About Me

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I am a Christian who is trying to follow God's will for her life. I love to read, plan & take road trips, taking pictures & scrapbooking them. I am a Disney Addict.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fast Food Cooking

Recipe Lion is giving away a copy of "The Fast Food Kitchen" to 3 lucky winners. The tag line is "Great Meals At Home in 15 Minutes." I really need this book. I can't make a meal in 15 minutes unless it's a can of Chef Boyardee or SpaghettiOs. No matter how simple & quick the recipe is, it still seems to take me at least an hour to get it on the table. I need someone to show me how to get meals on the table quick. I'd be interested to see if the tips in this book would work for me.

The kids are grown, now what?: #Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cordial M&M's Cookie...

The kids are grown, now what?: #Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cordial M&M's Cookie...: In October we made The Ultimate M&M's Cookies recipe that I found on the M&M's web site. Well, M&M's has some new holiday M&M's out and I ...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Love Tea

I love tea. Since the weather has turned cold, I have switched my tea drinking from iced tea to hot tea. I grew up drinking English Breakfast because that was Mom's favorite tea but I've found I prefer Irish Breakfast. I recently discovered a couple of new flavors. At the Tea Pot & More I found Tea forte's Mojito Marmalade on the discount table. Since I love mojitos, I had to try it. Yummy!!! And it's caffeine free so I can drink it anytime of day. Stash has a Mojito Mint green tea that's also good. Another favorite flavor that I haven't been able to find except at Panera Bread & then you can only buy it by the cup is The Republic Of Tea's Orange Ginger Mint. I'm hoping that my friend at the New Kitchen Store will be able to carry it when she adds The Republic Of Tea to her tea lineup. Orange Ginger Mint is great when my stomach is upset. Ginger provides excellent relief for upset stomachs whether in tea or ginger ale.

I love looking to see what different teas I can find when on vacation. I can usually find something that we don't have in Northern Indiana. My favorite find on vacation was a special tea made just for the Garden View Tea Room in Grand Floridan Resort at Walt Disney World. I loved it so much I bought a tin. Whenever I drink it, I remember the great Afternoon Tea my mom & I enjoyed.

There are many ways to brew tea. I use a tea kettle or electric tea pot to heat water for tea bags. For loose teas I like to use my Tea Drop. It works just like a coffeemaker but the basket is specially designed for loose tea or tea bags. Using it for loose teas means I don't have to try to put tea in a tea ball without spilling it & I don't have tea leaves in the bottom of the cup. I just put the loose tea in the basket, fill the reservoir with water & hit brew. The newest way to brew tea is with my Keurig. There are K-cups from Celestial Seasonings, Twinings, Tazo, Cafe Escapes' Chai & Green Mountain. I can also make Southern Sweet Iced Tea with my Keurig.

International Delight  has made it easy to turn regular black tea into chai with their Chai Latte creamer. I like to add it to Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast.

Here are some links to my favorite tea companies:
Celestial Seasonings
Republic Of Tea
Stash Tea
Tea forte
Bigelow Tea

Saturday, December 17, 2011

~Under the Big Oak Tree~: Corn Dog Casserole

~Under the Big Oak Tree~: Corn Dog Casserole: Hot Dogs and Beans is one of our favorite dinners. It's comfort food. It's a quick and easy dinner to throw together. It can also be a ch...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nappenee, Indiana

I love Nappenee, Indiana. There are actually 3 parts to Nappenee. As you enter the town from the west you come to Amish Acres. This historic farm & heritage resort has guided tours of the farm, 5 shops including a meat & cheese shop, a soda shop & fudgery. The Greeting Barn has gifts, antiques & quilts. In the bakery is breads, cinnamon rolls, homemade noodles & canned goods although you can no longer get the famous bean soup from the restaurant. The restaurant serves the Thresher's Dinner, an Amish feast served family style. I love the bean soup. In the summer there is the Amish Acres Arts & Craft show. Most people don't get past the Amish Acres area but for those who do they find a quaint little town.

