11.29.2012

A Little Lavender Giveaway for My 400th Post!

I can't believe I hit my 400th post!  In honor of this, I am doing a mini giveaway...it's small...but from the heart...and our garden!

I will make you a small stamped bag of lavender.

Pick a theme...Christmas....or Sepia Birds.....

I'll wrap it up and send it along!

I miss the smell of lavender sailing on a breeze ,,,,


I miss hanging out in flip flops!


I miss decorating with lavender!

So....3 questions...how old am I?....what is my job?...how many kids do I have?...

Leave me a message with the answers...first one to get all three wins!!

Good luck....and be kind!

11.28.2012

An Interview with Dormia's Peter Kujawinski

The 2nd Book in the Dormia Series


Walking on sunshine....that's how I feel right now!  Peter Kujawinski, co-author of the fantasy series Dormia, allowed me the pleasure of an e-mail interview!  This is a big thrill for my son (13 ) and I, as we became hooked on the Dormia series 2 years ago.

What was your original inspiration for Dormia?  

Jake and I began by talking about sleep.  Our friends all had strange stories of sleepwalking, sleepdreaming, and doing altogether strange things while fast asleep.  We realized that sleep is something very mysterious and yet all of us do it every day.  We did a little more research (for example, about hypnagogia, the transition state between being awake and asleep) and began coming up with characters.  The original title was "Sleepy Big-Time"!

What is it like co-authoring a book?

It's wonderful.  Jake is not only a creative partner but one of my best friends.  Writing can be pretty lonely, and to have someone sharing that process is so great.  We share the ups, the downs, and the dreams about future books.

Who is your favorite character in the Dormia Trilogy? Why? 

I really love Alfonso and Bilblox, and their friendship.  They are totally different, and yet their devotion to each other is always an inspiration to write.

 What inspires you to write? 

I remember being that kid who would pick up books and enter the world of the book.  It was like time travel, except you did it in your mind.  Reading books and experiencing all that they have to offer is one of the greatest parts of being alive!

 Do you or Jake have favorite authors who may have inspired you to pursue your dreams? 

We have a long list - but Tolkien, Hemingway, Jack London are definitely among the top!


 How long does it take to write each book? 

It depends - anywhere from a year to about 2-3 years.

What is the best way to become a better writer? 

Write every day, and read a lot.  There are no shortcuts - keep writing


Will there be more books? 

We're finished with the third book right now, and hope it will be released very soon.  It's called the Shadow Tree, and it's the finale of the trilogy.  Our publisher is considering it now.  The best way to get this thing released quickly is to buy copies of the first 2 books, and especially the second book - World's End.  The publisher needs to see more sales before they'll sign off on releasing it.  In the meantime, check out our Facebook fan page - Fans of Dormia - for updates and hints.  We've also begun an entirely new book that we're super excited about!  Our tentative title is: Night Cycle.  We'll have more to say about that soon - stay tuned via our Facebook page!
9) Will there be author signings in the United States?  Definitely.  Jake is doing just that all over the East Coast, and I'm doing it in the Midwest.  We'd love to go to other places as well, and we love speaking to schools.  If you're a bookstore or school that's interested, just e-mail us at info@worldofdormia.com  

Thanks Peter!

As a teacher and mom, I would definitely encourage you to buy and read these books! We can't wait for the 3rd book in the series, and we know you will be hooked as well!

(This post is purely opinion...I am not being compensated for this post.)

11.25.2012

Pumpkin Pie...Better Late Than Never

 Although I had great intentions, I actually didn't get a chance to make a pie until the day after Thanksgiving....which was actually ok. We made our own little turkey the next day, and the pie was a perfect accompaniment. 

 As many of you remember, we grew many varieties of pumpkins, but the ones I really wanted to try for pies were the Connecticut Field Pumpkins. I had never used my own pumpkin in a pie before, so I needed help...and serious advice. That's when Botanical Brain (Jessie Keith) pulled through for me. Not only did she give me step by step instructions, but she also shared her own personal pie recipe. How lucky can a girl get.
 

