Reading Corner – What’s in my Book bag?

My book bag is still chock full of books I’m slowly working my way through, seems like there are so many interesting books out there I can’t help myself.  One of the major drawbacks of working at a library is that you tend to see so many interesting titles that you take them home with grandiose plans of reading them all, which rarely is the case.  It is also the biggest perk of working at a library.  I love seeing all the new books coming in and discovering different subjects and stories.  In fact, I feel very uneasy if I don’t have a ton of library books at home.  It’s like I’m missing something.

Currently, on my nightstand:

52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You,  by Brett Blumenthal

  I am very slowing working my way through this one, trying to incorporate each new weekly change.  I might even buy this book so I can really take my time and focus and each new week’s project.  Actually, breaking down and buying a book is a pretty big deal for me since I have access to so many books between my two library jobs.  I really can’t understand how anyone can just go out and buy books that you can get for free at the public library.  Plus, I tend to be ahem, frugal with what little funds I have. (My little sis is reading this and agreeing whole heartedly.

Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication, by Ann Whitford Paul

 I’ve always loved children’s books and have dreamed of writing one myself some time in the future, like when I retired.  But then I thought, why wait?  Try to do it now.  So, I am. 

You Can Write Children’s Books, by Tracey E. Dils  

 I’ve had several ideas floating around my head for the past umpteen years that I’m finally going to put on paper.  I want to write children’s books when I grow up.  There, I’ve said it.  No turning back now. 🙂    I’ve also checked out several books from two children’s authors I admire, Barbara Bottner and Katie Davis so I can study their styles and get a sense of the types of books that get published. 

Double Delicious!: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives, by Jessica Seinfield


To be honest, I haven’t even opened this one but my intentions are good.  I’ve scanned the recipes and some look promising.  Have you tried any?

And since I can’t stand listening to the radio in the car I’m listening to  Blood Line, by James Rollins on mp3.      I really enjoy this series.

I’m also still trying to get through A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving, which is basically unreadable.  Oh my is this boring.  My poor daughter has to read this for the summer.  I picked up the audiobook from the library to help her out.



July 13, 2012 at 11:58 am Leave a comment

Is That Hamburger Helper?

No actually, it’s homemade Beef Strogenoff.  And it was simple to make and a success! (5/5 enjoyed it).  Yeah, Momma hit a home run last night.

Original Ranch Beef & Noodle SkilletPhoto from
You will need:
1 lb ground beef
1 small chopped onion
1 bag of egg noodles
vegetable oil
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 package of Ranch dressing mix
1 cup of sour cream (I used fat-free)
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese or more to taste (I used more ’cause I love me some cheese!)
salt/pepper/steak seasoning to taste
1. Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.
 2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, and seasoning mix and stir until smooth.
 3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are browned.
 4. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet. Set aside.
 5. Add the beef and and chopped onion and cook stirring to break up the meat until browned. I added steak seasoning and black pepper.
 6. Drain the beef and add the mushrooms back to the skillet.
 7. Add the noodles, sour cream mixture, and cheese to the skillet and stir until the cheese has melted.
 8. Serve hot. 

July 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Pintrest Challenge Complete

The Pinterest Challenge hosted by Kate at Censational Girl inspired me to try to organize my under sink storage.

Here are some of the inspirational pins posted by blogger 17 Apart:

I thought the use of a tension rod was a clever way to make the cleaners accessible and create more space.  So I tried it out myself.  Now, I have to confess that I just got right down to it and forgot to take any before pictures, my bad.  But, you know yourself, when the cleaning bug hits you go with it! It’s a universal rule, that, and never wake up a sleeping baby.

Since I don’t have any before pictures, let me just give you an idea of what the sink looked like before I started.


Not exact but you get the idea and my sink does have that annoying bar going down the middle which makes access to anything a little difficult.

I pulled everything out, purged the stuff that was no longer needed, cleaned the base of the cabinet (can I just say, YUCK.) and set everything back.

The crock pot has to stay for the time being until I can work through the rest of the kitchen cabinets to find a place for it.  But at least now, my cleaning supplies are in order.  I put the most often used items on the right and the lesser used cleaners behind the annoying bar in the middle.

