Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: A Haunting...

Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Hurricane Sandy's {a.k.a. "Frankenstorm"} remnants are still "haunting" the Pittsburgh area this Halloween season. 

We mostly got rain (a lot of it) and wind. Our lights flickered a few times but the power never went out.

I did do some "prepping" or as the professionals call it - "disaster preparedness" before the storm by purchasing enough groceries for 72 hours (3 days) per guidelines provided by emergency services. However, I felt like we were woefully unprepared if something of disaster proportions truly hit. So, it's time for me to hit the books. I have compiled an easy resource for you (and me) to find these disaster preparedness books all in one place. Click here to view them in my store. You can find some or most of these titles at the library. So, feel free to check them out that way for free first. But, with these type of reference books, it may be prudent to at least keep one or two handy in your personal library! If you feel so lead to purchase them, please do so from the Mom's Rambling in PA store. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Flooding is a big concern in the city of three rivers!

It brings back "haunting" memories to me of the flood of 2004 a.k.a. "The day before my wedding". We barely made it across the river before the city closed Allegheny River Boulevard due to flooding. We weren't sure if we were even going to make it on that road because the flooding was so bad. My soon-to-be husband and I had to spend the night at the Days Inn Hotel in Harmarville with one of our bridesmaids after the rehearsal because we couldn't make it back home due to the road closures.

Anyway...done with the flashback...back to Sandy...

My older son, Evan's, school closed today. But, my younger son, Tyler's, preschool remained open. So, he still gets to enjoy his Halloween party and costume parade today. He's a monkey (yes...it's a recycled costume from his older brother but he was excited about it...so it was a win/win!). Evan is excited he'll get to see Tyler's parade today since he normally would not have been able to attend due to school.

Halloween Trick-or-Treating has been rescheduled for most (if not all?) of the local areas from this Wednesday to Saturday. For many families a true challenge will be to stay away from the candy stash for that long! The rescheduled Halloween gives procrastinators (like moi) some extra time to pick out some really cheap pumpkins for the kids to carve up, too.

And, we certainly can't go one Halloween without baked, salted pumpkin seeds, now, can we?!

I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe Halloween!

~ Rachael

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Seriously. Creatively. Frustrated...

Ugh. I'm having creative frustration. And, I don't know what to do about it. I feel very unoriginal right now. As if I can't come up with my own personal style/designs. {Some of this I blame on the internet and Pinterest.}

What should I do to get out of this funk?

1. Clean the house

2. Try to force myself to create something. Anything.

3. Brood some more.

4. Take a healthy relaxing walk on this beautiful {abnormally so} day before it ends.

5. Read yet another non-fiction book on how to blog better and monetize better, etc, etc...

6. Make a kick-butt dinner for my family.

7. Read some scriptures.

8. Help with the church bazaar. {Sorry Sue & Alice...fell by the wayside here}

9. Catch up on my bible study reading before Sunday rolls around.

10. Stop making stupid lists online and actually do something!

Okay...wish me luck...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What my 15-year High School Reunion Taught Me

Yep, that's me in the back row, far left (long dark brown hair)! :)
It's been 15 years since I graduated high school.

I would like to say I've learned a lot since then (I have).

Here are a few things I learned by going to my 15-year high school reunion:

1. Some things and people don't change...and, as Martha Stewart would say, "That's a good thing!". No matter how long it's been since you've seen your "old" friends you can ALWAYS pick back up where you left off as if no time has gone by! It was so nice to see my old high school friends and find out the paths their lives have taken thus far. I hope to continue the "updates" beyond just seeing statuses on Facebook, however I realize that's easier said than done since I live about an hour away.

2. Some things and people do change. It saddens me to think of the couple of classmates we lost over the years. However, I found out that other classes fared much worse than ours {not that that's any consolation}.

