th

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Apache's Princess Bailee, a horse story

I have written about Bailee a few times, but today's post is very difficult. We purchased Bailee from a lady my daughter took her first lessons from. My daughter met Bailee when she was just a foal and fell in love with her. One day we went to an auction and there was Bailee, that was the day we became horse people. At 18 months, when she came to live with us she was only 600lbs. and extremely wormy. After a lot of care we fattened her up, got rid of her worms, broke and trained her and had the farrier out. The previous owner did not deworm nor did she think a farrier necessary. We didn't know much about horses and hindsight is always 20/20. Today we had a horse chiropractor out who told us that our daughter should never ride Bailee because of her extreme weakness, it seems as though the worms caused spinal deterioration. My daughter is devastated and as parents we feel terrible, we love the horse dearly, she is a registered Tennessee Walking Horse. My daughter is still going to work with her and teach her tricks! It's been a very sad day.

On top of it all, the 4H county fair season is upon us, riding your horse in fair competition is the highlight of the summer for these young girls. We have exactly 4 weeks to find a horse and make sure testing and paperwork is completed so she can ride in the fair. Can we do it? I'm hoping to find a light at the end of this tunnel.

My highlight of the day is the phone call I'm going to receive very shortly from Author Debbie Macomber! Woohoo, and interview...won't be posted until next week though!

The Sound Snatcher, book review

Author, Linda Sabin sent me her new book, The Sound Snatcher, to read and review...thanks Linda!

The Sound Snatcher is a very cute, well illustrated children's book that I can only compare to a Dr. Seuss book with the rhyming verses and catchy words! A noisy, hungry vacuum snatches sounds and makes children laugh at it's antics. Some children are quite afraid of the loud sounds a vacuum makes, this story will make them find fun instead of fear in vacuuming! I can even see children WANT to vacuum, so they can snatch household sounds themselves! If only this book could be read to cats!

This is a green book, written on recycled paper with soy ink which makes it even better!

You can visit Linda Sabin and learn more her at her website!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Week in Review

I have not done anything spectacular this week, nothing crafty, nothing too exciting. I did finish my alligator costumes for our 4H play tonight, I am now working on cutting the chorus on the song we're doing. I did knit some mouse noses, the kids liked that's good! I took my kids to their State Testing where I had to sit around for 6 hours on two different days. I did enter my yellow apron in the quilt store contest..wish me luck! The vet came out and looked at the horse's eye, which should have had stitches but we didn't catch the injury soon enough, it's healing up pretty good though. All the animals got their vaccinations...they're all sleepy now, and that's a wrap-up on my week.

Hoping next week is a bit more spectacular! If I get some good photos of the play tonight I'll post them so you can see the great costumes everyone made!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Panic of the day

It's been one of those crazy weeks. Kids had MCA testing, I have allergy stuff going on and tonight I have dress rehearsal for a 4H play we're putting on. Just finished the alligator costumes and the mouse noses last night. Today, I went to play the music for the play and AARGH the cd isn't working. Then, my daughter came up to me and said that something is wrong with the horse's eye. Well of course, that's because the vet is coming TOMORROW, couldn't she have waited a day if she was going to hurt her eye! If all goes well I'll get through the next few hours without any more mishaps. Have any of you with a horse ever seen an eye like this? OUCH


Monday, April 12, 2010

Cameras For Kids, Author Interview and Giveaway

Author, John Crippen was gracious enough to send me 2 copies of his book, Cameras For Kids to review and giveaway! He also agreed to do an interview.

I love this book, full of colorful photos and easy to read directions this is a great way to encourage young children to explore the world of photography. Learn how to make a toy animal glow, action photos and perspective are some of the useful tools that you will learn. This book is written for an average 4th grade reader but is not only for the young at heart, adults will enjoy this book as well! John writes about very inexpensive props that you can purchase for your kids to photograph, then he goes on to explain basic camera functions as well as choosing a camera. Once your child takes 100's of photos what are you going to do with them? Use the helpful scrap booking tips to create endless memories of a young child's journey in the world of photography!

I can't think of a better gift idea, not only for children but for teachers as well...a useful tool to encourage kids to explore their artistic options!

Now for the interview with John:

What made you decide to write "Cameras For Kids"? I love photography and have been taking pictures of my grand children or years. I noticed that my grand children were curious, so a I started teaching them. It was so much fun I started going to their classes and doing 30 minute presentations in schools. It all just kind of took off from there.

Will you be writing a follow-up or more advanced book as a sequel to "Cameras For Kids"? I already have a couple of books available for a little bit more advanced photography. They primarily for the advance point and shoot to the beginning DSLR user. One is on animal photography and the other is on scenic photography. I'd like to make another advanced book that will cover many types of shooting.

