Monday, January 31, 2011

Featured Blog: Always & Forever Custom Cakes

 Congratulations to Always & Forever Custom Cakes for being chosen as a KLs Cupboard Featured Blog.  Check out their site, blog and facebook page and let them know that KLs Cupboard sent you over!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (with a twist)

I just had to share this macaroni and cheese recipe that I originally got from my Mother in Law.  I added my own little tweaks and it is now a family favorite.

4-5 Cups Uncooked Macaroni
3-4+ Cups Shredded Cheddar (sharp or medium)
1 Can Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup
1 Can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1+ Soup can  of Milk
3 Celery Stalks cut into small pieces
1/2 to 3/4 of a Medium Onion cut into small pieces
1 stick (1/2 cup) of margarine or butter
salt and pepper to taste

Mom in Law's Macaroni & Cheese
Start salted water boiling in a large pot and cook the macaroni.  While the noodles are cooking cut up the celery and onion.  Melt the margarine (or butter) in a small skillet over medium/low heat and saute the celery and onion until the onion is translucent and both are soft, set aside.
Once the macaroni has cooked, drain it well and put it into a large non-stick pot over medium heat.  Add both cans of soup, one can of milk and the sauteed celery and onion.  Gradually add in the grated cheese stirring constantly until melted.  Add more milk as needed for a creamy consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe will yield quite a bit - feeds a family of 4 with enough leftovers to freeze for another meal.  This recipe can be altered by using different cheeses and/or different cream soups.  You can also add frozen or fresh vegetables to the noodles while they are cooking.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again, time to start thinking about Valentine's Day! We usually keep it pretty simple around our house. A few years ago we decided to make a special dinner on Valentine's Day and decorate the table appropriately. I keep it real simple, but it doesn't matter to the kids - they love it! They don't get to see it until it is time to come and eat.  I am not very good at remembering to take photos, so these are the best I could find (not much I know, but what can I say I am photo challenged).  I promise to do better this year!
I forgot to take a picture beforehand, so this is the "aftermath"

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Follow Friday Blog Hop!

I decided to join in the Follow Friday over 40 Blog Hop! Please join up here:


Another Featured Blog: The Frugal Girls

KLs Cupboard has found another blog that we really, really like, someday we hope to have our blog just as organized and full of information. The blog is The Frugal Girls and covers a range of subjects from printable & store coupons, money saving ideas, gift ideas and recipes.
Be sure to check them out and let them know you found them here at KLs Cupboard!

Frugal Girls!


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vitamin D?

The other day I went to my doctor for a complete checkup, which included blood work to make sure that everything was normal.

The checkup proceeded normally - both my weight and height were fine and my blood pressure was good.  The Doctor did the exam, asked a few questions and the Nurse did a blood draw and told me that they would call me in a couple of days to get the results.

A couple of days passed and I got the call back from the Nurse and it wasn't quite what I was expecting.  It seems that my liver and kidney function were normal, both my good and bad cholesterol were also normal, but my Vitamin D levels were far below normal.  As some of you probably already know Vitamin D is known as the Sunshine Vitamin......I live in the Pacific Northwest, which I mentioned before so the levels of sunshine that I am exposed to (especially during the Winter) are few and far between.  To compound that, I have a sensitivity to sunlight - too much of it and I break out in a rash, needless to say I usually spend much more time indoors rather than outdoors.

The Nurse explained to me that my levels were so low that a normal over the counter vitamin would not take care of bringing my levels back up, instead they were putting me on a prescription for a mega dose of Vitamin D.  To let you know just how low I was, she said my results came back as a "9.7" and the normal range is between 50-100.

I had heard of Vitamin D before, but wasn't sure exactly what all this meant so I did some research.  I ran across an extremely good article on the Women to Women website, the article is titled: Is Vitamin D Deficiency Casing a Cloud Over Your Health?

I was surprised at some of the information provided, but I am glad that I now understand why I am tired and sometimes lack energy.  Hopefully the prescription Vitamin D doesn't take too long to get my numbers back up - I am looking forward to finally getting some energy back!  I have to go back to the Doctor in 3 months so they can recheck my levels and I will post my results then.

So my advice is this, get outside if you can and enjoy any little bits of Sun that you find! 


