Better Than A Snuggie!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Have you seen those commercials for the blanket with sleeves? Let me show you something better! These blankets may not have sleeves, but they work just as well, and are much more attractive!! The people in those commercials make it look as if no one is capable of functioning while sitting under a blanket! Why buy one of those blankets, when you can easily make something people will really enjoy!

Try this simple design for an adorable, personalized blanket. This basic 6in. square pattern is all done in fleece. The borders are 10in wide, allowing for a name to be embroidered, and accounting for the width that you will loose in the ties. The edges are tied in the no-sew style for a simple finish.

This design is so easy, that anyone who knows how to sew a straight line will be able to make this blanket. The only tricky part is making sure that your squares are lined up, because fleece does stretch.

The most time consuming part is the machine embroidery. The designs in the above pictures took several hours, but you may choose simpler designs that are suitable for adults as well as children. These blankets were each completed in two to three days. You can make them as large or small as you choose. The finished size depends on the number of squares in each design.

When Good Fruit Goes Bad!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Could anyone tell me if those Green Bags for food storage actually work? I spend a lot of money on food that we have to throw away, because it went bad too fast. I go to the grocery store almost every day, and I don't buy that much at a time, but it still goes bad.

Someone gave me a loaf of homemade bread and put it in one of those bags, and I can tell you that they don't work for bread, but I was wondering if anyone has tested them on fruits and vegetables. With the economy the way it is today, every penny counts, and I don't want to buy the bags if they aren't worth the money.

Inspirational Poem

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Be Thankful
Author Unknown

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

YMT Vacations Offers Discount Vacations For The Discerning Traveler

YMT Vacations has been providing quality discount vacations to travelers since 1967. They specialize in travel tours and cruises to warm destinations such as Hawaii, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean, as well as cruises to Alaska and the Northwest. They also offer cruises to East Coast destinations including New England and Nova Scotia.

For those who prefer to stay on land,YMT Vacations offers land tour vacations to destinations including; the Canadian Rockies, Copper Canyon, Hawaii, Italy, Germany, Europe, and many more. They also offer a California Experience Tour with Amtrak.

Whether you're looking to relax in the sun on one of their cruise destinations, or imagining the sites of your next land tour, let YMT Vacations take the stress out of planning your vacation by handling all of the arrangements for you.

Wangethi-Mwangi: Preparing Kenyan Meals

Wangethi-Mwangi is a journalist who serves as Editorial Director for Nation Media Group--The largest media group in Kenya. As Editorial Director, Wangethi-Mwangi is responsible for both print and electronic platforms.

He is also an excellent cook who enjoys preparing Kenyan meals. Kenyan food includes a variety of creatively cooked and seasoned vegetables, making it healthy as well as flavorful. Wangethi-Mwangi presents his recipes in an easy-to-follow format, with clear instructions. His recipes are prepared using ingredients that many people already have on hand, making them a practical choice for anyone who wants to prepare a healthy meal that everyone is sure to enjoy.

K-Designers: A Leader in Home Remodeling

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

K-Designers, an award winning Home Remodeling Company, was formed in 1978 by Larry and Lee Judson in Casper, Wyoming. They currently have 11 Branch Locations throughout the west, where they employ over 900 staff members. Annual sales exceed $63 million, making them the largest Home Improvement Company in the West.

So, why choose K-Designers? They understand that this is your home, and they respect your time. Their goal is to make your remodeling experience exciting and pleasant, not stressful. They depend heavily on word-of-mouth advertising, and take customer satisfaction seriously.

With K-Designers, you pay nothing until the work is complete, and you are 100% satisfied. They are fully licensed and insured, and offer a wide variety of financing options. The written product and labor warranties that they provide exceed industry standards. They strive to overwhelm you with their concern for your happiness!

Frank J. Hanna III: What Your Money Means

Frank J. Hanna III is the Chief Executive Officer of Hanna Capital, LLC, an investment firm. He is also the author of the soon-to-be-published book, What Your Money Means. We've all heard the old saying, "Money is the root of all evil", but he believes that it is the greed for money that is evil, and that money is actually a gift that we need to learn to use properly.

In his book, What Your Money Means, Frank J. Hanna III encourages you to ask yourself these questions: What is the meaning of my money? How much is enough? Are we spending it as we should?

Join Frank J. Hannah III on this journey to understanding how we could all be using our money wisely, so that we are able to manage our money, and not the other way around.

Fantasy Images

Monday, May 25, 2009

While searching the Internet for images to use on my blog, there were several that caught my eye. Many of them were so intriguing, but I didn't have a story to go with them, so I thought I would post a few of my favorites, and maybe you can imagine the story that might go with them. All of these images are found on I hope you enjoy them!