At the corner of US 6 & SR 19 is downtown Nappanee. At this corner is Downtown Design & Consign, Veni's Sweet Shop & Main Street Coffee House. Downtown Design & Consign has furniture, antiques & even American Girl doll clothes. Veni's Sweet Shop is a 2nd shop for this Niles, MI chocolatier. Also downtown is Metzler Shoes, John's Butcher Shop where my brother gets his babyback ribs, Encore Consignment Shop, E. Newcomer & Sons Jewelry, Natalie's Christian Wellness Center & Antiques on the Square. Coppes Commons, 4 blocks from downtown, is a collection of small shops housed in one of the Coppes furniture & cabinet buildings. Currently there is the Rocket Science Ice Cream, Nappanee Bakery & Treat Shoppe, the Tea Pot & More, Plain & Fancy Gourmet Kettle & Light Of Grace Book & Gift Store. There is also the Countryside Shoppes Showcase which features products from a collection of Amish shops in the countryside around Nappanee. Coming soon is Culinary Mill Market & Deli which will feature meats, cheeses, bulk foods & produce.

Finally on the far east side of Nappanee is what I consider the 3rd part of Nappanee. Here you will find Martin's Supermarket, the Country Table (love their custard on the buffet), KFC & Taco Bell, Dairy Queen & Fairmount Homes. This is the area that was hit by a EF3 tornado back in October 2007 which resulted in the replacement of the KFC/Taco Bell building & the Dairy Queen.

Nappanee does Embrace 2nd Saturday year round with each month having a different theme. There are kids' activities at the library & Coppes Commons, shopping deals & local vendors join the other shops at Coppes Commons.

Take a day & enjoy all Nappanee has to offer. I promise you won't be disappointed.


Here are the FB pages for the Nappanee shops:
Coppes Commons 
Nappanee Bakery & Treat Shoppe 
Rocket Science Ice Cream in Nappanee 
Culinary Mill Market & Deli 
Main Street Coffee House 
Embrace Second Saturdays 
Nappanee Chamber of Commerce 
Veni's Sweet Shop.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Santa Track

I just love Santa Track. I may be 48 but I'm just a big kid when it comes to Christmas & Santa. It's so fun to watch where Santa is on Christmas Eve. The animation is fun & the narration is interesting.  I love visiting the different buildings at Santa's Village & playing the games. Today's game was lighting the Christmas Tree. Lots of fun. Check back every day as a different building becomes active & a new game is added. Thank you to NORAD for doing this every year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Today was Small Business Saturday. I did my part by eating my way through the New Kitchen Store in Walkerton, Indiana. I love when businesses let you sample their goods. I found some things I liked & some I didn't. Loved their Caramel Apple Dumplings. They were made by wrapping apple slices in crescent rolls & putting them in a 9x13 pan then pouring Cousin Carl's Caramel Apple Dip Mix & a can of Mountain Dew over the top & baking for 35 to 45 minutes. I've made something similar from a recipe from Pillsbury but the sauce isn't nearly as good. Also picked up Hood-Strapping Horseradish & Bacon Dip Mix & some Gingerbread Orange tea. It's herbal so I can drink it any time of day without caffeine bothering me. Also grabbed another bag of Cheddar Potato Spice. Love it. I've put it in potato soup & mashed potatoes. Was bummed that my Pooh Trevis mug hadn't come in yet but hopefully in the next week. I didn't go strictly local though. I hit Kohls Happy Thanksgiving sale. I was able to get my Hallmark ornaments at 15% off. Much better deal than buying them from a Hallmark store. I was bummed with this year's ornaments. Tigger wasn't on any of the Pooh ornaments. There wasn't a baseball player for Jackson but Elle found a Barbie ornament she liked. There wasn't really an ornament that just shouted got to have it. Even the Snowbuddies wasn't as cute as in the past. I did get their last Smurfet. I love the Smurfs. I feel like I got a lot accomplished today.

