Thursday, July 29, 2010

Enjoy your weekend..

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I am lucky to go and spend time with Hub's I am so excited, we are going camping. This has really been a wonderful and fun summer so far. Sadly like always it goes so fast. I will be posting more then I have been. Trying to do this challenge and keep up with my everyday blogging so I need to do that as much.

Enjoy your weekend and I will be thinking of you all as I go camping!! :0)

Day 6 of 31 days to build a better blog.


"
Today your task in the 31 Day challenge to Build a Better Blog is to do some learning from successful bloggers." 

For Day Six, we are asked to ask nine bloggers that you know and respect to nominate a few posts from their own blogs archives that they believe would be most helpful for bloggers wanting to improve their blogs."

  1. Give it time.
  2. It is easy to say that when you have been blogging for a few years and your blog is successful, but it is true. In most studies it shows that you need to be in full swing of the blogging world for as long as 2 years. But in time it will come.
  3. It Takes hard wrok.
  4. Not Luck, but hard work. If you want to get a better blog then you gotta make some sacrifices like waking up early and not sleeping the day away. Treat it like a job you need to do and that you love to do because if you don't then you shouldn't do it.
  5. What are you thinking of direction for you blog??
  6. There is a purpose to everything; whether you like it or not. You want lot of page hits, lots of comments, all you family & friends to keep visiting your blog. Whatever it is there is strategy needed to obtain those goals. Ask yourself this.... what is your goal? What is the direction you want?? What story do you need and want to tell?
  7. It Takes a Village.
  8. There is so much power in collaboration.  you need to try first with ten people then move on.  However, I think that it does not matter where you are in your blog, get ten people now and stage a drive – it will put a little bit of extra momentum into you endeavors. This is something I have been trying to , hmm I think that this is an opportunity for us all. My goal this week is to get my Seattle area bloggers together. These women are so important to me and our friendships are real.

Go just a few steps above....
A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…
  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shutterfly Giveaway: First 100 bloggers receive 40 free Personalized Stationery Cards!

Shutterfly Giveaway: First 100 bloggers receive 40 free Personalized Stationery Cards!

31 Days To Build A Better Blog - Day 5

Today's challenge is all about communicating with our community. The task is to email a reader. I have emailed readers in the past when there is something specific I want to talk to them about in private.  I would rather carry on a chat in my comments section or visit readers back at their blog if they have one, leaving  a comment there. But by writing an email and trying to let them know by reaching out just a little bit more to say thank you. 


The reader's that I emailed for this challenge are so special because them following me in their busy lives, when in a world today you have a thousand little things to do and yet they make time for me and my blog.  This means a lot to me. 




I emailed 


Judy at cutest-little-things her blog is so sweet and so fun to read. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do. 


Dawn at  bee and rose. She is a stay at home busy mom of two and she is living a life of a women with a husband that is terminally ill, she like myself knows and understands how precious life truly is but still follows and reads my blog and that means the world to me. 


Kate at mommy monologues She is a stay at home mom working on her masters in social services. Her and I have so much in common with the things that she loves to do when she isn't being a mommy and wife. Kate is so funny through her writing and it means so much that she read and follows my blog. 


Thank you ladies for reading my blog. :) It means so much!  

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Chinese Chicken Salad





Ingredients

    * 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
    * 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
    * 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    * 1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded (about 6 cups)
    * 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
    * 1 large carrot, shredded (about 2 cups)
    * 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, greens included (about 1/2 cup)
    * 1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts
    * 1 (11-ounce) can Mandarin oranges in water, drained
    * 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
    * 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    * 1 teaspoon minced ginger
    * 2 tablespoons canola oil
    * 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce or chili sauce
    * 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and brush onto chicken breasts. Arrange in a baking dish and bake until juices run clear, about 13 to15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely, and cut into 1/4-inch slices.

In a large bowl, combine Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, scallions, water chestnuts, Mandarin orange and sliced chicken. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, brown sugar and chili sauce. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Divide among bowls and top each serving with 2 teaspoons toasted almonds.




Chicken Summer Rolls




These crunchy Vietnamese-style rolls are healthy and light, and the addition of rice makes them filling. They're gluten-free, but anyone -- even adults -- will love them.
Ingredients

    * 1/4 cup rice vinegar, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
    * 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
    * 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (from a rotisserie or other leftover chicken)
    * 1 medium-large carrot, shredded (about 1 cup)
    * 12 (8 1/2-inch) rice paper wrappers (See note)
    * 1/3 English cucumber or 1 kirby cucumber, peeled, julienned, about 1 cup
    * 4 scallions (white and green parts) finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    * 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, basil or cilantro
    * About 12 Boston lettuce leaves
    * 1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice
    * 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
    * 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    * 3 tablespoons water

Whisk 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 2 teaspoons sugar in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add chicken and carrot, season with salt to taste, set aside.