I chose the steam baking method...just as I had done with my butternut squash the day before.  Cut in fourths. Place skin side up in a baking pan. Add enough water to cover the bottom. 


Seal up tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately an hour,
 or until a knife slides easily through the flesh.


Let cool slightly, then scoop /scrape the pumpkin from  the skin.  (Don't wait too long, because they will suck up the water from the pan as they are cooling).I actually used 2 pans and a large slotted spoon. I wanted to get as much of the liquid out as possible.I would scoop, let the water run into the other pan, and press a tablespoon against it to push even more liquid out.


Then I put the pumpkin in the food processor and pureed until smooth. Too bad I don't have a baby, as this would make great baby food :)

Ok, here's Botanical Brain's recipe:

BB: "My specialty! There's nothing better than fresh pumpkin pie. I grow 'Winter Luxury' pumpkins every year just to make fresh pie. Here are my instructions for processing the pumpkin 
(Taken from a blog I wrote a while back)":

BB: "Roasting is my favorite method for making pumpkin mash because it enhances the sweetness of the fruit while retaining its nutrients. (Steaming also works but boiling leaches out vitamins and antioxidants.) To roast fresh pumpkin, cut the pumpkins evenly in half and clean out the seeds. Be sure to put the seeds aside for roasting. Turn the clean pumpkin halves upside down onto parchment paper or a lightly oiled sheet pan, and place in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for around 30 minutes or until fork-tender. (The thin-skinned 'Winter Luxury' are easily pierced from the outside by a fork, but thicker-skinned pumpkins will need to be turned around and pierced from the inside.) The inverted pumpkins will steam and stay moist in the oven. 

Let the roasted pumpkin shells cool and then scoop them out, and put the flesh in a food mill to mill out any strings or lumps. To make doubly sure the pumpkin is smooth, place it in a blender or food processor and process it further for a minute or two. Now the mash is pie-ready. At this stage, you can either freeze it in freezer-safe bags/containers, or you can make pie."

And here's my favorite pie recipe:

Rich Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 cups pumpkin mash
1 cup evaporated milk, half-and-half or heavy cream (lightest to heaviest; it's your call, depending on how much fat you want to ingest)
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
(Makes one pie)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw all the spices and wet ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth and well-mixed. Pour into a chilled, prepared pie shell (marked with lots of fork holes along the bottom and sides), and bake for around 45 to 50 minutes or until the pie's center is no longer jiggly and a toothpick can be inserted in the center and come out clean. Once the pie is cool, cut a slice and hit it with a mountain of fresh whipped cream.


I followed BB's recipe to a T. I DID have to cook for a little over an hour, but every oven is different! 
I was able to make 2 pies from 1 medium sized pumpkin.
 I used heavy cream. We did sneak a piece before it had thoroughly cooled. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! This will be my go to recipe from now on. After I let it cool, it firmed up perfectly.  Perfect pumpkin spice flavor. We may have to repeat at Christmas.

Gluten Free Tip:  We made one pie with a ready made crust. I do not cook with regular flour due to my daughter's celiac disease, so I chose a ready made crust to avoid cross contamination. I then poured the remaining mixture into a pie pan without a crust to make a gluten free pie. It was perfect after chilling. I think next time I may pour into custard cups and make a pumpkin custard.

Please visit me (Prince Snow Farm) and Botanical Brain, and all of our other gardening friends at YourGardenShow.com. I practically live there during the growing season. It's a must for gardener's everywhere!






11.23.2012

We Have a Winner!!!!

Congrats to Sherri B. from Little House in Paradise! You are the winner of the beautiful Pillowbabble pillow! I will email you! If you haven't visited Sherri's blog, please pay a visit. She has a great blog about cooking and gardening, and life's everyday moments. Sherri just started chemo this past Monday, and has remained so strong- willed. I am proud to call her my friend. Please drop by and give her a word or two of moral support.


I am grateful for all of the entries and for you sharing what tugs on your heartstrings at Thanksgiving.

11.20.2012

I Am Thankful

I Am Thankful....

I am thankful for family and friends
for a cozy home, shoes on my feet.