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: Lady in Waiting

Book Title: Lady In Waiting
Author:      Susan Meissner
ISBN:          9780307458834

One book spanning two time periods, at first appearance the common thread that weaves both periods together is a ring.  In one time period the ring is shrouded in mystery and in the other time period it is a symbol of hope.  The modern day time period centers around Jane Lindsay, a 40 something wife and takes you on a journey of a modern day marriage struggling to stay afloat.  The historical period is about the young Lady Jane Grey, as told by her seamstress, Lucy Day.  Lady Jane is extremely young by today's standards, but as the story unfolds we see that she too struggles with the uncertainty of a pending marriage.    As the reader continues on the journey of these simultaneous story lines you start to realize that the message of the book is much deeper than a storyline about a ring.

The stories were not action packed, in fact I was able to put the book down several times during the reading of it, however upon completion of the book I had to take time to reflect on the overall message in the book and examine what parts of my own life were reflected in the book.  The answers that I came up with were surprising - at first I denied that I had anything in common with either of the Janes or Lucy, but upon reflection I know that I carry a little piece of each of them within me.

I strongly recommend this book and that you read it to the end, the discovery of yourself may surprise you.

Using my rating system I have to give this book a 4 STAR rating due the the thought invoking process that it provoked.  Sometimes a book does not have to be full of action and adventure to be a Great Book, this book is one of those.

Please assist me by rating the quality of my review (this will help me with writing future reviews).

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.


How to Add a Table to Blog Posts

I ran across something that is worth sharing - How to Add a Table into Your Blog Posts. 

Once the table is added, it will look like this:

GOOG 505.00 2006-01-12
BRK-A 110,000.00 2006-01-12

By replacing the text/numbers with code of your choice you can easily have a table of graphic buttons as shown on my Affiliates / Buttons Page.


Featured Blog for 1-25-11

KLs Cupboard has found another Blog to add to our Featured Blogs. 

The blog is all about saving money in the form of freebies, giveaways, coupons and more!

Check them out:


Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Ramblings...

Another new look for my blog...I decided to try to streamline my blog a little bit, so I removed the background graphic and went with a solid color and cleaned up all of the "extra baggage" that my blog was carrying around.  I follow quite few blogs and I realized that the ones that I like the most are the ones that are the "cleanest" and have the least amount of clutter.  I am not a designer so I wasn't able to manipulate the code to get exactly what I want, but I am close.  Some day I will move to self hosted WordPress and then I can achieve the exact look that I want, but until finances permit me to move I am happy to stay with Blogger - after all Free is FREE!

It's another rainy day in the Pacific Northwest, we had two fairly dry days this past weekend but prior to that I think we are coming close to 2 weeks of rain!  We live in a flood zone so we've got to keep an eye on the county road closures and river flood levels.  Makes travel somewhat interesting to say the least.

Everyone in the family is finally healthy and I think we have the flu kicked out of the house.  Now we are in the midst of catching up on all of the school work, house work, etc. so I had better get back to the house as it is screaming for my attention!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Featured Blog

KLs Cupboard has found another blog that we love, the blog is new (like us) but it is well written and well laid out.  Visit our new Featured Blog and let her know that KLs Cupboard sent you over!




For anyone who reads my blog you have probably figured out that I have a lot to say about multitude of things....I've recently begun reading about what makes for good blogging and I've come to the realization that I am probably doing everything wrong - but that's o.k. because I blog about what interests me.

The first tip I read was that I should find a "niche" or "target" for my blog, which would severely limit what I write about!  Oh well, I think I will continue this blog the same way I started, by writing a little bit about everything.  I will just continue to use my tags (categories) on each of the posts that I write.  In regards to tags, I did read one article that made sense - the need to limit the quantity of tags.  Too many times I stumble across a blog that has a huge amount of tags and then they top off the confusion by putting the tags into a tag cloud - no thanks!  I will continue to keep my tags in an alphabetized list, which I will refine along the way as I need to.

Also, I follow quite a few blogs about being frugal, being frugal in this economy is a necessity.  However I think I would categorize myself as a "cheapskate", in my book this is a step or two above being frugal.

Coupons are great, but you can usually save even  money by buying generic or store brands, so I usually avoid coupons.  Now FREE is always good, but if you have to buy something first before the FREE kicks in I think that the FREE part is a moot point.

Here's a great tip, stay and help clean up at events or family gatherings and you will probably be taking home a bunch of freebies!

