28 December 2009

The Christmas season

I love the feeling of camaraderie that can be felt in the community around Christmas. Sure, there are those who treat you as competition, but I find the majority of people are much kinder. I love the magic of Santa Claus and the pure excitement in a child's eyes when they spy their full stocking and the gifts under the tree. I love the beautiful light displays and listening to Christmas carols on the radios station. My third daughter has a December birthday and Christmas carols were playing throughout my labor and delivery. Every time I hear them, I relive that exciting time. I love getting together with friends and family, especially those who live far away. Most of all, I love celebrating the birth of our dear Savior and while I do not believe He was actually born in December, His love is seen so much in the actions of others at this time. I hope that we remember to always share that wondrous love, not just in December, but all year long. I love the Christmas season.

18 December 2009


I love soup! It has a magical way of making you feel better whether you feel sick or are hurting emotionally. There is also such a variety, from cream soups to broth-based soups and they can loaded with whatever you want. I can't even say I have a favorite soup because it varies on my mood. I also love to sit down to a nice, warm bowl of soup on cold days. It just warms you to your core. I love the old Campbell's commercial where the snowman comes inside and sits down for a bowl of soup. As he eats the soup, all the snow melts away and you see a little boy sitting there. Of course, while I enjoy the occasional bowl of Campbell's soup, I much prefer homemade. So whether it be Baked Potato Soup, Italian Wedding Soup, or Chicken Noodle, I love soup.

As I am always looking for new recipes, especially for soup, I would love it if you would share your favorite soup recipes, or at least a link to them.

14 December 2009


I love candles and the ambiance they bring to a room. There is just something about the way they flicker and glow that calms me instantly. When they add in a lovely scent, it can stir up memories as well. When they are not lit, candles can bring some color into your decor and they are inexpensive and easy enough to change according to your desires or the season. Candles in a bathroom can make a bubble bath more relaxing or can add to the romance in a bath for two. In the bedroom, candles give off just enough light for you to see each other, yet not so much that anyone has to be self-conscious of their looks. For ones that I do not plan to burn, I generally choose inexpensive ones from a dollar store, but if I do plan to burn them, I splurge on high quality, well scented ones with lead-free wicks. Even though I do buy candles for decor, my favorite candles are the ones I burn. As I type this, I am looking forward to putting the kids to bed tonight so that I can light a few candles and unwind before my husband comes home around 10:30 and then the candles can serve their other purpose of bringing romance to a room. I love candles.


I just wanted to assure all of you that things that I post on this blog are truly things that I love and as of yet, none have been paid postings or even reviews of things I was asked to review. I do have a blog where I post reviews of products, but this blog is reserved for those special things in life that I come across that I absolutely love. I am not saying that the time will never come where I review something I love, but if/when it does, I will be sure you know what I received in exchange. My dear readers, you are so special to me and I do not want to ever feel like I have sold myself just to have something to write about.

24 November 2009


I love photographs. They have the ability to take you back to a time and place and evoke powerful memories. Even photos of places you have not been and of people you do not know, allow you to imagine the experience. They tell stories without words and allow you to see how people and places change over time. I love looking through scrapbooks and photo albums to relive experiences. I also love professional portraits, especially when they manage to perfectly capture the subject's personality. They allow you to see who that person really is/was and are wonderful items to pass on to future generations. I love photographs.

Related to this, if you would like to see my family's most recent portraits, and have the chance to win a 10x10 specialty portrait of your own, be sure to check out this post on The Happy Wife, one of my other blogs.

02 November 2009

Baby steps

I have been failing to meet my goal of publishing at least one post a week here and I again apologize. I am working on posting more often, and I have lots I want to share. I just need to actually sit down and type it all out. I have currently been posting about once a month and I will continue that, but my new adjusted goal is twice a month. Once I get that down, I will go for once a week and then hopefully, even more often.

