Saturday, September 30, 2006


We went to Seaside, FL last week for our family vacation. We had a great time. It was so relaxing that I really didn't want to leave.

Every time we go to Seaside, we stay in a different house. The name of our house this time was Good Abode and it was my personal favorite.One of my most favorite things to do is ride my bike. We did alot of that. Zac mostly rode in the trailer behind me. Ha Ha. Not really.
There was some very creative sandcastle construction on this trip. Here is Nathan hand-carving bricks on his castle.
The swarthy Italian man here is Gil creating his pyramid structure.
We also posed for beach pictures. This is Amby and me.
Zac and me
Amby and Nathan. Happy 1st anniversary!Zac, Amby, Gil, and me
I want to go back to Seaside again really soon.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sweet Chex Mix

This is a fabulous and easy recipe. It makes a great snack that lasts for several days.

Sweet Chex Mix

9 cups corn chex or Crispix
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup M&M's
1 cup peanuts or mixed nuts
Heat oven to 250. Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with no stick cooking spray; place cereal in pan.
Combine brown sugar, butter, and syrup in a 2 qt saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil (2-3 minutes). Continue cooking, stirring constantly (1 minute). Remove from heat. Add baking soda. Mix well.
Pour syrup mixture over cereal; stir gently until well-coated. Bake for 20 minutes; stir. Continue baking for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir in M&M's and nuts.
Spread mixture onto wax paper; cool 30 minutes. Break cooled mixture into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Boil for 2-3 minutes. It looks like this

Yum. Be warned. It is very addictive.

Potato or Pasta Salad

I particularly like this recipe because it is not your typical potato salad with boiled egg and pickle relish. You can substitute pasta for the potatoes. My personal favorite is penne pasta.

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 medium potatoes (red potatoes are best)
1 cup chopped celery
1-1/2 tbsp dillweed

Scrub potatoes and chop into desired size pieces with the skins on. Boil until tender. If making pasta salad, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Combine with all other ingredients. Chill 4-6 hours.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fire and Ice Salad

This is a refreshing and easy salad that tastes alot like bread and butter pickles.

Fire and Ice Salad4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 small jalapeno, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (opt.)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp mustard seed
1-1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp salt
3-4 drops hot pepper sauce
2-3 medium cucumbers, sliced
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeno, and optional onion; set aside. Combine the next seven ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour over vegetables. Let stand until mixture comes to room temperature. Stir in cucumbers. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. (This is actually better the next day).
Yield: 8-10 servings

Friday, September 01, 2006

Lamplight and Candlelight

I love the cozy atmosphere that both lamps and candles create any time of the year. I have never liked the stark, glaring brightness of ceiling lights - they were always like a necessary evil to use in a dire emergency, such as finding an earring back or other indispensable minuscule item. I am posting some examples of how to use lighting to create a warm and relaxed feeling throughout your home. My bathroom is a very eclectic mix of objets d'art that I love.
Here is a look at a small nook:

Most homes do not come with enough outlets for us to make them as cozy as they need to be. Here is an even smaller nook:

This is a cool candle holder I got at T.J. Maxx, also a great place to find unusual lamps. I got these pumpkins at Pier One. I put them out every fall. I love fall decor that uses natural things, such as grapevine and pine cones. It really stores well to use year after year.
The original intention for these cute pumpkins was to fill them with candy and give them to the children of our dinner guests who came in the fall. Some actually did go for that worthy cause, but most went to Zac and his amazing friends.