But, not all changes are sad. It was wonderful to see my classmates with their adorable children running around. {My hubby and I decided it was best for our sanity to not bring ours on such a long trip later in the evening since our older son, Evan, likes to ask every 5 minutes which town we're in along the way! LOL!}

3. Creativity is encouraged in venue selection. Who says you can't jam to old school {Vanilla Ice anyone?!} under fluorescent lighting and brown wood paneling as deer heads hang on the walls of the local sportsman's club? Yeah...I said it! {sorry...I had to call this one out...} Seriously, though, at the 20-year reunion I'm hoping the 50/50 raffle money and the "attendance" money can at least upgrade us past this point! ;) Yes, I know...baby steps, baby steps. It took a lot to move on from the local park from the last couple of reunions!

4. Potluck "catering" is ALWAYS a viable option! Because obviously everyone still lives within the "city" {and I DO use that term very lightly} limits, right?! Right?! Um...yeah...

5. Penn Hills {where I live} is considered a "nice" area, apparently. Yeah...back in the 70's...maybe...Time to get out of B-Town a little bit folks! ;) Or, at least tune into the news. Although, I do have to give PH some props here. We're trying to clean up our image!

6. Cliques never die. They just grow older. {'Nuff said...}

7. Stay true to yourself. Each and every person has made a contribution to the good old days at BHS. And, without those great individual personalities what would we have to talk about? {After all...we DO come from a small town!} :P

In all seriousness, though, I had a blast. I look forward to the 20-year reunion when we will be approaching middle age and most of our kids will be approaching middle school (ah!!!).

Okay, okay...let's not rush these things...

A special thanks to our class officers and newly elected officer (*ahem*...Stan...) and everyone else who helped put this fancy shindig together!

We could have our reunion in a shack in the woods and you would make it fun!

P.S. That IS NOT my endorsement for the next venue location...   :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Are you looking for that perfect gift for expecting parents?

If you're like me, you have quite a few friends or family members who are expecting. You want to find that certain something that will stand out at that baby shower. But what?

How about fabulous hand-painted and personalized wall letters by Pink Taffy Designs like the ones you see pictured here?

Not just ANY wall letters...but *FREE* wall letters!

That's right...absolutely *FREE*. How can that be?!

I'm glad you asked!

Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pink Taffy Designs is an online Unique Children's Boutique. They have everything you could possibly want for "all things baby", including baby shower gifts, crib bedding, room decor (Did I mention the adorable wall letters?!? LOL!), "On The Go" items, blankets, playtime, nursing, binkys, bath time and meal time!

Their products have been featured in numerous publications, including Style Bakery: Designers on the Rise, Drooz Studio in Coastal Living magazine, Drooz Studio in Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, New Arrivals in Child magazine, New Arrivals in Baby Talk magazine, New Arrivals in Pregnancy Buyer's Guide, Drooz Studio in Earnshaw's, and New Arrivals in Southern Living magazine.

P.S. Speaking of baby showers. If you're helping (or hosting) a baby shower and are stumped on what baby shower games to have then Click Here!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Salmon & Spinach

In an effort to eat better I have made myself this scrumptious meal the other day. It's salmon seasoned with salt, peppercorn, Italian seasonings and fresh lemon slices. The spinach was sauteed in olive oil on the stove. Then, I added some melted butter with garlic powder & peppercorn to the spinach for flavor.

For more delicious {and nutritious} meals: 
Click Here!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fried egg & spinach sandwich

My latest culinary creation...a fried egg and spinach sandwich with taco shredded melted cheese on wheat with a side of sliced tomatoes with salt & peppercorn on top. Nom, nom, nom!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to School!

Well, it is that time of year, again. Back to school!

Evan will be entering kindergarten (*sniff*). And, Tyler (my baby) will be entering 2-day pre-school (*double sniff*). Okay...hand me the kleenex!

My Mom (being the experienced Back-to-School shopper she is after having 5 children) has already been purchasing clothes for Evan as his school has a uniform dress code. And, she has been asking whether I want to get this or buy that. Honestly, shopping is not my forte. So, I'm happy she's willing to lend me a hand in this department. The whole thing is overwhelming to me.

Are there any other Moms out there who feel the same way?