Cross Stitchers Club

I just found a site that has really easy to download cross stitch patterns for free. It's
Plus, if you click on this link, you'll automatically receive a gift when you subscribe. I use this site all the time; there are hundreds of all different types of patterns, and there are new patterns added everyday. It's really worth a look.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I love Christmas & tomorrow starts one of my favorite events, Christmas Tree Lighting. Bremen lights the downtown tomorrow night. There will be music by Horizon Ministries, hot chocolate & cookies, a small parade & Santa. Friday night is Plymouth's tree lighting. Santa & Mrs. Claus will arrive on a firetruck. PHS Choir will sing & after the tree is lit, there will be fireworks off the Plymouth Center. I'm hoping to be able to go to Warsaw for their Christmas light display sometime in December. I haven't done that before. Another thing we will try to fit into our schedule is Jingle Rails at Eiteljorg Western Museum in Indy. Last year we took Elle & included the lights at the Zoo & Gardens in the evening. The one event I would love to attend is the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in Chicago. It's always the Saturday going into Thanksgiving. Wish I could watch the parade but it has switched from WGN to ABC7 which we can no longer get because of the digital conversion. I watched the live stream but it was digitized. Still got to see Mickey & Minnie, Donald & Daisy & all the Disney gang. They changed how they do the lighting. Used to be a staggered lighting with the lighting coming on as Mickey's float when by. Now Mickey counts down & all the lights come on at the same time. I like the old way better.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Walt Disney Animations Steamboat Willie - YouTube

Walt Disney Animations Steamboat Willie - YouTube

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse. You started one of the greatest family entertainment companies. Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places. I'd love to work there but not sure I could stand the Florida heat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Night Lights

Night Lights

Warsaw's Holiday Light Display, December 2, 2011 - January 1, 2012, 5 pm - midnight. I love Christmas lights so I hope we can fit this into our schedule this year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day. I've had diabetes since 2003. I've learned a lot since that time. I've learned that contrary to popular belief sugar won't killed you. In fact I have had my A1C go down after eating 2# of Jelly Bellies & my last A1C which hit my target A1C was after eating salt water taffy. Carbs seem to raise my blood sugar more than candy so I have to limit my pasta intake. And I love pasta. Chocolate is my friend, it will actually lower my blood sugar. My new BFF though is Vitamin D. Since I started taking it my A1C has steadily come down.

My family seems more concerned about my diabetes than I am. I know what I have to do & I don't let it control my life. I still do all the activities I enjoy just with a bigger bag to carry all the paraphernalia I need, testing kit, insulin, pen needles & oral meds if I'm going to be out during a meal, a snack in case of low blood sugar. My mom is always freaking out since her dad died from complications & her grandfather lost a limb to the disease. I listen to my body & if I suspect there is a problem I take measures to combat the problem.

I have diabetes but I don't let it control my life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

1st snow

Today was the first snow of the season in Michiana. While I saw flakes floating past the picture window, nothing stuck to the ground here. Sounded like South Bend got a coating. I need to feed the birds & get suet out now that the weather is turning colder. We've had some new migrating birds arrive. Have never seen Black Scoters before but they were on the lake yesterday. Thanks to National Geographic's Bird ID app for helping me identify them. The Buffleheads were here today. They are about a month late. Not sure what that means weather wise. The geese are long gone which doesn't make the hunters very happy I'm sure. Haven't seen much of our ducks lately but the hunters are out so I'm sure they are laying low. Lots of Coots feeding off the seaweed in front of our house. They'll be around until the lake freezes. Saw a Common Loon swimming past today. Wish I had heard its call. I just love it.

The leaves are down from the trees & I'm surprised to see a squirrels nest in one of the trees in the front yard. Usually they are in the trees on the back lot. It'll be fun to watch it this winter to see squirrels going in & out. Love having a picture window facing the water so we can see all these critters & ducks from the comfort of the couch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My first blog

This is my first blog. Not sure what I'm going to talk about, I'm just going to start writing & see what comes out. I guess I'll start with what happened today. Now that all the paper work is finished, I am a paid caregiver for my grandmother. Can't believe I've been taking care of her for 10 years & am finally getting paid for it. Part of starting this blog is to give me something to do during the down times of taking care of her. When I first started thinking of writing a blog, it was going to be & probably will be about nothing, kind of like Seinfeld's show about nothing. I'll write about books I've read, places I've traveled, things we've done as a family. There will be links to my favorite things, pictures from my travels, comments on shows I've seen, posts about community happenings. Basically anything that strikes my fancy. So if anyone reads this, thank you. I'll talk to you tomorrow after the senior expo at Lifeplex.