Friday, September 30, 2016

Why Do the Weekends Always Go So Fast??

We have been busy here and it seems that I try to constantly pack too much into what is essentially two days... these two days seem like they should let us accomplish more then they do although they never do.  Do you have this problem??  I make a list of things that I think that I should be able to accomplish in one day and it seems to take all week to get the list done.  Then, I get to the weekend burned out with an even longer list that doesn't get done.


One weekend we put up a fan!  (Okay, this is a collective we...meaning my husband put it up).  I even unpacked at least one box that weekend too.  That was it!!



Another weekend we (again really my husband) put up three shelving units in the storage area for all our stuff to try to make it neater...we didn't get enough time to try to organize the shelves or put anything else on them.  I might have actually thrown a few things away this weekend and swept up the floor in the storage area.  It took almost the rest of the week to get all the things back on the shelves because it wasn't just the items in the middle of the floor but the items in the hallway too!!


This last weekend, I went to a neighborhood yard sale (getting my son's favorite toy for an amzing deal of $7 for this cute carrying case and 5 Beyblades and a few more deals I scooped up) and we went to a soccer game in Saturday followed by one grocery shopping trip.  Sunday we went to the grocery store and Home Depot ending with a take out because we were so exhausted from this weekend.  Umm, this isn't enough in a weekend to actually make it through the rest of the week being productive!!




I tend to think that "we" would get more done if he stopped going to work since he is the one getting everything done.  Of course, that certainly would hurt the bottom line because we might not have a roof over our head any more money to do those nice things too.  Trying to be patient but having a hard time!!!  So many things still on the to do list and not enough time to get them done!!



Dreading that the end of the summer means less free time and trying to figure out how we are going to get all these things done when we are both working.  How do people do this when both parents are working and then kids are more active and have to make it to different events??  A busy weekend ending out the busy month trying to get back into the normal schedule!!

Trying to keep a sunny disposition!

Ready for another busy weekend.  How do you get it all done in a weekend to get ready for your week??

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Isn't It Rich Book Review

I was excited when I found three books in the same series on the new release section so I grabbed them even though I knew that I had a ton of other books to read at home.  Isn't It Rich? (Perfect Destinies) by Sherryl Woods was the first in the series so I picked it up first to start of this great series.

 
Straitlaced tycoon Richard Carlton suspects that his Aunt Destiny has more than business matters on her mind when she insists he meet klutzy PR executive Melanie Hart. Melanie might be brilliant—and beautiful—but Richard won't open his wounded heart to any woman, no matter how much she might make his pulse race.  Yet when the press mistakenly reports that they're a couple, Richard convinces Melanie to pretend that they're engaged—to bolster his reputation and to teach his matchmaking aunt a lesson, once and for all. But is this relationship just a charade, or do opposites really attract—for keeps?

The first book in the series followed Richard Carlton and his aunt fixed him up with Melanie Hart to run his campaign.  They quickly figure out that she is trying to connect them for more then his political campaign.  It is obvious her meddling but I loved following the reactions of Richard and Melanie.  It was entertaining to watch their relationship unfold but you have to pick up the book to find out what is going to happen.  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the Perfect Destinies series.  I enjoyed this book a lot!! It was following the three brothers and their wonderful aunt that likes to meddle!!  I know that you will enjoy this as much as I did.  I can't wait to read the next one!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Tattered Quilt Book Review

I was excited to figure out what book was the second in the series and be able to start it when I got through some of my other books that needed to returned at the library.  I seem to constantly set myself up for having too many books at the same time with all my "shopping" for the books at the library.  The Tattered Quilt: The Return of the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter was finally at the top of the stack and I was excited to get back to these great characters.


More lives need some mending.... Amish widow-turned-newlywed Emma Yoder Miller begins another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students, all with tattered pieces of their lives that need mending. Selma is a belittling busybody. Terry is a rugged roofer who just wants a casual date with a pretty classmate. Blaine loses a bet and has to join the class, where he soon finds himself in friendly competition with Terry. Anna's mother signs her up in a desperate attempt to keep Anna from leaving the Amish faith.

