Friday, January 29, 2010


As I was reading blogs this morning and came across Keetha's (I just love reading her blog) about her laptop, I decided to let you in on how wonderful it was to have a new travel companion with me. We go everywhere together anymore. I can be in touch with the world at a moment's notice all because of one little teeny tiny gadget. Prepaid Mobile Broadband.... you heard me right, see the box! No long term contract!

Sure there is a start up cost,,,,, there always is, but I now can take this baby anywhere and I don't have to rely on anyone else to provide me with service. And as long as you have a firewall installed, I think it is safe to use anywhere. (of course, I don't keep vital info on my lappy anyway). I know this isn't new to some of you, but the idea of no contract might be.

Oh glory days!!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I haven't done a post regarding any type of food for quite a while. So, since I was having a craving for chocolate, but I am trying really hard to stay half-way away from large quantities of calories, I chose this recipe from Cooking Light.

FYI: I honestly would much rather have homemade Angel Food Cake and make my own whipped topping but for the sake of this recipe, I purchased the products that the recipe called for. It actually did taste just fine.


3 TB.unsweetened cocoa
1 pkg. angel food cake mix
Cooking spray
1/2 C. powdered sugar

2 (1 ounce) bars unsweetened baking chocolate
1 (8 ounce)block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) container frozen fat free whipped topping, thawed
1 ts. unsweetened cocoa

To prepare the cake, combine 3 tablespoons cocoa and cake mix in a large bowl. Prepare the cake mix with added cocoa according to package directions. Coat a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray; line bottom with wax paper. Pour batter into pan.

Ladies, if you haven't purchased one of these new beater blades for your Kitchenaid,,, oh you must! It is quite the treat when mixing. It is like a new best friend!!

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool the cake in pan 5 minutes.

Loosen cake from sides of pan, and turn out onto a dish towel dusted with 1/2 cup powdered sugar; carefully peel off wax paper. Cool the cake 1 minute.

Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Place, seam side down, on a wire rack, and cool completely (about 15 minutes).

To prepare the filling, place baking chocolate in a glass bowl; microwave at high 2 minutes or until almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Cool. Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the melted chocolate and 1 cup powdered sugar, beating mixture well (mixture will be very thick). Gently stir 1/2 cup whipped topping into the filling, and gently fold in the remaining whipped topping.

Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread filling over the cake, leaving a 1/2 inch border around outside edges. Re-roll cake, and place, seam side down, on a platter.

(this was my idea.. I rolled a plastic cutting sheet around this roll, put rubber bands around it, then chilled).
Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cocoa. Cut the cake into 10 slices. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.

Yield: 10 servings

O.H. S.O. G.O.O.D!!!!! chocolate crave cured!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Thanks Kathia for the award!!!
Here are the rules for the award:
-List 10 things that make you happy
-Tag 5 blogs ( I am not sure if is 5 or 10 Blogs, I choose 5)
-Put in a link to their blogs and notify them.
Okay so short and simple:
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Food
4. Travel
5. God
6. Flowers
7. Funny stories
8. Friends Candle Shed
9. Sunshine
10. Kitties
I will pass this on to some newcomers to my blog. They are wonderful people that I am just getting to know. Go to their blogs and get to meet them too.
These blogs are very interesting to follow, very interesting content. They have become daily reads (or I should say I try to read daily). I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!


Debby at Just Breathe sent me this award just before I left for San Diego and I didn't get to properly finish the post so here is continuation from that January 10th post.
I was supposed to list 7 things about myself, and pass the award along to 7 beautiful bloggers.

1. I LOVE COFFEE!!! No, I don't think you understand, I L-O-V-E coffee....
2. I have a real passion for kids.
3. I love to do crafts of all sorts.
4. I love God.
5. I come off as being organized, but in truth, NOT AT ALL!!!!
6. I like to travel, but I thought I would like it more.
7. I am a procrastinator and a throw-n-go kinda girl. So then I have to finally stay home and get
everything put back in it's place.

Okay, now for 7 bloggers, in no particular order. These 7, I try to visit daily as you would maybe like a next door neighbor or a close friend.

1. Sweet Repose, bestest friends in blog world and in person.
2. Main Street Memories, please go to her blog, Colleen will have you smiling in no time.
3. Cohagan Chronicles, Mary and I have become wonderful coffee buddies.
4. Pink Little Cake, Love, Love her work... Her children's cakes are the best.
5. Common Ground, Debra is such a positive, uplifting person. I love to read both her blogs.
6. A Joyful Chaos, I just love her blog. Interesting, a wonderful read.
7. SimplyIowa, Barb and I have a wonderful love for so many of the same things. She is such a

I have such wonderful friends in blogworld and I wish I could just list each and everyone of you. But honestly, my computer time is just gone, so anyone reading this, please take this award and pass it on to others. Hopefully you will visit the blogs I have listed and enjoy a few of my best friends like I do.


Continued from last post.....

We went to Balboa Park

Went to Moonlight Beach

watched the surfers
Went to CBS Studios and got a personal tour. GOT TO SPIN THE WHEEL!!!!
(Yeah.... ignore the face.... I only had one picture)
Got to drive by famous streets. (sing with me and Sheryl Crow, You know the song!!)
We can't wait to go back, see some more stuff.
Thanks so much for such kindness from family, great conversation, great food, wonderful weather, just an amazing trip with pictures of a lifetime. Holt family, you made our trip unforgettable, something we will always treasure!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Well, we are back from vacation in San Diego. I took tons of photos and can't wait to share them. But of course, since tonight I have time to do this post, for some reason I can't download pics. WHAT'S GOING ON!!!!! I have tried to get this thing to work without any luck twice. One more try.....