What do (or did) you do to ease into "Back-to-School" mode in your household?

Here are some workbooks you can try with your pre-school or kindergarten-aged kids: 
Click Here!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ant Season - Natural Remedies?

It's that time of year, again. The sun is shining. The sun porch is open.

And, then...there are ants...

Yep...just found some small little friends in the sun porch. I would prefer to avoid ant traps from the store since Evan and Tyler are liable to pick it up and play with it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for natural remedies?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Magazine Deals!

Okay, everyone! Who likes magazines? (*Raising hand*)

Here are some deals for you to check out. Take advantage of these while you can because some of them end (very) soon! Click on the links to each deal below to get to the offer of your choice. I know that the "Highlights Magazine" takes me WAY back. I LOVED that magazine as a youngster!:

Men's Health only $15!
Extra 40% savings on Men's Health. Only $15 one day only, expires 11:59 6/15/12.

Exclusive Offers!

Extra 15% off on Highlights Magazine!
Best children's magazine is currently $29.64! Offer expires 6/30/12.

$10 Family Handyman – Extra 50% off
Tackle any home improvement project with Family Handyman magazine, only $0.91 per issue! Expires 6/18/12

$5.00 Health Magazine!
Get into shape this summer with Health Magazine. Only $5.00 for a limited time! Offer expires 6/18/12.

$10 ESPN Magazine
Get the sports fan in your life ESPN magazine for only $10. Expires 6/18/10.

Coupon Offer!

Save $5 Instantly for Father's Day!
Find the perfect gift for dad and save $5 on titles like Men's Health, Popular Science, Field & Stream and many more! Use Coupon Code: DADSDAY. Expires 6/18/12

Great Deals!

Quick & Easy Summer Reads, under $10
Relax by the pool or in the shade with these great reads, some under $10! No expiration date.

All You magazine only $1.66 per issue!
The magazine that gives back in every issue! Only $1.66 per issue.

Save 45% on People Magazine!
Best selling magazine is now on sale for 45% off. Get a subscription of People Magazine today! No coupon required.

Happy Magazine Shopping!

~ Rachael

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Saving Money?

It's tough economic times out there right now (understatement, right?!?).

There are several ways you can save money or line your pockets with more. Some of the obvious ones are holding a yard sale by turning your "trash" into cash, turning a hobby into a money-making side-line business or cutting back on cable.

But, one of the most overlooked areas on saving money is right under your nose: Your House. That's right. You can actually save money with your house. How is that (you may ask)? By refinancing. Many of the "financial gurus" out there say that if you can save at least a couple of percentage points on your mortgage interest rate by refinancing you should consider it. It could save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars and put that much needed money back into your pocket right now during these hard economic times. (Who could use a little extra right about now, right?)

If you're considering refinancing, check out http://www.mortgagerefinancerates.org/ to see what kind of rate you could get. You can thank me later!

Friday, May 18, 2012

TEDxCMU - Chris Guillebeau - Fear and Permission

Join the Microbusiness Revolution!

For years I imagined owning my own business or creating things that people would want to buy from me. Only until now, as a wife and mother, have I realized that dream through my invitations business, The PaperCrafter's Nook, my Mary Kay business and blogging. Needless to say, I believe in the "multiple streams of income" philosophy. And, might I add, you should, too, considering job "insecurity" these days. Even if you want to start something on the side while working a full-time job, it's easier now than it's ever been before to do so with all of the free to cheap tools available to you on the internet!

Do you have that same burning desire to strike out on your own?

I don't have the money...you say?

What if I told you that there is a blueprint you could follow to start your own microbusiness for little money?

Well, there is!

It's called The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Futureby Chris Guillebeau. I came across Chris Guillebeau's "The Art of Non-Conformity Blog: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel" a while ago while doing my own research on microbusinesses.

