Wednesday, October 31, 2012


My heart goes out to those on the East Coast.  Today is Halloween but to them, today is another day of dis-pare.  I have a couple friends out there who are experiencing this first hand and I'm so sorry!

Since today is Halloween though, I thought I would share with you what happened round these parts this last weekend.  I know this is a few days late but that's the way I roll and the fact that it has to do with Halloween, this worked out.

Saturday afternoon Tbug, Hubby and I carved pumpkins and decorated cookies.  This post is going to be picture heavy, so be for warned!

Be careful cutting or else you wind up slicing through your thumb.  Then we glued it together and got a paper towel glued to his tumb.

Tbug decided she wanted to draw her own pumpkin so she and her daddy went to work carving her design.

Since she needed help carving her pumpkin, her daddy gave her his pumpkin to carve so she decided we needed to have a family pumpkin.

It's a pumpkin head... lol, just ask her.

Remember when Early bought those cookie kits?  Well we thought it would be fun to do one with Tbug.

Happy Halloween Y'all!

Pumpkin Patch pie

Happy Halloween

Pumpkin Patch Pie


1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag
2 2/3 cups cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                                             
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Graham cracker crumbs                                                               
25 small cups
1 can whipped topping
25 spoons
Combine the milk and instant pudding in the Ziploc bag. Remove the air and Ziploc shut. Squeeze and kneed with hands until blended for 1 minute.

Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger.

Remove the air and Ziploc shut. Squeeze and kneed with hands until blended for 2 minutes.

Place ½ Tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of small cups.

Cut corner of gallon freezer bag and squeeze pie filling into cups.

Garnish with 1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping.
Add a spoon. Serve and enjoy.

Yield – 25 students and 1 teacher
Ingredients can be divided by 4 or 5 students to work in small groups.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Truth About Gossiping

Gossiping Sucks!

That's all.

I'll leave you with Horsie kisses.  (yes, I said Horsie)

unfortunately my arm wasn't long enough to get all of Blondie's head :(

Happy Halloween Eve :)   

**Btw, I follow my blog in google reader just to see if it shows up with every post and for some reason it always doesn't.  Yesterday was one of those instances, so if you'd like to read a few tricks I've learned throughout my years of blogging, be sure to check out yesterday's post!!!**

Monday, October 29, 2012

Make Your Blog Rock

Ok so technically I'm not the worlds best blogger.  I don't have hundreds of thousands of followers, I don't get 20+ comments on every post... But I have been blogging for 3 years, consecutively with out breaks.  Holy cow!  What can I say, I love blogging!

I have seen a lot of blogs I like, I have seen blogs I wish mine was like, I have seen blogs that really didn't tickle my fancy, and that's ok.  That's what's so GREAT about this world of blogging.  We all have something different to bring to the table.  We aren't all identical.

You may excel at something I don't, and vice versa.  One of the best things I think you can do is pass on words of wisdom; something someone else told you or something that you figured out on your own.

Now, when I first started blogging I was a no reply-commenter.  What's that?  That means that my email address wasn't attached to my blogger account so that if I asked someone a question, they could reply to me.  I would sit there and go back to blogs to see if they had answered and generally, they didn't.  Then I finally figured out how to get my email attached to my blogger account and it was magical.  People responded to my questions and I've built some fabulous friendships all because of an email.

Are you a No reply commenter?  One way to check is if you go to your blogger profile, you should see Contact Me and the word email below.  That shows that you have an email address attached to your account.

If you don't have an email address attached, go to the "Edit Profile" button in the upper right corner, Go down to the portion that says "Identity" and type in your email address.  Directly below that is also where you can change how you post so I could go from Nicole to Jane of Jungle if I wanted, but I won't.

Then up above that in the "Privacy" area, make sure Show my email address is checked and it shows the correct email address and you're good as golden to have fun email conversations with fellow bloggers you love.  Well that's if they respond, not all do.  Another lesson learned.

Now I personally follow way more blogs than follow me.  Sometimes that makes me sad, but some of the blogs I follow that don't follow me are crafty blogs or food blogs etc and it's my choice to follow them or not.

I try to comment, especially on blogs I love or something I have a comment on, unfortunately sometimes I don't know what to say.  It isn't something bad, it's just I'm not sure what to say so I sit on my thumbs, but I still read the blog.

But on any given day I actually comment to a crapton (don't really know how many that is and of course if varies) of blogs.  This doesn't detour me, but I really hate having to type in these "I can't really read this but I'm not a robot" phrases/numbers.  Especially since blogger has made them so dawgone hard to read.  I think if I remember that was a 37.  Does that look like a 37 to you?  I just guessed numbers, but it allowed it through.

So one thing to try, if you aren't getting as many comments as you think you should be, take off the Captcha's.  Go into your blogger settings under posts and comments and make it say Show Word Verification "No". 

My eyes will thank you.  But if you don't, that doesn't mean I'll stop reading your blog, it's just a suggestion from yours truly.