What would be your #1 piece of advice for photographers of any age? Have fun, experiment, and expect the unexpected.
Also, try different genres. You might find out that you enjoy shooting a subject that you would not have expected to.

What were your fears/hopes when your book first came out? When I wrote 'Cameras For Kids', I wasn't sure how receptive parents and teachers would be to the book. I've been pleasantly surprised with all the positive feedback. People really love this book, it's surpassed all my expectations.

Were you a child photographer? I did have cameras as a kid, but I was mostly into drawing and watercolors. Photography came more as an adult. I didn't want other kids to miss the opportunity to start at an early age.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book? The easiest?
I found the content to flow pretty easy and I had 5 grand children to run ideas past. The most difficult part has been proof reading and correcting grammar.

What do you tend to photograph most and why?
I primarily enjoy shooting nature, scenic, and wildlife. As the youngest of 5 kids we did a lot of camping and hiking.

John would also like to encourage parents and educators to get involved with the 'Cameras For Kids' project. on the website there's information on nature, science, and wildlife as well as photography. For teachers there's even some helpful information on grant writing and discounts.

...and how about a giveaway which will end on 4/20 at midnight

Mandatory Entry
...(please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win)
Follow my blog

Extra Entries
....(please leave a separate comment for each entry)
+1 Follow me on Twitter
+1 Tweet about the giveaway and leave the direct link on your comment
+1 Grab my button & in your comment let me know where to find it
+1 Leave an encouraging word for Author John Crippen

Good Luck, and thanks for entering!

Love to recycle? Here's a free Ebook for you!

I just found this link from Bucktown Bargains blog, so I went over and checked it out. It's definitely worth the FREE download, quite a few great ideas go on and check it out!

Forget Me Not, by Vicki Hinze

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, to read an excerpt from this book go here!

Forget Me Not, by Vicki Hinze was a very enjoyable book..the story line was suspenseful, shocking, and full of romance. A great combination to keep your interest throughout the entire book. Susan/Karen/Kelly a woman badly beaten and left for dead finds herself deep in horror. Not knowing who she is or why people are trying to kill her she seeks refuge at Benjamin's home. Ben is a widow who's murdered wife looked so much like the mysterious woman that Ben has a difficult time looking past similarities but finds himself caring for her. As the story twists and turns the main characters get thrown into a tangled web of deceit, murder and unlawful events, just as the the mystery starts to unfold Kelly remembers who she is and fears what will happen between her and Ben as the truth comes to light.

This was a great book, if you're looking for a mystery/romance give Forget Me Not a try!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Do you have Hattitude?

I received the book Hattitude by Cathy Carron from Tara at SoHo Publishing/Sixth and Spring for review!

Hats can be boring, or hats can be fun....which would you prefer to wear? In Hattitude there is a hat for every mood! There are so many different hats in this book that I'm not sure which hat to knit first. Each pattern is easy to read and understand, nothing too complicated and each pattern has a colorful picture showing the finished product. Haughty, mysterious, giving, brooding, earnest, which hat type are you?

Don't stop with a hat for yourself, in this collection there are plenty of hats to go around, hats for mom's, sisters, friends, you can even use a little imagination and knit a man hat, some of these are pretty girly, but my brother found a few that we decided could be turned manly!

The back of the book teaches you how to measure for correct hat sizing and how to design a hat that fits which is great since no one wants to spend all that time knitting a hat only to find it won't fit onto your head. There is also a list of stitch abbreviations which is helpful if you're like me and always you know the anatomy of a hat? How to make a pompom? Love this book!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Knit Baby Beanies

I have been waiting to post photos of my knit beanies until my niece could model them, but she wasn't in much of a modeling mood! Her sister helped....the pink hat is a bit small for a 1 yr old but the blue one fit her perfectly.....I knit it out of Sensations elastic yarn, so it stretched enough to fit big sister who is going to be 8! Could be a bit bigger on big sister! I'm going to knit them matching headbands with big flowers..can't wait to see them on the girls!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sleep, It Does A Family Good

Sleep, It Does A Family Good, by Archibald Hart is an eye-opening book on how families can overcome sleep deprivaton. Much of our society is sleep deprived, many people don't even realize they are sleep deprived. Children falling asleep in school, crankiness, ill health, inability to concentrate, if you have any of these symptoms you are probably suffering from sleep deprivation.

In this book, Dr. Hart offers help and hope, he has suggestions that are easy to use, small changes in your life-style or sleeping habits can make a huge difference. You learn how to re-wire your brain, we get so busy in today's society that we can simply forget how to sleep. We can teach ourselves how to get a good night sleep with a little work and this book tells us how to do just that. Many families are suffering because of sleep loss, they may blame it on work, money issues, etc. but sleep can be the underlying cause. If you or family members are suffering from sleep loss or have a difficult time falling asleep, this is the book for you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Debbie Macomber Launches Knit1, Bless2

I am so excited to share this with you!