In The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
 you find the real-life stories of people who have forged their own microbusiness paths based on their personal passions. I wish I had read this book before I began my entrepreneurial journey as it would have saved me some headaches. For example, for a microbusiness you don't need to have an elaborate business plan. You are a one-person operation. You don't need to don a business suit and get a business loan to get in debt up to your eyeballs to start your business. Bootstrapping is easier than ever thanks to advances on the internet. This book talks about some of those practical steps you can take to get you to that next level!

What The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
 is NOT:

It is NOT a pie-in-the-sky, get-rich-quick scheme.

What The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

It's practical, usable, actionable advice from someone who has "been there", "done that". And, now he's here to show YOU the way, too!

If you decide to purchase this book, let me know your thoughts on it by posting your reply on this blog post!

Good luck!

~ Rachael

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

Easy Pumpkin Pie!     

My Passive/Aggressive Disclaimer: For those of you who are WAY beyond this in baking/cooking skills you can ignore this post (or read on and snicker at my novice-level skillz...your choice!).


Yes...I made this pumpkin pie! Marvel at my recipe following abilities...

Ok...I can't take all of the credit, though. My five-year-old son, Evan, came up with the idea (which is why we're making pumpkin pie during berry pie season...but I digress). We had all of the ingredients on hand; so, I had no excuse but to try.

Here's the recipe for "Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie" for one 9" pie (Makes 8 servings):

For the Crust:
  • Flour for the surface where you will be rolling out the dough
  • Jiffy Pie Crust Mix (half package) - make according to instructions
 For the Filling:
  • 1 can (30 oz.) LIBBY'S Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Nestle CARNATION Evaporated Milk

  • 2 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell (see "For the Crust" above or "cheat" by buying a pre-made shell at the store)
MIX pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk and eggs in large bowl.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake 50 - 60 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean (or until it no longer looks "gooey" in the middle...I had to put mine on for 15 minutes longer than they said). Cool on wire rack (or the top of your stove like NORMAL people do) for 2 hours (or more like 1 hour since your kids will be BEGGING you to cut into it by that time). Serve immediately (duh!) or refrigerate (Buwahahaha...yeah...like it will even MAKE IT to the fridge...pfff).

ADD whipped topping.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Barnes & Noble. And, I love my NOOK Color™ even more!

Well, Barnes & Noble is coming out with a new NOOK.

It's called the NOOK Simple Touch™ by Barnes & Noble with Glowlight™.

World’s #1 Reader now with breakthrough GlowLight™:
  • First & Only Reader designed for perfect bedtime reading
  • Breakthrough technology creates a soft glow optimized for low light reading
  • Warm light illuminates entire screen evenly
  • End bedtime reading debate-when you want to read & your partner wants to sleep
  • GlowLight turns on instantly and adjusts easily with a touch
  • Revolutionary built-in anti-glare screen protector delivers just-like-paper experience – great in bright sun
  • Exclusive Best-Text™ & adjustable fonts make words crisp & clear
  • Fastest, most advanced E Ink® display for seamless page turns
  • Lightest NOOK ever – perfect for long reading sessions and carrying everywhere
  • Unbeatable value: "2 Readers in 1" - Best of E Ink & Lit Display - Amazing in bed and at the beach
You can be one of the first trend-setters to pre-order your very own NOOK Simple Touch™ by Barnes & Noble with Glowlight™ here on my blog for the outrageously low price of $139 and FREE SHIPPING by clicking the following link:

New! NOOK Simple Touch™ by Barnes & Noble with Glowlight™. Read With The Lights On Or Off only at $139 – ships free!

Let me know what you think about this offer and if you want to see more like it!

Happy Reading!

~ Rachael

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Use it or Lose it: That is the question!

My family is currently going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University workshop through a local church. And, if you know anything about Dave Ramsey, you know that he promotes a debt-free lifestyle. The 2nd Baby Step is the "Debt Snowball". So, in an effort to get that snowball rolling faster, I am evaluating some of our expenses. One of those expenses is the gym membership which I barely use but think that I will someday. It's a tough one for me to decide...Should I get rid of the membership since I barely use it? But, when I do "try" to get exercise I usually do so through the gym. My best weight-loss efforts have been through using the gym instead of "home" or "walking outdoors" methods. You see I am a fair weather person who lives in Pittsburgh...one of the LEAST "fair weather" places to live. LOL! What are your thoughts on this? Should I cut my losses on the gym membership? Or keep it (and actually use it) so that I can save my health? What's your take?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter traditions: A Case Study

Eggs by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


 Our family is gearing up for Easter.