Carmen holds tightly to bitterness while hiding her secret motives for taking the class. And Cheryl has a broken, mistrusting heart that needs just as much mending as the tattered quilt she brings. Members of this new patchwork group find friendship, faith, healing, and restoration while gathered around their quilts, under the Father's guiding hands - for only He can take what's ragged and shabby from the lives of His children and turn it into beauty for His glory.

I really liked this book and this series with all of it interesting twists and turns.  The book seems to be a book that is all about character development until all of the action happens which seems to keep catching me by surprise.  Emma and Lamar have gotten married since the last installment which was set a few years later then the last book.  All of the quilting students are back in different ways in this book with all new quilting students and all new problems.  I was great to find out if Emma could help all of these new students with their life problems.  This book was another great installment of this series.  I hope that you check out this book and all the other books in the series.  I know that I have enjoyed the first two and can't wait to get to the third book in the series but there are way too many books in my pile so it wasn't the next book that I read but I know that I am going to get to it in October.  I hope that you enjoy this series too!!!

Even better, there is a recipe at the back of the book which I am going to share here.  My husband isn't a big fan of cooked apples so I don't know if I am going to make it but it sounds amazing...so if you make it, you have to invite me over or send me a slice :)

Emma;s Apple Crumb Bread

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c chopped apples

Topping:
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat 325 degrees. Cream together in a bowl the butter, sugar and eggs.  Add the baking soda dissolved in 2 tbsp milk.  Finally add in the flour, salt, vanilla, and chopped apples. Pour into a 9 x 5 1/2 inch greased bread pan.  Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle top of bread batter.  Bake for 1 hour.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe and the book as well!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fraying at the Edge Book Review

I had this book on my pile for a little bit and I didn't know when I was supposed to read it because there was no note inside it when it was shipped.  I finally figured out that it was for Blogging for Books.  Fraying at the Edge: A Novel (The Amish of Summer Grove) by Cindy Woodsmall was the next book that I decided to read.  It was a great book and hard to put down!!



The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can steady the tilting ground between Ariana’s two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?

At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and a deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.  New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?

Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.  Luckily, I had already read the first in the series and I was really excited to read the next book in the series but this book could stand on it own...although I think that you would really want to read the first book after reading this one!!  There is so much going on between the Amish and English world while two girls switched at birth are trying to live with their birth families.  It takes a long time for both girls to try to fit into their new lives and settle in.  It is amazing to see the fun and interesting things that each girl deals with the opposite world that they grew up in.  Put you have to make sure you pick up the book to find out what happens.  I hope that you check out this book and the first book in the series.  I have really enjoyed both and they are very different then other Amish fiction because they discuss the involvement with the outside world and how they are similar but different.

**I got this book from Blogging for Books for my review and honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 9/26







Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken and homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta with garlic bread (sausage for my husband from the freezer)
Wednesday- Enchiladas with spicy saffron rice
Thursday- Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken
Friday- Chicken Paninis with leftovers
Saturday- ??
Sunday- ??

I really don't know where the month has gone but I can tell you that I haven't gotten nearly enough done since going back to work.  I try to get the laundry done on the weekend and do the dishes when I get home from work but there isn't always enough time to get everything done so there are often many days that I am working for hours trying to catch up.  I have to put the plan together for October so hoping that I have time to do that soon because it is literally next weekend!! AHHH!!

The great news is that I had the menu plan in place and kept to it.  Last week we had lots going on with my husband working at home and at work, my working two jobs and my son having soccer practice, book club and haircut after school.  The boys also went to the football game at the local high school because my son got to run across the field at the beginning which a bunch of his friends were doing and he got in free with my husband.  I stayed home and got some work done although not enough to be caught up at home.  Saturday brought a late lunch for Salsa Sloppy Joes from the freezer and even later dinner of soup and chicken fries for my son.  Sunday brought on the take out pizza and cheesesteak for a late lunch and smaller dinner.

