"Homemade" Bread

One thing I've recently gotten myself reacquainted with are frozen bread dough loaves. A couple of weeks ago I bought the Rhodes brand at my local grocery store. I paid $4 for the package.

At 5 loaves for $4, how could you possibly go wrong?!

Growing up, my mother would also use the bread dough to make our pizza. I've even used it to make cinnamon rolls a time or two before. The directions for preparation couldn't be simpler!

Last week during one of our especially cold and windy days, I wanted nothing more than to smell the delicious, comforting aroma of fresh bread baking in the oven. So, I pulled a loaf out of the freezer in the morning, let it thaw and rise, and popped it into the oven at 350 degrees. In about 20 minutes I was rewarded with the most amazingly tasty, soft, fresh loaf of bread!

Mmmm, Mmmm, Good! This bread was still slightly warm from the oven....The butter just melted right onto it.

If you haven't tried frozen bread dough loaves before, or you're like me and haven't thought to use them in a while, grab a bag next time you're out shopping. You won't be disappointed!

Cozy Kitty House

Our shy girl, Missie, is always looking for her own private spot to snuggle down in, away from the activity of the other animal children, except for her favorite, Romeo. 

Missie snuggled in a box in her usual spot!

So when Dean and I were shopping recently, he spotted a cute little tee pee type of house that he thought would be perfect for Missie. We put it right where she usually likes to sleep - on top of our computer desk!

She was inquisitive and checked it out for a bit, playing with the little fluff ball that hangs from the "ceiling" of her house. She stuck her head in, sniffed and rooted around, then backed out suspiciously as if it were some kind of trap! Finally after a week of hoping she'd take to her cozy new place on the computer desk, we moved it down on the floor thinking maybe she'd like it better down there. Nope. Not a chance. No such luck! Week number two was just as unsuccessful as the first. :(

So, we gave up and moved on. But what to our wondering eyes did we see?

Romeo snuggled up in the tee pee as snug as a bug in a rug!
 And a couple of days later.....

Ziva sound asleep in the tee pee and looking as cute as a button!
And just the other day.....

Checkers hopped on in, looking mighty cool and chillin' but.....

*Ahem....Checkers?? You're a little off kilter there buddy!! Lol ~ oh, my....

 These silly animal children! 

So much for getting Missie a cozy little snuggling spot!!

Old Fashioned Brownie Recipe

Old Fashioned Brownies


1 cup butter 

1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


Brownie Icing


1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
dash salt


Beat all ingredients together. Frost brownies once they have cooled.

Watching Birds

If you enjoy birds as much as I do, I think you'll like these links to a couple of  bird feeder cams that I've been watching lately. I usually keep them both on in separate tabs, switching back and forth every so often to see what's going on at each feeding station. I love seeing the birds come and go just as if it's a feeder right outside my own window!

Blue Skies And Sunshine

In contrast to the many days of "winter at it's worst", today we were blessed with a day that began with a beautiful sunrise, followed by an afternoon of wall to wall blue skies and sunshine!
Even in spite of the still frigid temperatures, and unbelievable wind chill, today was a fabulous day!

Such a pretty sunrise

The sunlight just glistened off all the bright, white snow

Just look at that fabulous blue sky

No matter which room of the house I was in, I saw sunshine and not a cloud in the sky

I like how the sky in winter is so much brighter and such a deeper blue.....
Days like these help winter to pass much more quickly, and that's one thing that makes my heart happy indeed!

Winter At Its Worst

Here in the Northeast, our winter has been quite "arctic-ish" to say the least! Put into the mix day after day of gray skies, blustery winds and wicked windchills, and you've got yourself a recipe for a winter that looks pretty much like the pictures of our latest mini-snowstorm show below!

After all was said and done with this storm that popped up literally out of nowhere, Becca reminded me of the forecast she'd read in the farmers almanac back in the summer:

" Temperatures will be much colder this winter from the East Coast westward to a line from the Dakotas to Texas."