I also reorganized the “wrap center” of tin foil and plastic wrap which I will eventually move to a more convenient location.          

There you have it, another item crossed off my Household to do List. The best part is that is didn’t cost me a dime.  The tension rod was left over from a curtain change in my bedroom and I reused the wire baskets from under the sink.   Have you done a Pinterest Challenge lately?

July 12, 2012 at 8:47 am 4 comments

Well That’s Pretty Cool

Just clicking around the blogosphere and thought I would share with you some DIY that caught my eye.

Dresser makeover from Sugar and Chic:

from forgetful….

to fabulous












From It All Started With Paint,  Anthropologie inspired confetti glasses:

Easy to do and not expensive – love it! Click here for her easy tutorial.

Wooden Crate Coffee Table from Little Bunny Sue Sue:

  Click here for the tutorial.

Super easy ombre beach bag from Forever and a Recipe:

As you can see by her post this project is super easy and customizable.

Lots of great ideas out there today, enjoy!

July 11, 2012 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

Thank God its Friday!

Midweek holidays really throw me for a loop!  It was great not having to get up at 5am on Wednesday, but it did make the rest of the week feel a little off.  Don’t you think?

Thankfully, though it is FRIDAY!! Yeah!

So how about some Friday fun?

This is a great commercial:

Happy Friday

July 6, 2012 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

Minor Accomplishments and Major Milestones

Happy Fourth Everyone!  Hope you all had an enjoyable day.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather and the anticipated rain held off so everyone could see the fireworks.

I even managed to get a few crafts in the night before to help celebrate.  First up, my take on the patriotic rice display:

Ultimate Blogger Version:

My version (don’t laugh):

My daughter helped dye the rice and put this together, so if Emily’s happy with it, so am I.

Next, I put my culinary skills to the test to make some patriotic strawberries:

(mine)                                                                                             (theirs)


Lastly, I made some of these…

…and promptly forgot to take them out of the freezer and use them, but trust me, they came out EXACTLY the same.  Oh yes they did.

Good news, I found the cord to my digital camera that I needed to connect to my computer, yeah! (Naturally, I found it AFTER I purchased a new one – ugh.) So now I can post some more pics.

Major milestone in our house – we said goodbye to elementary school. My youngest is now a 6th grade middle schooler, my Lord, where did the time go.  My kids were fortunate enough to have had a great elementary school, the teachers, staff and fellow students were all fantastic.  I will truly miss it.  Even my eldest who will be a senior, went back to visit her old teachers.

Last day at the bus stop.  My son (on the right) and his buddy both dressed up for the occasion (both were also wearing sneakers which I cut out of the picture).

Hanging out with proud big sis:









My parents drove up from Long Island for the big day – so sweet of them.










Proud dad. 

So now my little man is off to middle school, he’s not a baby any more.  I knew that of course, but the march of time is really sinking in now.  I can only hope he’s does well in his new school and can handle the changes that are coming.  I’m sure he will.

July 5, 2012 at 8:55 am 1 comment

July 4th Decor

I don’t know how it happened but I turned around and suddenly tomorrow is July 4th.  I must be caught in a loop of the space-time-continuum (Star Trek fans will understand my dilemma)! 

Anyho, I’ve always been extremely jealous admired those talented bloggers who annually whip up patriotic decor to go alongside their fabulous Fourth of July dishes. And this was the year I was determined to join their crafty ranks.

 However, being that tomorrow is, unbelievably, the 4th, I’m scrambling to find some projects I can bang out tonight.

Here’s a few I thought I could possibly try to do tonight and some that are just plain cool:

4th of July rice and beans


     Are you noticing a theme here?   

The layering of dyed rice and /or beans seems to be the easiest option for a last-minute craft.  I like this tablecloth idea as well:

Simple and fairly easy to sew, but is there enough time?????

This one I can definitely do.  Looks yummy too.  Maybe the kids can help…..


Maybe I can make these beauties tonight:

They look fun.

Looks like I’m off to the store after work today, wish me luck!   What are your July 4th plans?

July 3, 2012 at 11:10 am 2 comments

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