Swine Flu Vaccine? "No Thanks, I'll Pass."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Today, I thought I would post a list of quotes that are appropriate for our times. I started thinking about the significance of these quotes while researching the swine flu vaccination, and how the vaccine is more dangerous than the flu itself. Information is available on the dangers of this vaccine, but this information doesn't generally make it to the mainstream, unless it's being presented by someone who is made to look like a "wacko."

I could go into great detail about the toxic ingredients and devastating effects of vaccines, but that would make this an extremely long article. If you don't believe that we are being used as guinea pigs to test vaccines, just ask me. I'll tell you about it on a good day, when I'm not suffering from the effects of Gulf War Syndrome!

"Your failure to be informed does not make me a wacko." ~ John Loeffler

"If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito." ~Betty Reese

"All rights not demanded are presumed waived" ~Scott Thurston

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." ~Edward Everett Hale

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." ~Ghandi

"Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." ~Winston Churchill

"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth." ~Morpheus

"Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave." ~Frederick Douglass

"A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed…When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker, a raving lunatic.” ~Dresden James

"What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.” ~Adolf Hitler

Are They Robbing Us At The Pump?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Now that school is out, many people are planning their summer vacation, and so of course... gas prices are going up again! It seems like almost every time I drive past the gas station, they've raised the price since the last time I drove by.

Of course, they always offer a convenient explanation on the news. According to the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost of crude oil accounts for 73 percent of the per-gallon price of gasoline. But since the cost of oil isn't rising at the rate that our cost is being raised, what other excuses do they give? Some of the other reasons are; supply versus demand, no new refineries, the decline of the dollar, and environmental groups.

So, what are my options? I can't afford to buy a hybrid or electric car. I live in the country where public transportation is not an option, and it's way too far to ride a bike into town. I am dependant on my car, and I have to buy gas. I try to consolidate my trips into town, but that's not always possible with children.

My theory on the rising cost of fuel is that this is just another way that the rich get richer (In 2007, the top five oil companies combined reported $123 billion in profits), and the poor stay poor.

I do realize though, that it's not the fault of the person who happens to be working at the gas station. They're just trying to make a living like the rest of us, so I try not to take my frustrations out on them!

Fun Books For Beginning Readers

Thursday, May 21, 2009

These days it's hard to find books that are appropriate for children to read. There is one set of books that my children love to read-- Junie B. Jones. Whenever they read these books, I can hear them giggling, and they tell me that I just have to hear the funny parts.

There are 27 books in the series, and one Junie B. Jones journal. These stories are written in first person from Junie B.'s perspective. The series begins with her as a kindergarten student, and continues through her first grade year. They deal with everyday issues that young children can relate to such as; trouble with friends, school, a little brother, and getting in trouble at home.

The only concern I have with these books, is that because they are written in the way that a child might speak, some of the words are intentionally misspelled, and many sentences don't make sense at all. That can be confusing and frustrated for children to read at times. However, they are good stories, and Junie B. always learns her lesson in the end!

The Many Uses of Sandalwood

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sandalwood is an essential oil with an exotic, woody aroma, and has demonstrated its effectiveness in a wide range of uses. It has a calming effect on the mind, is ideal for use in relieving depression, chronic state of fear, nervous tension, confusion, and anxiety.

Sandalwood is also effective in relieving dehydrated skin (excellent for mature skin), and has also been found to relieve itching and inflammation of the skin.

Chronic chest infections, sore throats and dry coughs as well as bronchitis and asthma can benefit greatly from this oil, as well as cystitis and bladder infections.

Because of the profound effect it has on the mucus membranes of both the pulmonary and genito-urinary tract, it has been used with great success for chest complaints, and urinary tract infections.

Lotions or creams:
When used in a lotion or cream sandalwood oil can assist with chapped, dry or inflamed skin and has wonderful moisturizing and hydrating properties, which are great for anti-ageing skincare. The toning effect is useful when fighting oily skin.

Burners and vaporizers:
In vapor therapy, sandalwood oil can be used for its aphrodisiac effect, to help clear bronchitis, coughs, chest infections, asthma, insomnia, irritability, nervous tension, stress, tension, for relaxing and as an insect repellant.

Blended massage oil or in the bath:
As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, sandalwood oil can assist with bladder infections as well as chest infections and bronchitis, coughs, dry eczema, insomnia, forming scar tissue, irritability, nervous tension, stress, tension, as an aphrodisiac and for relaxing.