 I think I've rambled enough for this post, so I must sign off until next time when I continue with my "unfocused" blog writing!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Free Craft E-Books

Just found some great FREE Craft Ebooks that are available for download at favecrafts

Check it out and download your favorites today!  If you don't want to sign up for their newsletter, just click close in the upper left corner and you will still be able to download the books.


Today's Featured Blog -

Every once in a while I come across a blog that I really like so I decided to start a series of "Featured Blogs".

Today's pick is:


Stay tuned, you might be my next "Featured Blog"!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Choices, Choices, Choices -

We now have a bigger variety of fonts to choose from for our blogs, which is a good thing - I think.

I like to change things around, always on the lookout for better, so when I was suddenly presented with a bunch of new fonts it was like Christmas to me! Of course I had to try each one out to see which one I liked the best for my blog. I think I've got one that I like (at least until I get on my change it up streak again).

Let me know if you have any problems reading my blog and I'm sure I will be willing to change it again.....


Monday, January 17, 2011

FREE Blog Helps - Backgrounds, Buttons, Resources & More!

Not too long ago I was a beginner blogger - my previous experience had been with self hosted WordPress, which is a different world than Blogspot. I knew what I wanted my blog to look like and I had an idea of what was out there in regards to FREE Resources, but I had no idea on how to find anything (first you have to know the appropriate "blog language" to know what to search for).

I spent many hours to get to where I am today with my blog. Along the way I discovered many FREE resources, which I am happy to share with you today. Some of these I use on my blog and some I do not. I don't advocate any particular resource over another - just passing along the information that I found.  
FREE  Backgrounds, Buttons, Headers & Blinkies:

Friday, January 14, 2011

One of Those Days-

My little female Harry Potter, usually all smiles. 
It started last night at about 8:30 pm - my youngest one was down for the count with the stomach flu.....she spent 14 hours battling it before her stomach finally settled enough to keep anything down.  It's 5:15 in the evening and this is the first time that I have been on the computer today - I feel like I have lost a day out of my life from lack of sleep and worry.  She is sleeping now, but the fever still shows in her face.

Having a sick child is one of the many challenges that Moms have to face - spending the night half asleep but waking at the smallest sound reminded me of the days when I first brought her home from the hospital.

Our children are the greatest joy in our lives, but the joy that we feel is quite often balanced out by the trials that we face in the raising of them.  I am not new to motherhood, in fact my oldest is 23 so I know that for each one of these more difficult times there will be plenty more good times ahead.  I am tired, but I am Mama so I will be there for her through this and I wouldn't have it any other way.
This too shall pass.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

It's a snow day today.....
Icicles on the porch happen when rain follows the snow

Starting to thaw.....
The view from my deck this morning

Mix falling snow and wind and you get snow on the sides of the trees....
Just glad I don't have to drive in it - time for another cup of coffee!

The Junk Drawer Before n After

 Another Before n After.....

I am sure everyone has a JUNK DRAWER, I'm just not sure everyone's is as bad as mine was.
Junk Drawer - Before
Now for the taadaa....
The Junk Drawer - After!
Still a lot of stuff and could use some editing.  I didn't want to spend money on any organizers so I used what I had on hand.  At least I can find stuff in it now......

Why we have so many pens/pencils and scissors I'll never know - oh wait I do's because they always disappear.

I think they go on vacation or something, probably hang out in the "land of lost socks" for awhile before visiting "how did this get here".


Monday, January 10, 2011

Free Blog Tips!

So you think you are ready to write a blog or are you struggling with your own blog?  There are a lot of blogs out there ranging from free (like mine) to paid for with a dedicated URL.  I've had both, in fact my "paid for" blog is a self hosted WordPress blog and it is due to expire soon.  I've only been blogging for a year and I've learned a few things along the way.  I started out with a blog dedicated towards all things related to pets.

Self hosted WordPress is not necessarily for the novice blogger, since it involves questions of who to choose as a host, where do you get your URL registered and things like that.  So unless you savvy about those things or are willing to pay someone to get your blog set up for you, my personal thoughts are to go with one of the free blog sites (Blogspot,, etc.).  There are pros and cons to each. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Last 20 Feet

Our backyard - the last 20 feet, before we cleared out the blackberry bushes.
More "Before" clearing out the bushes.

 "After" the bushes were cleared out.