It is a time for reflection on the life, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is a time for worship, fellowship and family gatherings. And, it's also a time for traditions.

This makes me recall the traditions (or sometimes a lack thereof regarding picking a church and sticking with it) my parents had with me and my siblings. Their traditions were an interesting mix of church services at churches we didn't normally attend (yes...we were THOSE people...you know...the family that only attended Christmas and Easter services), family visits and secular Easter "fun". You see...my Mom is (was?) Catholic. My Dad is (was?) Presbyterian. So, my siblings and I would get a smattering of Catholic masses mixed in with Presbyterian services for good measure. Mix in some Easter "fun". Bake until done!

The night before Easter, my Mom would have all of us kids dye hard-boiled eggs. I liked using the little clear crayon that would let you make your own designs on the eggs that would show through after they were dyed. Once the eggs were dyed, we put them in the refrigerator. Somehow, miraculously, some of them appeared in our Easter baskets the next morning. That smart Easter bunny!

On Easter morning, my brothers and sisters and I searched the house for our Easter baskets and plastic eggs filled with all sorts of goodies. Some of the eggs had jelly beans of all assorted colors. Others had some money in them...usually coins...finding some with quarters in them was like hitting the jackpot! I loved to see how creative my parents the Easter bunny would get on hiding places. Each year seemed to up the ante. I would check the usual suspects first...the cabinet under the sink...behind the couches...in the bathtub behind the shower curtain. No hiding place was too bizarre or off-limits, except perhaps in my parents bedroom and bathroom! Each child had their own specific basket that my parents the Easter bunny used each year. And, we knew that. So, if one of my siblings, say...for example...my brother Brian...found my basket before I did, in theory, he was supposed to not say anything so that I could try to find it. Those times were hilarious because he would be practically bursting at the seams wanting to spill the beans (not the jelly ones...hahaha...) in anticipation of telling me! My parents would admonish him..."No, let your sister figure it out!"

Once all of the baskets were found we were allowed to have some candy before church.

Can anyone say "Peeps"?!? Love, love...L.O.V.E. them!!!

(Note to self: this could be a BAD tradition to continue with my boys...see why below...) I don't recommend this strategy for various reasons chief of which is getting your kids "sugared up" before church does NOT lead to a relaxing worship experience for any involved! Also, doing all of these secular Easter traditions BEFORE recognizing the true reason for Easter puts the cart before the horse (sorry Mom & Dad...just sayin').

AFTER all of this excitement (and sugar), we would all get "ready" for church. This usually meant us kids would straggle around trying to eat as much candy as humanly possible BEFORE my parents just about "had it up to HERE" with us (visualizing my Dad with his hand WAY over his head...lol). Whose idea was it, again, to search for candy-filled baskets & eggs BEFORE going to church? That Easter bunny strikes, again!

My Mom was always the last one out of the house to go to church. As a mother myself now, I can COMPLETELY understand why that happens! For the husbands out there, let me explain this phenomenon. Mom is busy getting everyone ELSE ready FIRST. Then, and only then, can Mom focus on finishing getting herself ready! Inevitably, my Dad was always out in the car (honking the horn for my Mom to get her butt out there...ahh...setting the mood for attending a worship service...lol). By the time we got to church, everyone was in a foul mood. Most of us didn't want to be there as all we were thinking about were the Easter baskets waiting at home for us.

Once we got home from church, my Dad would put on the movie "Jesus of Nazareth". (I actually DO love that movie!) Mom made ham, mashed potatoes (a yam just for me), green beans and corn. The house would smell like warmth and family. My paternal grandparents and aunt would stop by. Hey! The Easter bunny brought us baskets to their place, too. Go figure!