I often find that when I set my goals, I set them high and I do not provide a plan to reach them. By following what I stated above, I have put in place the baby steps I need to reach my bigger goal of posting 2-3 times a week. When we give ourselves baby steps, we are better able to reach them and therefore have several times when we have the feeling of accomplishment. Plus, if we are unable to reach our larger goal, each baby step we did reach, improves our lives anyway, just on a smaller scale. I did the same thing when I wanted to lose weight. My goal was to lose about 150 pounds. My baby steps were to eat whole grains at least twice a day, eat a rainbow of colors every day, cut out soda completely, increase my activity and to limit myself on sweets and fatty foods. I also had even smaller steps for each of those goals. I ended up losing 80 pounds (which I have since gained back after having 2 more children), but now I know I can lose the weight and I still eat more whole grains, fruits and veggies than before. As a matter of fact, I am going to add the weight loss to my list of goals. I will try to post my progress as I go along. I guess my first baby step will need to be to get all this Halloween candy out of my house ;0)

06 October 2009

A Great Deal

I love great deals so I had to share this one that I found. There is a great deal on the new Snow White DVD/Blu-Ray 2 pack. On Amazon.com, the sale price is $19.99, but if you enter the coupon code "Snowhite", they will take an additional $10 off, making the total cost $9.99. Shipping is $2.98, but the DVD does qualify for Super Saver shipping so it could be free if you add another $5 to your purchase (the total needs to be $25 before applying the $10 coupon for free shipping). This includes both the regular DVD and the Blu-Ray version so whether you have a Blu-Ray player or not, this is a great deal.

17 September 2009

Kind people

This is a story I have been wanting to share for a few weeks now, but have been unable to sit down and actually type it up. As some of you know, we recently went on a cross-country (NY to Seattle area and back) vacation, by minivan. Before leaving, our local grocery store had a really good sale on cherries and I love cherries. I suggested buying some for the road trip, but my husband insisted on waiting until we got to Washington, because there is "nothing better than Eastern Washington cherries". I obliged since we were heading there anyway. When we finally made it to Sunnyside, WA (a small, but very cute city), my husband found a fruit stand and went in to buy some long-awaited cherries. The look on his face when he returned empty-handed told the whole story. Cherry season had ended the week before. Disappointed, we headed on our way. As we reached the edge of town, we pulled over to set the GPS and to take a picture of this huge, red wagon. While my husband was fiddling with the electronics, a police officer pulled up behind us with his lights on. We were not overly concerned since we knew we had done nothing wrong, but we were curious as to why he was pulling up behind us. The officer approached the window and asked if we needed any assistance. My husband told the story of the cherries and stated we were just getting ready to head back to the highway. He asked us to give him a moment and he began to make a few phone calls. During his phone calls, we learned that this was not just an officer, this was the Chief of Police in Sunnyside. Incidentally, we also realized the red wagon was sitting in front of the jail. Chief Ed Radder, continued to chat with us while he was on hold during his phone calls. He explained that Johnson Foods was located there and that they provided asparagus and cherries to the Schwan's Company. After he finished his final phone call, he told us to follow him and he gave us a police escort over to Johnson Foods. Upon arriving, my husband and Chief Radder approached a tall gentleman who they chatted with for a few moments. The gentleman then walked away and returned with a HUGE box of freshly picked cherries and handed them to my husband. My husband asked how much they were and the gentleman said, "No charge. Welcome to Eastern Washington." There had to easily be 10 pounds of cherries in that box. Even after bringing many of them to a family function a few days later, we still had cherries that made it back to NY. We were told it is was a great cherry season this year, all I know is that these were the sweetest, juiciest cherries I have ever had, made all the better by the kindness and generosity of Chief Radder and the folks at Johnson Foods. I love cherries, but I love kind people even more.

26 August 2009

A Giveaway

I just wanted to let you know that I am hosting a giveaway on my other blog, The Happy Wife. Head on over and check it out. The prize is a Fiber One yogurt meal pack like the one shown below.

Bonus entry: If you are a subscriber or a public follower of Things I Love, leave a comment saying so on the contest post and I will give you an extra entry.