**The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only. You should consult a health care professional for any medical conditions. Essential oils are not used to treat, cure or diagnose any illnesses.**

Smile For the Camera

It never fails. Every time there's a family gathering...someone pulls out the dreaded camcorder! You're sitting there having a perfectly enjoyable time, and someone sticks a video recorder in your face and expects you to be entertaining. The first thing that comes to my mind is to hide my face, while insisting "please don't film me...I look terrible!" Then, what's even worse, when you finally do look at the camera, all you can do is give a silly smile, wave, and say "hi."

I hate being on tape, and am the first person to start critiquing my appearance, hoping no one will ever actually watch this tape. I'm praying that it really is the camera that's adding on those extra 10 pounds!

While it may not seem like fun at the time, I must admit that over the years, I have had the opportunity to watch some of the old videos, and they bring back a lot of good memories. Many of them were things that I had completely forgotten about until I watched the tape. So the next time someone drags out the camcorder, enjoy the moment, and smile for the may be thankful someday!

The Only Pumpkin Muffin Recipe You Will Ever Need

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is my favorite recipe for pumpkin muffins! It's the result of a combination of ideas from various recipes, and my family can't get enough of these muffins. (Although, they are very sweet, so I don't make them too often!) One great thing about this recipe, is that there is a lot of room for modification to make them healthier, or add your favorite ingredients such as: raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips. I used a flower shaped muffin pan for the muffins in the picture, and they turned out little bread loaves.


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (substitute applesauce)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 15oz can of canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*Pumpkin spice may be substituted for cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.*


In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin and water. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture; blend well. Spoon into greased muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Bakery Style Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven, and after trying many different recipes, this one is definitely my favorite. These cookies taste like the kind you would buy from the bakery. Now, I'm not claiming that they're the healthiest cookies out there...but they taste so good! It's also the only way I can get my children to get a little oats in their diet!

INGREDIENTS: (Nutrition)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum free)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, blend the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the blended mixture until just blended. Add the quick oats and chocolate chips.

Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meditation Without Magic or Mysticism

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What comes to mind when you hear the word 'meditation'? Many people think meditation involves participation in a religious ritual, or that it requires certain beliefs. Others think of sitting in the traditional cross-legged position with their arms out. Well, hopefully this book will change all of those preconceived ideas.

Paul Wilson, founder of the Calm Center in Sydney, Australia, travels the world teaching others the art of meditation without magic or mysticism. As I read his book The Calm Technique, I realized that it's harder than I expected to clear your mind. I learned that if I'm thinking about not thinking, then I'm still not in the meditative state.

You may be pleasantly surprised that you get more out of this book than you would have imagined. It may help you learn to be more positive, sleep better, work more effectively, have an increase in mental awareness, and a greater capacity to cope.

While the technique is simple, it does take more practice than I was expecting. However, I believe that when you find something that can have a positive impact on your life using a natural, drug-free method that does not require you to change your lifestyle in any way, and only takes about thirty minutes a day, it's definitely time well spent.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Good news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate in moderation is actually good for you. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which help rid the body of free radicals, destructive molecules that have been linked to heart disease and other ailments.

Dark chocolate retains 95% of its flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Standard processing procedures destroy up to half of the flavonoids in milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains nearly 8 times more flavonoids than strawberries. Flavonoids also help balance hormones, and reduce mildly elevated blood pressure. Research indicates that dark chocolate may reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

Studies reveal that the benefits of antioxidants are lost when dark chocolate is eaten with milk. Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy's National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome states, "Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate ... and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate."

So the next time you get a craving for chocolate, there's no need to feel guilty about enjoying a little dark moderation of course!

Potato Soup For Crock Pot or Stove Top

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When you want a home cooked meal but don't have a lot of time, try this simple, yet delicious recipe for potato soup. Organic chicken broth is used instead of bouillon cubes. Therefore, this recipe contains no MSG. Even picky eaters are going to ask for a second helping. Get creative and add broccoli, turkey, or whatever you like. Enjoy!

5-6 large potatoes, cubed
1 large red onion, diced
3 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons cilantro
3 cups organic chicken broth
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup flour
shredded cheese (optional)

Crock Pot Directions:

1. Place everything but the milk and flour in the crock pot and cook on low all day.

2. 30 minutes to one hour before serving, stir together the flour and evaporated milk until smooth, then add to soup.

3. After the soup starts to thicken slightly, it is ready to serve.

Stove Top Directions:

1. Boil potato and onion until tender, then simmer the rest of the ingredients on medium heat until thickened.

2. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese (optional).


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ahhhh...warm weather has arrived. There's nothing more peacful than the sounds of spring. The birds are chirping, the trees are gently blowing in the breeze, the children are playing, and that's when you hear it-- The sound of flip-flops flapping with every step!

