Celebration!

Today marks a milestone for Sissy and her eye care.   She and Gretchen celebrated with some new treats I’ll review on Thursday, but you get to hear that Kathyb won the Cheesecake Queen contest!  I love Dreamcicle anything, and salted caramel anything too, so what’s not to love?!  Kath, email me and we’ll get that digital book in your … hands?

Kind_Bar_DrkChocoNutsSalt_SingleWhile we’re talking about salted caramel, you need to know about my new favorite bar.  I eat it for breakfast, for a snack… it’s perfect anytime you need a little protein, fiber and CHOCOLATE.

Am I the last person ever to find out how awesome KIND bars are?!  What’s your favorite flavor?  I have others to try, but honestly… this is so incredible I’m not open to trying new things, even if they might be wonderful too.

What’s your latest find?

Here I am … turn the page

(Thank you, Bob Seger. )

There’s not much I care to reflect upon from 2013, but I do want to tell you about a few books.  See, that’s the one thing that seems to be working for me, other than running.  (Yes, running is bad for my back, but it’s good for my soul so…  we’re running some.)

Heck, I don’t even know where I left off telling you about books, so I’ll hit the high points.

thecheesecakequeen-v1-final-199x300I bridged from 2013 into 2014 with our very own, darling Duck’s Cheesecake Queen.  (Lookie there!  She’s an Amazon author!  Wooo!)  It was just the thing I needed during a post-Christmas, difficult time in a not-friendly town.

Here’s her publisher’s link for more information, but what you really need to know is that it’s a sweet little read with characters who will make you laugh, make you grunt (okay, maybe  you’re too ladylike to grunt when a character is annoying, but …), and definitely, it will make you crave creamy, rich cheesecake in flavors you haven’t imagined before.

It’s really exciting to have a friend who is PUBLISHED.  It’s even more fun when she asks you to review her book AND give away a free copy.  So, in the spirit of the Sugar sisters and Miranda by any of the other names you might know her by, all you have to do to be eligible for the drawing is make up your own cheesecake – or pie, if you are sure you don’t love cheesecake – fusion blend.   The combination of flavors that tickles me the most (good, bad or for reasons I can’t imagine right now) will get a digital copy of this delicious book.

CONTEST COMMENTS MUST BE POSTED BEFORE 9 PM EASTERN TIME, FEBRUARY 2, 2014.   Winner will be contacted by email, so make sure I have an email address for you.

After such a sweet treat, I wanted something meatier, so I opened All Roads Lead to Austen via my Kindle app on my trusty iPad.  I quickly realized I’d never read Pride and Prejudice, so when I discovered it was already on my Nook (app) waiting to be read, I flipped right over and read that, then finished ARLtA.  If you haven’t read anything by Austen, you should.  I’m definitely no Janite (rabid fan), so don’t look for me to wax poetic telling you how much like Lizzy I am.  The Knight’s no Mr. Darcy either, in case  you were wondering, although one of my co-workers did joke today and ask what kind of bet I lost to end up married to a man so different from me.  Still, I enjoyed Ms. Smith’s account of an Austen South American sabbatical, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never re-read it.

After that, I gave in and started on another classic I’ve never read – Stephanie Plum.   I read the first three and have already ordered 4-6, and predict the rest of the series will float on in too.  Given that my father worked for a company with a service center in Trenton (New Jersey), I was willing to give the series a chance.  Add in a rather non-traditional, female, untrained bounty hunter and two manly men watching her back, and I have yet another series to devour.

If you’re a Plum fan…  Morelli or Ranger?

Suited to a Tee

YWMCSSwh-1Last month, that awesome Pack Mom had another contest and we won!   Cute as the featured tee was, I knew I wouldn’t wear cute hearts year-round, so I selected Your Wish is My Command from Teddy the Dog.   The Knight is quite certain the tee was designed by our dogs, and even went so far as to suggest that Teddy sounds – and in his cartoon form even resembles – Mugsy.   Yes, it’s also the tee I wore when I took Sissy to the vet’s and yes I went to work in it too, complete with dog hair and drool.   I don’t think Teddy would have it any other way.

Check Teddy out.  He’s a dog with attitude, and the tees really are cute.

And check out Amy’s post about our breakfast and the spin-in.  I ended up not going to the spin-in because a migraine took root… but even nearly having to hold my head on with both hands couldn’t keep me from meeting Little Miss and seeing her parents!

How was your weekend?

Pre-holiday tradition!

image courtesy of Shutterfly

Like it or not, Christmas is right around the corner.  For several years now, I’ve done Photo Christmas Cards, and my go-to vendor is Shutterfly.   They have a great selection of styles, shapes, themes and no matter what you’re looking for, it’s there, for whatever version of the holidays you like to honor with cards.

Sissy is lobbying for this design, but until she has her own bank account, I think I’ll make the final decision.  Some years, I’ve done a couple of different styles of cards, but this year I’m thinking one kind of classic design that can go to friends, family, fellow League leaders, etc.

Or maybe I’ll compromise.  If Sissy will pose with antlers and get Gretchen to cooperate as well, we’ll consider this design.  Why yes, I am quite confident there’s simply no way that will be happening…

DSC00031

December 2008 – A visual reminder of the antler suffering

I love holiday cards and have a special scrapbook for the ones that really speak to me each year.  I save all the cards and use some to make embellishments on the pages too.  Another friend has a really neat idea I think I’m going to use to keep my cards together from one year to the next, since I will admit that I have a backlog and am a couple of years behind.  Houndgirl buys those locking, metal rings and hole punches each card and then stacks the cards on a ring so that they’re handy to view.  Beats my gallon storage bag per year mess!