I am thankful for smiles and laughter,
for a hand to wipe away my tears.

I am thankful for my ability to speak and write,
for my ability to argue or agree.

I am thankful for the bounty of our garden
and the hopes of the bounty to come.

I am thankful for modern comforts
and old-fashioned delights.

I am thankful to dream
and hope 
and wish.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

(Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!)


11.19.2012

It's Giveaway Time from Pillowbabble!

Have you heard of Pillowbabble ™? If not, count yourself now part of the "in" crowd!  Pillowbabble™ creates  gorgeous pillows made from beautiful fabrics with embroidered quotes.



I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Babs from Pillowbabble™.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

The Pillowbabble™ name was actually created years ago while chatting with my sister on the beach and professing our love for meaningful quotes and how they inspire, motivate, redirect, refocus, humor and enlighten our lives in one simple statement.  We reserved the domain name for a possible future collection and then went on with our demanding lives for several years thinking that one day we would have more time to devote to it.  Well, "tomorrow never comes, if you don't focus on today"  we realized.  A life changing moment inspired us to get stitching right away and not delay.  We personally created, and built a bare bones wholesale website, (we are not exactly a "techy" duo) without prior knowledge, and training. It is pretty basic, but it seems to work well for us.  Keep it simple... is the common thread we strive to live by. Simple is also our design direction when creating our collections.  Since there are so many wonderful patterned pillows and shams out on the market, we feel a simple lumbar design in a solid organic hue with a quiet font gives the words the attention they deserve.  We love how the rich and luxurious embroidery contrasts with the organic texture of the designer grade jute.  We also feel the simple pillow design is the perfect layer to nestle in front of all of those wonderful print and patterned square shams with a punch of personality. 


Of course, our love of the sea inspired The SeaWorthy Collection™. Therefore, we are so excited to offer a giveaway from that collection for "A Nantucket State of Mind" during this special time of year. The holidays are especially fun by the sea and this Pillowbabble™ is whimsical and festive in a Coral Red Hue with a fun shore loving babble stitched in SeaMist Thread.  It is one of our favorites, a best seller, and a fan favorite on Pinterest too.  

Where can we buy Pillowbabble™ pillows?

Pillowbabbles™ are currently available online via our Online Retailers. We do not have plans at this time to sell direct, we absolutely love working with our retailers and they are experts at what they do!  Again, we like to keep it simple and concentrate our efforts on expanding into different collections.  As we continue to grow, more and more retailers are finding us and our Pillowbabbles™ are popping up in wonderful boutiques across the country. Please let us know if you would like to see Pillowbabbles™ in a boutique near you.   

Pillowbabble™has been kind enough to offer a giveaway! One of my lucky readers will win the Pillowbabble™pillow pictured below!  It is one of my favorites!


So, how do you enter?  Leave me a comment telling me what you are thankful for this holiday season!

I will be picking a winner on Friday, November 23, 2012....Black Friday!

Good Luck to all!
( I am not being compensated in any way for this post...just love the pillows!)



Enjoy a few "behind the scenes photos!)


11.18.2012

Christmas Garland

I am currently crafting Christmas garlands from a fabulous cloth ribbon I picked up this summer...I have these styles available...and more to come! I would be glad to sell directly to you if you pay with paypal, or you can shop through my Etsy shop.

More to come!

Joy...use it on your tree, or to wrap brown paper packages!

Merry Christmas


Twelve Feet Long, 2.5 inches wide

15.00 per garland. (plus shipping)

Great Holiday Cards!

Without fail, we always find the perfect Christmas Cards on Shutterfly.  We have been visiting their site for years now, and LoVe the variety available.

 I love that we can put in a couple of great shots....

...or a whole slew of awesome pics....

...or of course, that one PERFECT pic.

Visit Shutterfly for your holiday cards. There are also special offers available.

Follow Shutterfly on Twitter or Pinterest as well!

This is a sponsored post.


11.17.2012

Happy 9th Birthday Sweet Girl!

Happy 9th Birthday C!  You are the bravest, strongest, sweetest, most sincere person I know!

You do amazing cartwheels....