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Working with 2 sheets of rice paper at a time (keep others covered with a barely damp cloth to prevent curling), immerse papers in the warm water until slightly softened (about 15 seconds). Remove and spread out on a clean surface or cutting board. Pat dry with a towel to remove excess water. Lay 2 pieces of lettuce over the bottom third of the rice paper, leaving about 1/2-inch clear on edges. Place about 1/3 cup chicken and carrot mixture on the lettuce, top with 4 to 5 pieces cucumber, scallion, several mint leaves and about 1 heaping tablespoon of rice. Roll up the paper halfway into a cylinder. Fold both edges in to tuck while continuing to roll the paper to seal. Place the rolls on a plate covered with a damp towel so they stay moist as you prepare the remaining rolls. Cut rolls in half and wrap in plastic wrap or place in an air-tight container.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and water until smooth. Put sauce in sealed containers.

Tuck rolls and sauce into a lunch sack with a cold pack and send off to school.

Note: Edible rice papers are sold in Asian food aisle in supermarkets or Asian markets.

Time Saving Tip: Use leftover rice from Chinese takeout to make these quicker. Make them the night before or prep all ingredients including chicken and carrot mixture so in the morning you just need to roll.

Meet me Monday!!!!!


1. What were your school colors?

My school colors were purple and gold. I found it fun that my Mom and Dad and both sets of Grandparents were all Purple and Gold and all North Kitsap Vikings. 
I can't wait for when Hub's and I have a child that will go to North as well. 


2. What's the best compliment you ever received?

Usually, the best compliments I get are the from the people that come to my house. I try to always have my home ready for anyone to stop in and visit. Its a nice feeling another thing I love to have people comment on is the parties that I throw. I love to entertain and I am prideful of the parties I throw. 



3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper?

One thing I think we all hate is when your finger pokes through the cheap toilet paper..... 

I am an expensive TP girl all. the. way.

My bottom is much too special for that crap =) 

I am a Kleenex Cottonelle girl...and nothing else.

(Hey...that should be the Kleenex saying...dontcha think? "Kleenex baby...and nothing less." Gosh. I'm a marketing genius.)

4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?

No one has done one for me and I have wanted one my entire life. :) 

I threw a party for many of my friends! I want to do one for my Hub's I think he deserves it for being such an amazing hub's even when I get mad at him it never lasts long! :)

So I think we will both have to do a surprise parties...for eachother. I just need to take my control issues and give that part of my life up. 

5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"?

Wow only one huh?

I would have to say...........................

"I Can't live without"...my laptop.

It has to be my one material possession I can't live without!

To not be able to talk to the outside world. I could still skype, write my blog, get on facebook, and send email's. So I am going with my lap top... heck it holds all my music and all my pictures. IT's a must for my life! <3



Saturday, July 24, 2010

The 31 Days to Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day 4

The 31 Days to Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day 4

The task today is to figure out what our niche is and to visit other successful blogs in the same niche to see what they are doing well.

Trying to figure out what the "niche" would be for photography, travel, art, writing, diet coke, decorating my house, scrapbooking, being a live of the land diva & growing my  garden, extremely fond of  my DVR and lusting for my own iPads. The adventures of become parents both through the traditional and the un-traditional.

I finally figured that my niche is bloggers who write about the things that put there lives out there for us all to enjoy.... the ones that have the  passion to live life to the fullest and want to share it with others.

I found this with many other bloggers like me. They encourage me in so many ways. They touch my life and I am sure many other lives out there.  I love that there is a connection with other women in the cyber world where they share and become the best of friends and a part of a community. In our lives  where we might never have taken or been given the chance to become friends in the outside world, but because we do blog we do find friends out there that daily touch our lives.  I love these bloggers they mean the world to me.
Running away? I'll help you pack.
Six Cherries On Top
stacys random thoughts
gerberdays 

31 Day Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day Three

31 Day Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day Three

Task - Promote A Blog Post

ProBlogger makes a great suggestion to promote specific blog posts instead of the blog as a whole. I do that on Twitter, Facebook,

I find that most of my traffic comes from Google Search or from comments I have left on other people's blogs. My most consistent followers have come from the SITS community. I also have just begun to spend more time on The BlogFrog. It's through SITS and BlogFrog that I learned about the #31DBBB. I also post on my other blog The Girl About Town.
A few things I want to try in the future...