We would visit my Mom's parents during the Easter season and get handmade baskets from my grandma. She made recycled baskets from butter containers. She made recycling cool before it became cool in my eyes! I was always impressed with her baskets because she made her own chocolate! She must have had some molds she used because the chocolates were in different shapes...eggs, bunnies, etc. Those are what I remember the most from her baskets.

Now that I have children of my own. I'm trying to develop new traditions with them. Am I keeping all of the traditions my parents passed down? Yes, but in a modified version. The focus is more on Jesus and fellowship, then the "fun" eggs and stuff come after. My husband comes from a deep tradition of church-attending Presbyterians. So, from the beginning, (and I mean while we were even DATING), we decided we wanted to attend a church regularly together. And, once we had children we would want them to also attend regularly and enjoy the fellowship that comes with being part of a church.

We do dye eggs the night before Easter like my Mom did with me and my siblings. My husband and I are going to give them candy but not in copious amounts. We may include things like coloring books, crayons and little toys. Plus, we know that that clever bunny will be showing up at TWO sets of grandparents houses!

This year we're celebrating Easter dinner at my parents' house. Ahh...brings back memories. I'm ready for my "Jesus of Nazareth" marathon. Bring it on!

What are your Easter traditions? Feel free to post yours in the comments on my blog!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Choosing a Pediatrician For Your Newborn

Many expecting parents are so focused on the impending birth of their little one that they overlook the importance to plan for the baby's medical care once they arrive. Newborns see a pediatrician many times during their first year of life, beginning just after birth. Plan ahead to choose a good pediatrician before your newborn enters the world.

Plan Ahead
Expecting parents should begin the search for the right pediatrician about three months before their due date. An excellent way to find a pediatrician is to ask other new moms, neighbors and friends about the pediatrician they use, and ask if they like the doctor. Asking obstetricians and midwives is also a good way to get pediatrician suggestions.

After making a list of possible pediatricians, go to the website of the insurance company providing the family medical coverage. It is important to ensure that a pediatrician is a preferred provider with the primary insurance company. Because a baby needs so many well-child visits, vaccinations and sick visits, paying the extra cost for an out-of-network doctor can create significant expenses for new parents.

Narrow the Candidates
After making a list of candidates, determine a final list a pediatricians to consider. Base the top choices on how close the doctor's office is, how many people have recommended the doctor, if the office has extended hours such as evenings and weekends without extra charges, and if the office has a nurse hotline to call for basic questions.

This is a good time to ask those who recommended the doctor what they liked most about the pediatrician. Do they encourage questions? Have a great bedside manner? Keep patients moving quickly through the office without long waits? Determine which items are most important to you and prioritize the list.

Visit the Offices
Visit the offices of each of the doctors you are considering. With an appointment, it is possible talk to the doctor directly. Ask their views on cord blood banking, circumcision, breastfeeding and other issues important to parents and children post-delivery. Cord blood banking is where the baby’s umbilical cord blood is collected following delivery to be saved for the family and potentially used in a future medical treatment for the baby, possibly a sibling. It's important to see how the staff interacts with you and your concerns before choosing to work with them and your baby.

Be sure to ask what happens if the primary doctor is out of town or unavailable, especially for an after-hours emergency. Do they have other doctors in the practice? Do they have an agreement with another pediatrician to cover in those situations? Answering all of these questions will help you feel more comfortable going through the transition of expecting mother into motherhood knowing that you will have trusted people to work with concerning your newborn’s health. 

This article was written by Alan Cassidy, an active writer within the blogging community covering maternity and childbirth, and always advocating for infant and children’s health. Connect with him on Twitter @ACassidy22

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I love spring! The birds chirping. The crisp, refreshing air. The sense of newness!

It makes me want to clear out clutter in my life. Today I am doing exactly that. Spring cleaning. Perhaps there will be yard sale in my near future! ;) I know the boys have been "practicing" for a yard sale for quite some time now.