Part 1:
Debbie is launching a charity drive you can learn more about it here
I am very excited about this charity drive and would love for everyone to pitch in and help, the 3 charities are Project Linus, Newborns in Need, and Binky Patrol. If you go to the site link above you can find out more and print off little tags to put with your items. Please send in your donations by 5/31

I am going to donate and I hope you do too, she is accepting knit or crocheted items!


I simply love Debbie Macomber, who can't love a woman who writes book to support her knitting habit? My husband would be thrilled if I had her talent! I just love how she writes about knitting in her novels, it doesn't matter if you knit or not, her knitting story line is great! And guess what? I am going to be hosting a giveaway and an author interview....PLUS I will be meeting Debbie during her book tour:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet Debbie at the Mall of America, this is her first stop for her new book tour: Hannah's List

6-7pm knit along with Debbie

7-9pm book signing

If you come, be sure to look for me and say 'hello'!

Part 2:
I will be doing a giveaway on April 27th when Debbie's new book comes out, BUT, keep in mind that if you donate something, you will be rewarded with extra entries...a link to a photo of your donation will be required! So knit, or crochet away and watch for the Debbie Macomber giveaway, this is going to be a great giveaway!

Keep watching...I will post the giveaway/review/and interview on the 27th! Be sure to donate so you get more entries!

Book Review, Hand of Fate

New York Times Best-Selling Author Lis Wiehl writes a great suspense that will keep you on your toes. "Hand of Fate", a triple threat novel is a fast moving thriller that could happen in Any Town, USA.

Every city seems to have at least one loud mouthed radio guy, and in this book Jim Fate is it. But when Jim is killed a city-wide panic leaves you on edge. Was this an act of terror, murder, or did the wrong guy open an envelope meant for someone else? As you learn more about Jim and his life you meet many characters who just may have had it in for him, but after previous terror attacks one can't be sure if it is murder at all. With many twists and turns this book is highly entertaining and very easy to follow. The characters are interesting and keep you wondering until the surprising end!

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255[...]: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Dyson Vacuum Review

If you're like me you have a never ending need to vacuum the kitchen floor. I can't believe how quickly the crumbs collect! Not too long ago my 15 year old vacuum cleaner just wasn't
'sucking' up the dirt, after finally convincing my husband that I needed a new vacuum I headed to the store and bought a Dyson!

I bought the DC14 which is for all floors. I have mostly wood floors with area rugs and a couple of our bedrooms are carpeted. As soon as I walked in the door I opened the box and put together my machine. WOW...the first thing I did was vacuum the rug under my table. We are not that messy, and like I said, I generally vacuum every day. BUT....this vacuum sucked up so much junk that my carpet looked brand new and the canister filled up. Each room of my house had the same results, I was amazed.

I definitely recommend this vacuum, and would buy it again. It really has great suction. The only downfall is this loud ratcheting sound when you vacuum a rug that is not tight against the floor, or if you bump into something. Once you realize your vacuum is o.k. and that the sound is normal, everything is well! I was a little worried at first, thinking something was seriously wrong!


Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Author Bio:
Anthony DeStefano

is the author of The Prayers God Always Says Yes To and A Travel Guide to Heaven. He has received prestigious awards from religious organizations worldwide for his efforts to advance Christian beliefs in modern culture.

Mark Elliott’s brilliant illustrations have appeared in popular picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine’s Princess Tales series. His acclaimed artwork delivers inspiration, wonder, and timeless beauty on every page.

This is a wonderfully illustrated book that young children will love to read. A perfect bedtime story and enjoyable to read with catchy rhymes and a reminder that children can trust in God, that he will always care for them. What I like about this book is the reality of the pictures, broken toys, tears, you can see the children in the story doing things that your own children will do. The story fits so perfectly with the pictures and is written in a way that children can relate to. Kids are not perfect, and this book shows that it's o.k. not to be perfect but that you do need to pray, ask forgiveness and be kind to others. This is a book that I will share with my nieces and nephews, and would be a great gift!

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, if you would like to purchase this book please go to:

Now...if you would like to win this book, I have one simple thing for you to do:

Follow my blog, and leave a comment telling me who you would give this book to if you won it. Please leave your email in your comment so I can contact you if you win.

The contest will end on Sunday 4/18 at midnight and the winner will be chosen with a random generator! GOOD LUCK!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

I am out of town right now, but wanted to stop in and wish everyone a very Happy Easter weekend! What are you doing for Easter?

My brother flew in from Tucson on Wed. night, then we drove to WI on Thursday to surprise our parents/sister/grandparents/etc! What fun that was, it was difficult to keep the secret, but worth it! My sister is making us Easter dinner, so I don't have to cook this year! Tonight we're going out for fish fry!

Enjoy, and see you Monday!