So, what are your card preferences and traditions?  And while you’re thinking cards, check out Shutterfly on your favorite social medium:

•             Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly

•             Twitter: http://twitter.com/Shutterfly

•             Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/shutterfly/

•             Instagram: Shutterfly

•             Google +: https://plus.google.com/+shutterfly

•             Blog: http://blog.shutterfly.com/

Also be sure to see Shutterfly’s special offers.

And for those dedicated readers who made it this far, I have a special reward!   Leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Christmas or winter holiday cards.  Do you like the family newsletters, photo cards or something more traditional with glitter?  One winner will be selected November 16th for  $50 off order of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos (expire 12/14/2012 – no extensions) courtesy of Shutterfly.

Last but not least, I need to let you know that post is sponsored by Shutterfly, although my opinions are sincere and my own.

Pin here, pin there…

I have fallen down a rabbit hole.  Its name is Pinterest.  I might never tweet again, and will definitely be on Facebook even less.  Le sigh.  Recipes, fashion, home decor, cute doggies… what’s not to love?!

Planet Dog Feedbag

I had a fabulous time at Mistletoe Market, but I’ll have to report on my purchases later.  It was too dark/cloudy yesterday when I got home.   In the meantime, toodle over to Nichole’s latest review and check out the fab Planet Dog Feedbag and its matching bowls.  I think lots of our doggy friends and relations might get a Feedbag for Christmas…  The fur-girls are definitely getting one, in PANK of course. 

Oh — and it’s a contest.  The more of us who enter, the more Planet Dog and Lapdog Creations will give away!  See the original post for details.

How was your weekend?  Do you have any fabulous finds?

Just Another Manic Monday

I’m totally feeling The Bangles today.  The phone hasn’t stopped ringing, we’re short a service crew today, etc. 

What made me think of that blast from my past?  Well, bangles… of course!

Those fab BonBon Rose Girls are having a giveaway.  I’m not sure I can wait to see if I win; I think I need one NOW, and then I need to ask Alex and Ani to design a “charm” for me… but that part’s a secret.

I’m a bracelet fanatic.  I have … more charm bracelets than I care to admit, in every “format” I’ve ever seen for charm bracelets, in multiple metals.  However, while I’ve always admired bangles (and cuffs, but this post isn’t about them), me and my tiny wrists can’t wear ‘em.  While I have a fairly large frame, for some reason, I have wee wrists and “youth” hands.  This I know, because when I was trying to pretend I was a golfer, I had to wear medium or medium-large youth gloves.  This adjustable design makes me swoon. 

Anyhoo, don’t blame me when you order a collection of your own.  Just tell me what charms you get, gold or silver (or some of each?)…

My weekend was good.   More good food and better company, but at places I’ve already raved about.  The Knight and all but four students survived the CRAZY Saturday night training fire with all the heat, so what’s not to love?

How was your weekend?

Donation prize

March 2011 002I like to think I’ve always been a cheerful giver.  I try to support my friends when they are supporting their causes, although like the rest of the world, I can’t always give and I can never give as much as I’d like.  So, when Nichole wanted to support Tiger World, I did…

In return, two fab prizes arrived on our doorstep last week.  For me, there was the latest One Skein Wonders book, and for the girls, a small pink camo travel bowl.  Thanks Nichole, and to the donors of said prizes!  They will both be well-used.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to Tiger World.   Pop over and read about their efforts to blend conservation and education…

March 2011 004

Of course, the girls had to pose with THEIR prize.  Gretchen COULD tote the lightweight bowl herself, but not comfortably. 

March 2011 006

The DIVA on the other hand, thought it was a funky little pillbox hat.  Hem.   She could likely tote it on her collar and never really notice, but I think I’ll be the one clipping it to me if it comes to that.  DIVA likes to chew while she walks. 

A very quick review of said book.  I like that it is divided by category.  For my use, it’s a little heavy on little person patterns, but there’s certainly plenty in there to catch my interest too.  According to Ravelry, there are 86 patterns in the book.  Hera Headband is most likely to jump on my needles, because I don’t know about you, but 50 degrees in the shade with a March wind still makes my ears COLD!   Likewise, Gretchen thinks she should have The Manwell, a tiny wee dog sweater, for those without Ravelry access.

No, I’m not knitting.  Some of it is a lack of time, some of it is former knitting time has been re-allocated to dog walks and workouts, but mostly, my mojo is just gone.  Poof.  Vanished.  Part of me thinks knitting is as much habit as anything else, so maybe I should just MAKE myself pick up the needles instead of looking for new fashion blogs to read.  Hmmm… 

While I ponder that, I’m going to snack on a Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Granola Thin.  It reminds me of a Girl Scout Thanks A Lot, but it’s only two points.  It’s not really healthy, but it’s tasty and I’d like to think it is better than a cookie.  Want one?  There are ten to a box, so gather ’round…  

General Mills seemed to think you’d like to see all the nitty-gritty facts.  Hrmph.  Trust me… the photo doesn’t do ‘em justice.