Here is hoping that another busy week still leaves enough time to pull everything off and that I got enough done over the weekend to be ready for the week.  Starting on the third load of laundry and hoping that my feet are up to standing at the sink to wash dishes and finish cleaning!!  Hope you had a productive weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Scam Book Review

I was waiting for my copy of the next book in the Fox and O'Hare series to come into the library when I was looking at the new release section and saw one in large print.  I grabbed The Scam: A Fox and O'Hare Novel by Lee Goldberg.  I read four chapters of the large print one and my reserve copy came in so I returned the large print and started reading the other one :)



Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.

Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.

It’s a scam that will take Fox and O’Hare from the Las Vegas strip, to the sun-soaked beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup—a self-absorbed actor, a Somali pirate, and Kate’s father, an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?

This was a great book filled with enough action for lots of books.  It would be the perfect movie!!!  There is action in lots of different countries as Nick and Kate try to take down a money laundering casino.  I hope that you check out this book and all the other books in the series.  I called my mom and told her that she had to read the series after this one... she likes Janet Evanovich and a good action movie so these are up her alley.  I know that you will enjoy them as much as I have (so will see)!!  Let me know if you have checked them out and have a favorite one.  I am trying to patiently await the next one which was newly released on June 21st but I missed getting on the list early.  I am currently 74 for the book and there are 39 in the library system so I don't know how that adds up to me getting it soon but I am going to try to be patient because I have a ton of other books to read in my pile before then.  Here is hoping that I get it soon!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Amish Friendship Cinnamon Bread without a Starter

I was so excited to get this recipe because I loved the bread from the Friendship Bread Starter had had yet to find anything that was as tasty.  Especially with things that I have at home all the time!!  I tried it just a few minutes after finding it online.  I was hopeful that it would taste as yummy as the one with the starter so that I could have this bread without the trouble.  I wasn't disappointed!!!

Here is the directions and step by step to make the very easy recipe.  I hope that you enjoy this yummy treat for yourself.

Mix the sugar and the butter in the mixer until creamy.


At the same time, I added some vinegar to the milk that I had to make buttermilk or sour milk.
 

Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture.
 

Add the milk and mix until combined.
 

The batter pulls together quickly and easily.
 

 It is smooth and fills up a lot of the bowl... this was the first time that I realized that this made two loaves of bread!  I guess we are having two loaves.  Of course, after re-reading the original instructions, it is right at the top of the paper.... Oops!



I greased the inside of the pan with the extra butter on the packages and used a few more that I have in the freezer.  Then I covered it with some of the cinnamon and sugar mixture on the bottom and sides of the pan.  
 

I added 1/2 of the batter to the bottom of each pan.


 I covered that with cinnamon and sugar mixture.


I added the other half of the batter to each loaf pan.  Then I topped it with more cinnamon sugar mixture.  The original recipe said to mix with a knife and I didn't do that on my Amish friendship bread so I didn't do it but I will next time...see more below.



Then they baked in the oven for about an hour.
 

The cinnamon sugar layer on the top lifted up and bread below them took a little longer to cook and squished out the side of the bread.  I will mix the top cinnamon next time to hope to fix that problem.



The finished loaf looked like this.  It was nice and thick bread which was super tasty.  It was just like the Amish bread and I am excited to try it again.  I hope that you try it too!!!
 

Make sure you also check out the original site where I got the recipe because I am sure there are lots more of great recipes!!



AMISH FRIENDSHIP
CINNAMON BREAD
Without the starter
(makes 2 loaves)

Batter:

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:

2/3 cups sugar
2-4 teaspoons cinnamon 


Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon to taste (we like a lot and I usually just dump it in).  Grease two loaf pans and coat with cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs.  Add milk, flour, and baking soda.  Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan).  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping.  Swirl with a knife to mix the cinnamon into the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min.  or until toothpick tester come clean.  

Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.