Now the whole debate - Pictures or No Pictures.  I truly believe that is a personal preference.  If you're going to put a picture, make sure it's a good one, although maybe sometimes I fall off that and just post something whether it's good or not.

Blogging generally is a form of writing, but some people use it as a form to show their photos or their hobby or whatever else.  So I think if the picture adds value, by all means add it, but if you're just adding a photo to add a photo, that's truly personal choice.

And lastly, these blogs are personal masterpieces.  I may say something or someone else may say something that you just totally disagree with and that's ok.  What's not ok is leaving hatred comments.  There is enough hatred in the world, don't invade someone's personal blog to rip them a new one.  Again, it is ok if you don't agree, but there's no need to be rude and hurtful to that blogger.

As a blogger, sometimes we have to grow thick skin and I don't have very thick skin sometimes, especially if it is something I'm passionate about so when someone leaves a hurtful comment, it makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.  But this is my life, this is my blog, and I have the power to delete hurtful comments.  And never, ever be afraid of deleting a comment if you don't want it to show up on your blog.

So on October 19, I celebrated my 3 year blogiversary.  For those of you who have been here for the long haul, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I love you so so much.  And for those of you new comers, thank you for clicking that follow button or adding me to your google reader, or whatever else you have done to keep you coming back.

By all means, if you have any other fabulous ways to make a blog better, by all means leave me a comment or shoot me an email.  I'm always up for learning in this ever changing world!

Happy Eve before Eve before Halloween, aka Happy Monday!

p.s. for other helpful blogging hints go here

Linking up here:
Busy Monday
Cast Party Wednesday
Creative Bloggers
Creative Thursday 
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday
Freedom Fridays  
It's Inspiration Friday
Made by Me
Mangia Monday's
Time to Shine
Tuesday Talent Show 
Welcome Home Wednesday
Wow us Wednesday

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Venison Daube

Venison Daube*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 3-pound venison roast, cut into 3-inch cubes
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups white wine
2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
2 bay leaves
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown meat on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set meat aside.

Pour off any excess oil. Add wine and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the mustard. Add the meat, onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until meat is fork tender. Remove bay leaves and serve while hot.

*A daube is a French pot roast that is usually made with red wine. This white wine version is a bit lighter than the classic version.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Everyday "Stuff"

Life is Fast!  Blink your eyes and you could all together miss it.  I swear, I just got married yesterday when the reality of the whole thing is I was married a little over 2 years ago.  Wow, where has the time gone?  And I'm not going to lie, I think one of my worst fears is getting Mr. Alzheimer's.  I'm afraid I'll forget all those special moments that make up our every day life.

Yes, we all pull out our camera a birthday parties or special events, but what about those every day routine's that some day we'll be able to show our grand kids or our grand kids could show their grandkids about the way great great grandma/grandpa lived back in the year 2012 and can you believe there even was such a year... What on earth did they drive, now we have rocket ships or beam ourselves places... ok I'm getting a little far out there, but hey, you never know, back in the late 80's cellular phones were just coming out and most people didn't know what they were or even own one... It could happen.

Anyway... Why don't we photograph those everyday moments that are special to us?  Well I do, but that's one because I'm a blogger and two, I like pictures.  I get made fun of a lot though.

They types of things I'm talking about...

1.  Catch the Everyday Mundane routine
There are things we do every day of our lives that is just kind of the norm for us, from waking up in the morning and fixing our hair/putting make up on to training for our 5K to heck, brushing your teeth.  Remember those everyday routines.
How about the motivation I get from taking photos before our run and posting to Facebook after the week is over.

Like grilling hamburgers or petting the pooches

And seriously, who can forget brushing their teeth.  So routine.

2.  Don't forget the Details
To me, details are important.  Those details are what help make you... well you.
How about 1st anniversary traditions.

Holding hands, going to the movies or having a family night playing John Deere Monopoly

3.  Life isn't perfect, don't forget to document that either.
And remember, life isn't perfect.  Heck my car keys have been through the washer twice.  What's sad is two different sets of car keys, one would think after the first round one (I) would remember to check pockets, but I suck at that.  I should start taking photos of all the random things I take out of my washer, that could be cool, right?
Keys get washed, it's funny.  Remember those funny moments!

4.  Be Real - Remember the Favorites
Take pictures of the moment.  Be real.  Not every time someone is looking at the camera or even "camera ready".  Sometimes those make some of the best photos.
Like just chilling, waiting to help build a fence.
Apparently the light was too bright for her...

Don't we all go to work without shoes on?  J/k, my shoes were in the car.

5.  Show Personality
We all have a personality.  It isn't always bright and sunny either.  Don't forget to document that.  That makes people in photos become REAL.  And that of course is what we all are.
They are all so deep in thought to the point, none of them really knew I was snapping their photo.
Sometimes you yell Smile and this is what you get.  Hey, go with it.

Are these photos masterpieces?  No, probably not... but do you get a sense of feeling for us and our lives, I would hope so.  That was my goal anyway.