Modern flip-flops were originally created in New Zealand, and appear to be based on traditional Japanese woven or wooden soled sandals. In New Zealand they are called jandals. Here in the US, flip-flops in their dressier form are refered to as thong sandals.

While widely considered comfortable, flip-flops can cause many foot-related problems due to the fact that they do not provide ankle support. Many flip-flops are made with a spongy sole which allows the foot to roll inward more than usual. This inward rolling is known as pronation, causing the arch to open and become unable to absorb shock. This can result in pain in the arch, the heel, and the toes.

I must admit that they do have their uses. I was thankful to have them while on vacation when I didn't want to stand barefoot in the shower, and they work well for killing spiders! But as for fashion...I prefer to wear "real shoes!"

Is It Past My Bedtime?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Everyone has their own theory on how much sleep we need. Well, one thing is certain: If I don't get eight hours of sleep, I'm going to be tired and grouchy, and my eyes will be puffy all day. Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation will tell you that there is no "magic number." Sleep needs are individual, and people of the same age and gender may require different amounts of sleep. The question remains: How much is too much or too little?

Lack of sleep can lead to serious health consequences. Sleep deprivation causes increased likelihood of obesity, increased risk of heart problems and diabetes, and increased risk for psychiatric conditions including substance abuse and depression. Not getting enough sleep can also inhibit your productivity and decrease your memory.

Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago says, "Currently, there is no strong evidence that sleeping too much has detrimental health consequences, or even evidence that our bodies will allow us to sleep much beyond what is required."

So with that, I'm going to bed and sleeping late!

The Secret Garden

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's that time of year again. School is almost out, and the summer reading program will soon begin. If you're searching for a story with traditional values, and one that will keep your child's attention, then I recommend "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

This book will help your child use their imagination while taking them to another place in time, and keep them wanting to read more and find out what happens in the next chapter.

The one minor issue with this book, is that it has many Old English phrases that may be difficult for some children to read without assistance. However, they will still be able to understand the meaning of the story. This book is 298 pages, and is recommended for children 9-12 yrs of age.

Tim Arel: Diverse Skill Requirements of Property Management

Friday, May 8, 2009

An effective Property Manager needs to be willing and able to learn and grow with the ever changing demands of this complex position.Tim Arel has proven he is capable of conquering this challenge.

Demonstrating his dedication to further his career and education,Tim Arel obtained certification in the fields of Association Management and Community Associations.

Tim Arel attended law school at Franklin Pierce Law Center before discovering his interests in human resources, training, and state and federal regulation compliance. His desire to become involved with the public led him to join several committees and local boards. These invaluable skills have served him well at his current position as Director of Property Management for North Point Property Management.

Braden Power of Power Properties Enables You To Live like You're on Vacation

Power Properties, located in the East Dallas and Lakewood areas, was formed in 1995 by Braden and Craig Power. They specialize in buying and renovating old, garden style properties and turning them into apartments and condos that offer both indoor and outdoor luxuries.

They offer a variety of design styles including: Verandah, Boutique, and Historic. Buildings are located in historic districts, where all styles must be approved by the Landmark Commission. Power Properties is known for providing a quiet and peaceful environment, while remaining close to downtown areas for a convenient commute.

Braden Power, Co-Owner of Power Properties, describes their concept as "Edgy and completely over the top." He was quoted as saying "You've never seen a home like this before."

Understanding Life Insurance With United American Insurance Company

Thursday, May 7, 2009

United American Insurance Company has been in business since 1947. They can assist you with all of your Life and Health Insurance needs. Their commitment to quality has been awarded with superior ratings by A.M. Best.

Term Life and Whole Life are two of the most common types of Life Insurance. The amount of Life Insurance you need depends on a variety of circumstances, such as preexisting medical conditions and tax-efficient estate planning. United American Insurance Company can help you decide which type best suits your needs.

Before selecting a plan, be aware of how premiums may change with age or on term renewal periods. A qualified Agent with United American Insurance Company can provide you with comparisons to fit your budget.

Something For Everyone At 1-800 Flowers

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Are you looking for something special for all of the important mothers in your life? You don't have to spend a fortune to find something that every mother is sure to love. You can choose from a wide selection of beautifully arranged flowers, or if you're looking for something a little different, you can choose from the tempting fruit baskets, gourmet food baskets, spa baskets, and wine and cheese baskets.

1-800 Flowers makes it affordable and convenient to order your Mothers Day flowers. They offer a discount when making your purchase using PayPal, and you may order using your iphone.

If you're like many people who are shopping for a Mothers Day gift at the last minute, there's no need to worry. They offer many selections that are available for same day delivery.

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