Robert Medina’s “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” ~ Cookbook & Seasoning [Giveaway, Ended 12/19]

An adventure and a tasty delight, retired firefighter Robert Medina brings classic New Orleans fare as well as many original firefighter recipes right to your anywhere kitchen with the cookbook "If You Can't Stand the Heat". I walked away from this review with a number of things I now value.  My first roux making experience.  A recipe for my new favorite spice combination (Flashover Seasoning - more on that below).  A new, interesting, and fun Disney-loving friend acquired.  Oh, and how could I forget... finally knowing how to make some amazing fish tacos at home! I met cookbook author Robert Medina on Twitter.  There he was, just tweeting away about Disney (kinda like me).  His profile intrigued me:  He is a retired New Orleans firefighter, now living close to the Magic in Florida.  I just had to check out his recipes in If You Can't Stand the Heat for myself. If You Can't Stand the Heat ~ Firehouse Origins If you've ever known any firefighters, you know they have long shifts … [Read more...]

Imagination Library ~ Free Monthly Book for Preschoolers

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library offers to help your preschooler start off on the right foot with a love of reading.  How?  By providing them with their own personal library, at no cost to you. Started in 1996, initially to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA, Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading in young kids and their families.  Her idea was to mail a gift - a specially selected, high quality and age appropriate book - to kids once per month.   Her hope was that this would foster excitement about books.  She wanted every child to able to own their very own library, regardless of their family's income. Both of my children have benefited from the Imagination Library, and I can't say enough good things about this wonderful program!  I believe that a love for books and reading is a beautiful gift to pass on to our kids, and is something that will serve them well in life. The program has been a huge success, and has now spread throughout the … [Read more...]

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff for Moms [Giveaway – Ended 5/25]

I signed up for this campaign because I liked it's motto for moms:  Stress less, and choose happiness more.  (A good motto for anyone, really...) And then I almost instantly had Blogger's Regret.  "I don't have any time to read that.  Why did I sign up for this campaign?" But alas, a few days later a lovely little pink book arrived in the mail, which now adorns my nightstand and dispelled all my worries.  In it you will find a collection of very short chapters, on very relevant and enjoyable mom and parenting topics. The first book in the "Don't Sweat It" series to be published in 9 years, this collection of wisdom has been appreciated and well received by moms everywhere. What I Love About the Book When you finally get those precious 7.5 minutes to yourself at the end of the day, before you can no longer stay awake ... grab your "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff for Moms" book and peruse the table of contents.  I've been selecting topics randomly from the book which catch my … [Read more...]

"Brave Irene" Book & CD set – Review & Giveaway – Ended 2/16

We are regulars at our local library.  I love the world of possibilities it opens to children (and adults) free of cost.  Except for the overdue fees. As a first grader, my daughter has been learning to read for awhile now, and thankfully shares her mom's love of books.  She loves the book and CD sets dearly, but I rarely let her check them out, for fear we'll misplace one or the other in the short week before its due date sets in. … [Read more...]

14,000 Things To Be Happy About – Favorites List #2

happy feelings emanating from the kitchen cotton velour terry wrap robessaunteringgetting carried awaydinner with laughtersnorkelingwindow spray de-icerknowing there will be many surprises in the futurewall storage systemscloudy days and sunny thoughtsfood giftspersonality profiles strawberry-peach pieworking on a projectthe first week of schoolmoss-laden terra-cotta pots of geraniumswatching others playafter-shower colognetrue, lasting valuesspun glassa new canvasan Italian coffee pressan apothecary jar with multicolor, different-shaped shellsbraking for rainbowsfeeling heady with optimism and warmthkicking off your shoes and splashing your feet in a fountainpie wedges encouraging your children to be creativethe best informationthe cool underside of a pillowtiger-stripe cats seeing happy parents *o*     *o*     *o*Excerpt from one of my favorite books, by Barbara Ann Kipfer … [Read more...]

14,000 Things To Be Happy About

A stream-of-consciousness list pajamas at breakfast seeing the moon rise the feel of a rug under bare feet a lake catching the last flecks of sunlight coming in over the pines … [Read more...]