22 August 2009


I love wearing skirts. They help me feel feminine and are less restrictive than pants. Long skirts are great for activities that may require bending or getting on the ground, but I prefer knee-length or just below knee-length for day-to-day activities. I especially like fun designs on my skirts. Well, today, I came across a blog, Supermom Central, and she is hosting a giveaway for a cute outfit for girls (sizes 6-10) from DownEast Basics. The outfit you can win is a long-sleeved lace (trimmed) tee shirt and a skirt, but they also have GREAT clothes for women too, including some really cute skirts. My favorite is the Sabbatical Skirt shown below. It is fun, feminine, and PINK (my favorite color).

They also have clothes for plus-sizes, maternity and for men too. Their prices are reasonable and their sale section is huge with prices comparable to Sears clearance prices. I love good prices on skirts.

18 June 2009

My beautiful garden

I have always dreamed of having a nice garden, but since we were renters for so long, I never had the space to have one. I would tell myself that whenwe bought a house, I could have my garden. Reality is, I have 4 little ones that would make it rather difficult to start a garden from scratch. When we did buy our new house, I was thrilled that the previous owner was an avid gardener. Since we moved in April, we have been blessed to see the crocuses bloom along with the tulips and daffodils. Currently, we are enjoying the clematis and the peonies and the roses, and don't forget the fresh strawberries and mint. I look forward to the raspberries as well and all the other flowers I am sure will bloom before winter. I love seeing the beauty of nature every day.

PS- I do not currently have pictures, but will take some in the next 48 hours and post them.

20 May 2009

Free Oscar Mayer Beef Franks

Be sure to request your coupon for FREE Oscar Mayer beef franks. Visit the Oscar Mayer website to fill out a short form. This is available today only from 9AM until 11:59PM EDT. Coupons take 4-6 weeks to arrive.

15 May 2009

Free Chocolate (Duplicate Post on The Happy Wife)

I want to apologize for duplicating this post from The Happy Wife (my other blog), but I wanted to be sure all of you were aware of this promotion. Chocolate is not my first love, but I do enjoy it every now and then, especially when it is free.

In case you have not heard, the Mars Company is giving away free chocolate every Friday until September 25. It is part of their Real Chocolate Relief Act. The way it works is: every Friday from May 8th until September 25th, they will award a coupon good for 1 free single-sized Mars brand chocolate bar (Twix, M&Ms, Dove, Snickers, Milky Way, or 3 Musketeers) to the first 250,000 people who register on their website. These are not internet printable coupons. They will mail them to you, so allow about 6 weeks for delivery. You must complete your registration within 5 minutes of being asked for it. There is a limit of one coupon per e-mail address each Friday and a limit of 4 coupons per household throughout the entire promotion. I was able to get in last week, but the site was very slow and I had to refresh my page several times. Since you are limited to 4 coupons per household and this will be going on for several more months, if the site is being fussy and you have other things to do, do them, there is always next week.

UPDATE: This week went much smoother AND they have upped the number of coupons for this week to 500,000!

My heart's favorite view

The folks over at The Parent Bloggers Network have partnered up with Windex to introduce Windex's new Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool. The promotion asks what your best view is, or what view brings happiness to your heart. This promotion is open to all bloggers and you could win a $250 Visa gift card if your entry is randomly chosen. If you are a blogger and are feeling lucky, head on over to The Parent Bloggers Network and check it out. Here is my best view:

Nothing brings more happiness to my heart than when I see my children caring about each other and just showing their love. So often, they are fighting and quarreling, that when I am fortunate to catch a moment of them just loving each other. I treasure it. Some moments are easier to catch than others, like this one of Yasmin bonding with Cameron:

Some are more fleeting such as this one, showing Yasmin and Chloe sitting on the washing machine at the laundremat. Moments later, they were fighting.

Any which way, I love seeing my kids smile and it is all the better when they are smiling at the same time. I wouldn't trade these days for anything.