* Blogging Directories
* Blog link up's
* More giveaways
* I want to do events and blog about them.
* Give more time to do Hotel Reviews and have them do contests to stay there after.
* Have a guest blogger and do a bunch of guest blogging.
*Go to blogher 2011 :)
* Host and put together a West Coast Seattle bloggers get together. ( any ladies that read this that would like to help leave me a comment)
* Do more Crafty stuff and link it to my esty store. :)

Here is the blog I would love for you to all check out!!!!!
These lovely ladies are what makes me happy about blogging they up lift me and make know that my blogging is great and people really read what I have to say!


the boston lady.
The Princess and the sweetpea.
The Daily Mom Diaries
This mom loves
maigirlz 

Friday, July 23, 2010

31 Day Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day Two

31 Day Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day Two

Write a List Post

Today's challenge task is to post a list. I love lists...especially any kind of top ten list. I've done lists before but really want to do a different type of list I have done before.

This is the a list of  things I would like to do for a bucket list.....for Travel......

1) I would like to Go down Hwy 101 with Chris.
2) See New York during Christmas time.
3) Go to Hawaii....
4) go on a cruise to a tropical place.
5) Visit every baseball stadium in the USA for my Hub's 40th birthday.... he is almost 32.
6) Take my Hub's to San Fransico, so he can see why its my favorite city.
7) Back pack Europe for 6 months.
8) Go to France and spend our ten year Anniversary there!!!
9) Go to Boston and see where Hub's lived when he was little. ( meet the Goodrich side of the family)
10) Travel the entire East Coast.
11) Go to England and go to all the places my family came from.
12) travel by car to all the states and become campground host's to help our expenses.
13) Go on the Eat Love Pray trip.
14) Do a vacation to a warm tropical beach and do nothing planned. 
15) Travel China and come home with a baby :)

31 Day Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day One

31 Day Build A Better Blog Challenge - Day One

The Elevator Pitch

The point of an elevator pitch is to be able to briefly describe your blog, project, book etc in the time it takes to ride an elevator (about 30 seconds or 100-150 words)

My blog is about the things that are going around in my community and my life. That I put a light in others worlds,  I live and share a piece of  myself....writing,  art, photography, travel, love, diet coke, journaling, farmers markets, and living as much as I can decorating my home and playing in my garden with my hub's and fur babies trying to be as green as I can be, and trying to write that first book. 

T
he best thing about blogging is that I can go out each day with camera in hand and look for things that bring that special something into my life and then I get to share it with all of you! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Friendly Friday! :)

If you are a blogger you know what The sits girls are and what they do to help fellow bloggers grown their following and meet new bloggers. Enter contests and just really work what you have to work with! The Secret is in the Sauce. For those of you who don't know about them, SITS is a group of more than 6,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving COMMENTS. I joined a few weeks ago and I am super excited to make new friends everyday. Its so great to log on to blogger and see one more friend and a ton of comments. :)

I just love the fact that everyday there is someone that I only know through blogging and they are so sweet and uplifting. I feel like this is really working in the right direction to build other women up! You might think you have heard of these ladies.... well that is because these are the same lovely ladies who developed the awesome Bloggy Boot Camp


I follow these ladies on Facebook and receive their daily & weekly emails.  I have already began learning so much by,  read up on blog building techniques, content development, guest bloggers, and other fun features...beyond that though, I wasn't  getting the following I was looking for until joining the SIS group on here.....

So here's the Dish: SITS teamed up with a couple of other powerhouse blog sites to offer a 31 day challenge for bloggers. A new task is assigned daily - the goal of these tasks are to develop a successful blog. For some that might mean increase followers, create new content, learn about advertising. 
But for me...I want to continue to learn & grow.  To get to show all the adventures that I have the chance to discover. My goal is when I am at the end of this challenge, to have reached a much wider audience. So I can share my stories about the wonderful adventures I live out everyday! 


Thinking Thursday??

Well many of you know that I have had a real challenging last few months. So now that I am headed on the upward slide of life and I am super excited. "Hub's" told me that if I worked my ass off and we got over this hump then we would get a puppy!!!! No matter what anyone said. I am excited to have a puppy.  I know we have two but this will be a wonderful addition. We will be looking to adopt another puppy.