And boy, they weren't kidding!! We haven't had tons of snow per se, but we sure have had our share of some of the coldest temperatures I've seen around here in long time.


How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Cork Boards Inside Cupboard Doors

For several years my refrigerator has been a catch all for magnets, pictures, lists, business cards, coupons, schedules and jewelry (jewelry?). But this past week, that all changed. While browsing around on Pinterest, I came across the most clever idea of using cork boards inside the cupboard doors for keeping track of the stuff that normally ends up on my fridge.

So, I purchased a pack while out shopping one day, and, voila ~ what a super nice change! (Of course, I also decluttered and took care of some stuff that really just needed to be put away!)

It was such a drastic change, in fact, that when Becca came home and saw our refrigerator, (I mean really saw it so that she could actually tell you what color it was), she exclaimed in surprise and just stood there starring at it! Lol.... It truly was a funny moment!

Here are some pictures of how the project unfolded:
The cluttered front

The cluttered side

A 4 pack of boards that was pretty reasonably priced

The adhesive squares (provided) put onto the back

The board secured onto the inside of my cupboard door

Items from fridge transferred onto the board

And more items, plus added pictures of our adorable granddaughters :)

The baking cupboard door has some of our most used recipes

Ah.....oh my goodness.....a very uncluttered fridge front

And a not too shabby side, considering how it first was!

 In all honesty, the much less cluttered refrigerator has actually improved the look and feel of our entire cozy kitchen!

From Florida, With Love

Dean's work has taken him to the balmy, sunny (much warmer than here, even on it's coldest day) state of Florida lately. Knowing the fact that I'm a sunshine and warm weather loving girl at heart, he's enjoyed sharing pictures with me of the views he's seeing, even if they are just views that are out and about around his place of work. 

I love the surprise of receiving these pictures at any given moment, on any given day. It really helps to keep us connected, and often they turn our conversation to quite enjoyable discussions of our future hopes and dreams. But what I think I like best of all, is that every picture is always sent with the caption "I love you", and those 3 simple words remind me of all that is left unspoken, yet what I know lies between us, even though we are miles apart....

You know what, Babe? "I love you", too!

Happy 18th Birthday, Beautiful Girl!

Last week, we celebrated my daughter's birthday. The tiny, precious baby I once knew is now a lovely young woman. Where in the world did the years go? Some days I wish there was a replay button.... Some days memories of her childhood tumble around in my mind.... Some days I look at her and see a resemblance to that little girl she once was.

Lately, I have moments of pride as I reflect on the challenges she is taking on, the responsibility she is learning and the accomplishments she has achieved. I'm proud for her courage, inquisitiveness, happy exploration and growing maturity. I think it takes a certain amount of bravery to come to the realization that you are no longer a child. For the last year, her steps have slowly, gradually been leading her to the beginning of adulthood. The long awaited, so anticipated milestone that every young person longs for! I remember clearly that time in my own life. 

I look on with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and happiness in my heart for all that lies ahead of her.....I'm excited, I'm hopeful, and sometimes, yes, I am anxious for her. I want for her what every parent surely wants for their child - love, happiness, safety, blessings, security, prosperity and a deep seated sense of well-being. I want what I know sometimes life does not always give. But I do know that every step of the way, no matter where she may be, no matter what the journey of life holds for her, I will be there.....I will always be there for her because that's just the way it is for this one mother's love. 


A popular saying comes to mind, and this, my darling girl, is what I wish for you ~

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and....
may God hold you {always} in the palm of His hand.

His Mighty Power

Skogafoss Waterfall - Iceland

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power..."   Ephesians 1:19

Our Ziva Girl

She's just so cute, so curious and so entertaining!
Nothing escapes her attention!
Like this shiny ornament, for example, that she became fascinated with when I began taking down the small Christmas tree.
Oooo, I must bat at it....I must!

My, how pretty you are!

And how fun to play with!

I want you for my very own toy....

Hmmm, but Mom secured you too well to the branch. She must be on to me!

We love her to pieces....
our little Ziva girl!