Happy Friday.  Go out this weekend and create memories!

And I'll leave you with one last photo, if this doesn't show personality and real life, I'm not sure what does...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Created Two Monsters & a Thank You!!

Update to yesterday's post - Thanks so much to Sherry, Heather, HickChickBritt, Chell for helping me!  It was driving me nuts!  I did google it, plus those lovely ladies helped me.  I think part of my problem was my maiden name ended in a S however I found out I'd just have added an -es to my last name which still seems odd to me, but I got it fixed in none other than Paint.  So I fixed it and again, thank you to all that helped me!  I am forever grateful to you!


Ah, it's that time of the week again, we're almost to the end of the week.  I have a fabulous proud mommy moment that I really wanted to share last week, however, I didn't get around to it.  I know not cool!  But good news, I'm here now!  In fact, just in time to get my {step}daughter this week.

So two weeks ago my nephew stayed the night with Tbug.  Now remember Tbug LOVES to ride horses and I guess on Saturday night of that weekend she asked my dad (her grandpa) if she could ride horses about 50 different times.  Ok maybe not that many but I heard it was a bunch, that was as long as he wasn't busy.

So we took Tbug and Dill Pickle over to my parents house to ride.  We saddled up Aloha, KG and Mini Me.  Tbug started out on Aloha and finally we got Dill Pickle to get up there too.  Now I guess when he was a little kid he fell off a horse and has been scared to death ever since.

We've had him out to the house once before and I got him on horse back but it takes a lot of convincing!

Well he rode around with Tbug for a few minutes and then decided he'd had enough and got off.  From there Tbug rode around on Aloha a little more and then decided she wanted to ride KG.

Now Tbug LOVES Aloha and when we've asked if she'd like to ride KG, she always seems a bit hesitant.  He is a big horse compared to Aloha.  But when Tbug asked if she could ride KG we all agreed, Ok if you'd like.

She walked him around the pen a few times and then decided she wanted to get back on Aloha because she was tired of "just walking".  Hubby looked at dad and me and asked if we told her she just had to walk.  We were like no, so hubby said, well kick him up into a trot.  He's a much smoother ride than Aloha, partially because he's bigger so he has a larger, easier stride.

He trotted about 4 strides and then picked it up into a lope because KG would rather lope any day.  When she went past she yelled, I LOVE THIS HORSE.  LOL,  Oh crap I lost my horse now not only to hubby but to Tbug also.  And poor dad, he lost KG to me... LOL :).

So now back to Dill Pickle, he's been walking around acting kind of bored and so we finally convinced him to climb on Aloha by himself and ride her around.

That day we created 2 monsters :)

And now for your viewing pleasure, I snagged two videos, one of each of them doing something out of their comfort zone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Calling All English Majors

I think I get props for being an over-achiever!! 

Last night, I made our Christmas card.  What can I say, I guess I have no life sometimes.  I should have been running, however hubby was a little on the sick side, so he wasn't feeling up to it and I didn't want to get a day ahead of him.

So I worked on our Christmas card.

I brought it to work and showed a few people, and had someone tell me I wrote it wrong.

So tell me, if I put Love and a last name, doesn't it get an apostrophe s at the end? 

like for example:
Love the Jones'
Love the Smith's
 Love the Arbunkle's
 etc etc...  I asked my parents who are very good at grammar and they told me yes, it does have the apostrophe... Anywhoooooo

Did you notice I also changed the header of the old blog here?  I have never used picasa until last night, but I really think I like it... although it was a new learning curve which threw me for a loop and made me a tad grumpy.  Oh btw, that's where I made my Christmas card too.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Snead's BBQ - Belton, MO

Ok so a few weeks ago when we went to KC for the weekend we had plans of stopping by Snead's BBQ in Belton, MO.  Ever since I met back up with my husband that's all he talked about was Snead's BBQ and how we had to go eat there.
Well that Friday when we headed to KC, things didn't go as planned and we didn't make it there, but never fear, they were open on Sunday and we hit them on the way home!

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Thursday 11am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm
Sunday 11am to 9pm

Truth be told, I'm not a huge BBQ fan.  Now we can debate BBQ vs a barbeque grill, not going there this time :)... we're talking about ribs & meats that have been slathered in BBQ sauce.  I'm just clarifying :).  But, don't get me wrong, I do like BBQ too, just not something I crave.

I wound up with a Brisket sandwich.  The fries were out of this world and I don't generally eat fries these days.

Hubby had the Fried Catfish.  I'll admit, I'm not a fish person (which I say a lot) and i actually thought it was pretty darn good.  Although I must tease my sweet husband, going to a BBQ joint and getting fried catfish...  That's like going to a steak house and getting fish, oh wait he does that :).  I love you baby!

This place was really good.  In fact hubby always buys some of their BBQ sauce to take home with him.  I have a refrigerator full :).

And I definitely see a trip there again in our future :).


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