Here's a nice video I saw today on this subject: http://finances.msn.com/save-money/32644975?from=boacopy

Speaking of something new for spring, I'm on the look out for some new spring recipes. If anyone has any to share, please comment on this blog post and I'll share them on the blog! My mealtimes are stuck in a rut. So, I need all the help you can give me! Thanks!!

~ Rachael

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tyler stirring dough while Evan poses
Evan and Tyler helped Mommy make semi-homemade Cinnamon Rolls using the Pillsbury Specialty Hot Roll Mix.

The rolls turned out so well that I think we will make them this way from now on instead of just buying the frozen ones!

Now the house smells like a bakery. Yum!

The boys will get to enjoy their rolls in the morning for breakfast. They didn't finish baking until after they were fast asleep.

Kneading the dough
We almost weren't able to make them because we didn't have flour. But, I asked one of our neighbors who provided some flour. So, as thanks, I took a couple of rolls over to their house as soon as they were done. They were quite appreciative and asked me if I could give them the recipe sometime! Well now...I'm becoming quite the domesticate, huh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous day with the boys & John! Thank you to my friend/neighbor for inviting us to the park with her & some other Mommies & kids! I've never seen that playground area so packed! We had some lunch at The Waterfront in Pittsburgh then walked along the trail. Then, we decided to go to the Penn Hills library (instead of going inside the Barnes & Noble and spending money on books...lol). We loaded up on FREE library books. Then, we finished off the evening with some ice cream at "A Different Twist" in Penn Hills. Not too shabby! ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creative Mommy is coming back...

My creativity seems to be returning. It felt like it went on hiatus for a bit. But, now I feel like my creative juices are ready to flow, again! The challenge is harnessing it so that I still pay attention to my homemaking duties, as well!

I made a set of 8 Peacock Feathers Blank cards and posted them for sale on my PaperCrafter's Nook page on Etsy.com. You can check them out here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/90314642/peacock-feathers-blank-cards-8-pack

Let me know what you think of them!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I know I have not been blogging very much lately and apologize to those of you who may have been waiting for a post (any posts?) from me. I feel like my voice has been taken from me. Does that make any sense? Like my muse, wherever it was, departed never to be seen, again... Please, anyone else who blogs or writes, tell me that this is not a permanent condition! I've even considered whether this blogging thing was still "for me". What relevance does it serve? Is it only self-serving blather? Does anyone even care? But, I come back here, anyway, because it seems a bit therapeutic. :)

2011 was a crazy year. I'm not sure I can say I'm sad to see it go.

However, I am quite excited about the coming year and the possibilities it holds (and I'm not talking about the Mayan prophecy for 12/21/12, either...lol). ;)

Already, I took steps today to work on some personal goals. I took a walk around my neighborhood to work off some of those New Year's Eve calories (can you say "kielbasa & sauerkraut?!"). Ironically, I ran into one of my elderly neighbors who gave me two cookies to take home to the boys ("They're so cute!"). Yes...the cookies DID make it home to the boys (luckily she lives CLOSE...lol). BTW...I apologize if you are one of those people who dislike people who laugh at their own jokes by using LOL all the time. If that's you, you are not going to enjoy my posts very much (lol). ;)

Another one of my personal goals is to get more organized in all areas of my life. So, I took a "baby step" (Thank you to Dave Ramsey for that terminology) in that direction today by cleaning my back yard (a.k.a. the toy graveyard). I'm sure my neighbor, Megan, will appreciate that one. ;) Actually, I have to admit that I jumped the gun on the baby steps for this particular goal before we hit the New Year. So far, since I've been home with the boys, I've gotten most of the laundry caught up, kept the main living areas relatively clean (which is saying A LOT with a 4-soon-to-be-5-year-old-in-March and a 3-year-old boys running around the house!), and even make my bed on most days (lol). Making a bed...what a concept! So retro...I even (get this) made the BOYS' bed the other day. Of course, it was UNMADE within a matter of hours (a new record), but it's the effort that counts!

What "baby steps" have you made today towards your goals/resolutions for 2012?

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