We got to San Diego, picked up our car and headed up to Encinitas. The Garmin (GPS) became our best friend. It led us right to our destination. This was a part of the highway with 16 lanes total going in all directions.

We visited with family
went to the beach
took a harbor cruise.... more to come..... the weather must be affecting my computer, so after working on this post for 1 1/2 hours when it should have only taken 20 minutes, I GIVE UP!!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Debby at Just Breathe has just sent me an award and I am so thrilled. Please stop by her blog and read. Go back to her Christmas post, you will see one of the most amazing trees I have ever seen. Worth the stroll on her page. Also visit her other blog FOR YOUR TEARS . She has a real passion to let women know others care! Go to her June 21, 2009 post in order to understand her mission.

Okay, I am to post 7 things about myself, and pass the award along to 7 beautiful bloggers.

1. I LOVE COFFEE!!! No, I don't think you understand, I L-O-V-E coffee....
2. I have a real passion for kids.
3. I love to do crafts of all sorts.
4. I love God.
5. I come off as being organized, but in truth, NOT AT ALL!!!!
6. I like to travel, but I thought I would like it more.
7. I am a procrastinator and a throw-n-go kinda girl. So then I have to finally stay home and get
everything put back in it's place.

Oh my, ran out of time.... so I will post 7 names later.... gotta run, 8:07am, yikes!!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Since I have been crazy busy lately and have neglected my posting duties, I decided to go on a blogging marathon! So go grab a cup o' joe, sit back and relax. This might take a bit.


Well, we have been snowed upon once more. Our deck is under there somewhere! Look at the railing. That is how much has fallen in the past few days. Now, I know some of you in the Northern Lands are thinking, haaaa,,,,, that's nothing compared to what you have been dealing with since October! But it has been quite an accumulation for us....

On the flip side of this,,,,, this morning I was feeling about 10 years old and just wanted to go play in the fluffy white stuff... so I did! I even looked up to the sky with my eyes closed and tasted the snow as it fell... what fun it is to be a kid again (in my mind)!

So as the road equipment goes by my driveway, I just ignore the noise and enjoy the scenery!

The snow must have fallen straight down as the bird restaurants even have roof snow caps.


These Ice Sculptures were in a yard close to my daughter's house in Cedar Rapids.

(Double click on picture to look at them in detail)

I can't imagine the amount of time it must have taken to do these.


So we packed a car load of Christmas presents up and headed to our daughter and fiance's house for our belated Christmas get together. Between the weather and their jobs, this was the soonest we could do this (January 6th). It was a hard holiday as we have always celebrated Christmas Eve with everyone home and Tracy and Tony could not make it because of the weather.

We had fun just watching these two "kids" open presents as if it were Christmas morning. All in all, I think they were very excited over the surprises!!!

My daughter has an uncanny way of knowing just what to get me.... She and Tony were on a quest to find me these "icebergs". I have an extensive collection of Snowbabies and the icebergs helped in displaying them.

Can you see them under there??? They worked perfect!!

And my most prized possession.... My daughter has taken up this passion for painting. She is self taught and can't get enough of it. She received some paints and supplies for Christmas from her love (he is very good at present picking out) and she painted this for us (me). Being the kind of artsy person that I seem to be, I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS!!!! It is a 16x20 canvas. I want to get it properly framed. I have it hanging in our dining room for now. This truly makes me smile every time I walk past it.

I love the detail in the colors... good job Tracy...


So as we know the apple does not fall far from the tree.... and my daughter has been testing her creativibility!!! We bought all the stuff to make this wreath and I turned her loose after a few instructions. SHE DID AWESOME! This picture does not do this justice. It is as cute as can be!!! Oh I am so proud of my little apple!!!

Again, pictures do not do this tree justice. It was bright and cheery with huge splashes of color!!!

Her home looked so festive with all the decor. I just know now that she is getting that art/craft itch, there is no telling what she will come up with next.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


We had the wonderful pleasure of sharing our home with my niece and nephew-in-love along with one of their furry children for 3 days. They are from St. Louis, MO, 5 hours away.

I'm not sure who enjoyed their time more, Jake and Jenn, just for getting away; their dog, Song, who got to run around, eat snow, and explore all the unknown on a farm; or me, just enjoying my time together with all 3 of them.

A week before they came, my niece asked if there was anything she could bring me from St. Louis. I said no, can't think of anything.... eeeerrrr.... I know, can you bring me The Arch???

(I should have known she would figure some way to induldge me my request!)
Here is a picture of Song, pit bull mix, and I. I fell in love with this furry friend. She is maybe 6 or 7 and she is the best behaved animal I have ever seen and what a little lover. Her mom and dad have trained her and she obeys commands like none other. We were instant pals.

They had a chance to relax, go exploring in Muscatine and the Quad Cities, go hiking in the woods to The Grotto. My son and his wife had us over for visit and supper.

And we had 2 new games to play!!
(These 2 have become favorites and are highly recommended)

Then they had to go home....
I didn't want them to go.....
I think they had fun and hope they will visit again.......