...and sure know how to "strike a pose"... :)


Thanks for keeping us smiling, and bringing laughter through our lives and hearts every day!



11.12.2012

❀ Planted Garlic Today...

We planted 200 cloves of hardneck garlic on this unseasonably warm nearly 70˚ day.


Cleaned the beds up. (Two of them).

Raked up some of the  freshly fallen Maple leaves 
(not sure how there were any left after the winds we had).

Covered the garlic with about 5 inches of leaves, and stapled a mesh
 fencing over this to hold the leaves in.

Don't faint, that is the 13 year old doing manual labor.

Saw this amazing spider decked out in his fall attire...a marbled orb spider....
This is the prettiest spider I have EVER seen. 
Took a walk to the cemetery behind our woods to pay our Veteran's
 day respects to our little farm's namesake.


Rest in peace Prince.




11.11.2012

Thanksgiving Desserts....Too Many to Choose!!

I am in charge of Butternut Squash and a Dessert...or two....or three this year....problem is, I have pinned so many yummy desserts that I will have a hard time choosing! (Click through images for more info).Happy drooling.











Source: gourmet.com via Prince on Pinterest



(Made this last one already...my husband took to school. Amazingly yummy)

11.09.2012

I am SO excited!


I am SO excited!

"GREY'S ANATOMY"
to Feature Adult Patient with CVS

The episode will be about an older gentleman
who repeatedly comes into the ER with the same episode
and symptoms. Through a pediatric doctor’s experience,
the episodes get properly identified as CVS. His quality of life has been severely impacted by his CVS and Migraines and hopefully his life going forward can get better now that
he has an action plan.
November 15, 2012
on the “ABC” network
Check Local Programming Guide for Time
Chandra Wilson “Dr. Bailey”
International Spokesperson for CVSA
will direct the episode of "Grey's Anatomy" about CVS

Chandra will appear on the show called “The Talk” (CBS Network) on November 15th to promote the evening episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”
Check Local Programming Guide for Time

Those of you familiar with my blog know that our 8 year old has suffered from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome since she was a baby.  Chandra Wilson has a daughter with CVS, and I am so very glad she is using the show as an informational tool regarding this confusing/misunderstood/misdiagnosed disorder.

YOU ROCK CHANDRA!!
(info borrowed from cvsaonline.org)

11.07.2012

10 FREE Holiday Cards from Tiny Prints




Winter Symbols Holiday Cards 

Offer: 10 Free Holiday Cards (A $24.00 value!) 

Start date: Now 

End Date: Tuesday, November 13 at 11:59pm PT 

Promo Code: HOLIDAYCHEER 

Limitations (Make sure to read this): Flat cards only - options charges will apply (rounded corners/paper options/envelopes options) and shipping charges will also apply. Regular shipping only costs $5.99 in the U.S. 

Legal Stuff: Offer is limited to 10 cards per customer. This promotion cannot be combined with other offers and is valid for one-time use only. Shipping and handling charges will apply. Rounded corners, Pearl White Shimmer paper and Premium DoubleThick ™ Matte paper will incur additional fees. This promotion code applies exclusively to holiday cards and holiday party invitations and is not applicable to previously placed orders, Erin Condren products, William Arthur boxed sets, shipping, taxes or rush processing fees. Offer is only valid on Tiny Prints and is not applicable on treat.com, third party or partner websites. To prevent abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer at any time without notice. We reserve the right to cancel any order at any time. Offer expires 11/13/12 at 11:59 pm (PT). 


11.05.2012

15% Off!

I have been stocking up my Etsy shop for the holidays.....I will be adding new items weekly.

Please enjoy my gift to you...15% off for the month of November at Prince Snow Farm. Thanks for being my loyal readers.  please feel free to pass the code along!

Enter Code : NOV2012....at checkout.

11.04.2012

Handcrafting from the Heart for the Holidays

I love to make homemade gifts for the holidays. I have found in recent years that the recipients are so appreciative, It's also a fun way to spend time with my kids. Here are some of my favorite ideas. Click through the photo for further info. Enjoy.

Source: hellobee.com via Prince on Pinterest










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