When we got Sophie she was 6 months old and came from an abused home.  She had long hair and was so scared of anything and everything. Her name was moon pie, Hub's and I wanted to adopt a baby and give her the name of Sophia after my grandma but when I looked at her I decided that we finally got our girl so we needed to name her Sophie.  It took her forever to really learn she could trust anyone except us. Now she get's excited if certain people come to the house and is a wild protector.  Sophie is my sweet heart the one that loves me more then anything and she is a little un- healthy.... and will break my heart if anything is to ever happen to her.  She is my heart.

When we had her for about 2 years we both worked full time and it killed us when we had to leave her home all day so we bought our first house and didn't need a yes from anyone if we could have another puppy... so we went and got her a baby brother...............

Then there is Howie. Hub's & I named him because at the time we were addicted to big-brother and Howie was one of the cast mates and was a care free surfer dude and that fit our puppy.  We got him when he was 6 weeks old from a rescue of a puppy mill. He was even younger then we were told and he slept curled up sucking the air we had to bottle feed him. He is so loving and talks when you kiss him. He has been a joy to both Hub's and I. He had worms so bad and Sophie Hated him at first. It took me leaving on vacation for Sophie and Howie to find that they need to love each other. 

Together they can't go a day without the other, if one is on the bed and the other on the floor they cry for the other one. Its amazing to see them love each other. I never in my life have loved anything the way I love them.

So now we are going to work on having another little girl. Hopefully a runt! :) I think I will have to do a contest for names....I am very excited that I can have a new puppy, hopefully not like potty training Howie... He was a total asshole when we were potty train him. OMG.

We are so excited and can't wait to share our new adventure in puppy raising. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.

Let's think camping. I love that I found these yummy treats and they are going to be enjoyed way after the time that I take the firepit away for the winter.   


                                   Apple Smores.................




  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 6 wooden sticks
  • 1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased aluminum foil.
  2. Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan.
  3. Combine the miniature marshmallows and graham crackers on a dinner plate. Roll the apples in the mixture to coat. Place on the aluminum foil and chill.
  4. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the apples and return them to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 534 | Total Fat: 15.8g | Cholesterol: 5mg

                                                      Indoor Smores





Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until well coated. Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the chocolate chips, then the marshmallows. Sprinkle the remaining graham cracker mixture over the marshmallows and press down with a spatula.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, until marshmallows are melted. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 190 | Total Fat: 12.9g | Cholesterol: 20mg

                                     Smore's brownies....


Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch fine salt

Brownie:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 large cold eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Topping:

  • 4 cups large marshmallows

Directions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.




Monday, July 19, 2010

Meet Me Monday!!!!!

1. Do you collect anything?

Yes. I collect ladybugs, I collect spoons for all the places I have been. & the 14 year old girl that is trapped inside of me collects Edward Cullen/ Twilight stuff.

2. Name 3 celebrities that you find good looking.
I am not going to put my twilight things in this post! :)
Dane Cook ( my husbands look alike)
UFC Fighter Rich Franklin. ( I loved Tito Before he hooked up with that porn star and that is just nasty!)
The hot guy off of the transporter movies, Jason,


3. Do you have any scars? If so, what's the story behind it (them)?

 I have a scar from my Hysterectomy. My next one happened when I was running down the road away from a Dog that was chasing me, I fell and scarped my left knee, my dad didn't think I needed stiches so he tried to dig out and clean my knee and it still has the rocks/gravel in it...... The man that was working on my parents house grabbed me or he would have grabbed my face too.... The other scars are on the back of my legs, When I was five I sat on the little stepping running board on a 1950's chevy truck it burned me and I went to the bath room and sat in cold water poping the blisters because I didn't want my mom and dad to be mad at me or upset.  They weren't they were mad at the jack ass neighbor who owned the truck. I have scar in my dip between my bottom lip and chin, I got it when I was learning to walk and fell in my Nana's coffee table.

4. What is a food that you like to eat, but other's might think it's gross or weird?

Dipping french fries in milkshakes. It makes my hubs want to puke.

5. Have you ever seen a tornado in real life?

Nope. I thought I would last year when I was in Colorado for a visit and they had the warnings but nothing came out of it. That would be wonderful to never have to see in person. A big reason I don't live in the south.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I made some new friends...........

 I had so much fun with the Lady Blogger's Society Tea Party. I really found some awesome blogs and gained some new friends. I am so excited to meet new friends. I love how when Blogging I get to meet these amazing people. I know I think of many of them as close friends already and can't wait to see my friendships grow with them.

                   I met Gina at It's how she rolls and I love that she knows how to be Queen! :)

                   I met Bubbleboo  and Just love the stuff that she has to say!

    I also met mommadjane and her blog is wonderful!


Then I met bargain shopper mom and I am so excited to follow her blog and see all the money she can help save me! :)