08 May 2009

Trying to uphold my promise

In an effort to uphold my promise, I am posting tonight, but I am cheating because I am simply going to post a link to my other blog, The Happy Wife. As I have posted before, I LOVE a great deal and I got one tonight at CVS. See how I spent $0.37 and walked away with all this:

We are working on unpacking so time is still tight, but I will continue to uphold my promise to post more.

04 May 2009

My LONG absence and my return

As you have probably noticed, I have not been blogging for a while. It is a long story, but it boils down to several moves and the lack of opportunity to blog, along with a few periods of illness. We spent several months living with other families in two different houses, but I am happy to announce that we bought our OWN house on April 21st and we are back to just "us" (me, hubby and kids). Now, we just need to unpack and get settled and I will feel life is back to "normal".

Due to unpacking, my blogging will still liely be sporadic, but I have a goal to blog at least 3-4 times a week on my daily blogs and once a week on my "sporadic" blogs. Also, I have thought a lot over the past several months as to what I really want to blog about and how often, so there is likely to be many changes over the next several weeks and months. I have ideas for new blogs and ideas for my existing blogs.

I apologize for my absence and lack of regularity over the past several months. I am so grateful to all of you and I promise that in the future any extended absences will be announced and I will try to get guest writers for when I am gone.

02 February 2009

Some of my favorite words

My daughters know that when it comes to money, my favorite words are, in order: free, clearance, sale, rebate. Knowing this, it is no surprise that I got all excited when watching the Superbowl and an ad came on announcing there would be a free Grand Slam for "everyone in America" at Denny's, tomorrow (2/3/09) from 6AM until 2PM. That's 2 bacon, 2 sausage links, 2 pancakes, and 2 eggs (cooked to style), per person for free. You just can't beat that. I just love breakfast, especially when I do not have to cook them, and they are free.

22 January 2009

Dijon Mustard

Ok, I know that seems like such a random thing to love, but I have been craving Dijon Mustard on just about everything lately. No, I am not pregnant, I just love the tangy taste of it. I have been using it on hot dogs, soft pretzels, in casseroles, and (my current personal favorite) turkey sandwiches with mayo. There is no specific brand I like better than others, I just love them all. I do, however, check my ingredient list because I prefer to avoid alcohol (especially if it is "uncooked") and some Dijon mustards contain white wine. How about all of you, what is your favorite condiment?

17 January 2009

My oldest daughters and my dear husband

As I said in my last post, I have learned several things over the past few weeks as I have been feeling ill. The love you all have for me is one, but I have also been reminded just how much my sweet family loves me as well.

The other day, my headache had me bed-ridden for much of the day. My older daughters (who really are not that old, 6 and 7 years to be exact), were incredibly helpful with keeping the babies (7 months and 2 years) happy, healthy and clean. Of course, these are the same girls who helped me keep things running during both of my difficult pregnancies, when I was on complete bedrest, as well. They may be young, but they are very independent and capable young ladies. On top of doing their chores and helping with the babies, they thought what mommy really needed was a "get well soon" party. They made, and helped the 2 year old make, get-well cards for me and wrapped up gifts for me. The gifts were things they had received for Christmas, and as my oldest said, "made them happy, so they figured they would help me too". They set the "party" up in their bedroom, which they cleaned up first and "decorated", and designed an invitation for me on my computer. On a humerous note, they mistakenly typed that it was a "Get Wet Soon" party, so I asked if that was a hint that I needed to shower. When I thanked them for the party but explained that I just was not feeling well enough to attend a party, they told me they had made up a bed for me in their room. How could I resist? My babies showered me with love and then put on a special play they had "written" (it was more like improv, but it was sweet none-the-less). They then fluffed my pillows on my bed, so I could return to it, and re-cleaned their room, all while continuing to care for the littler ones. (As a side note- although I was in bed, I was very aware of what was going on with the babies at all times and available for any emergencies.)

Now onto my amazing husband. My dear husband currently works both a full-time and a part-time job so that I can stay home with our children. His part-time job is a retail job so for much of November and all of December, he was working 70-80+ hours a week. January is very much looked forward to by all of us as he returns to a lighter schedule of 50-55 hours a week. Of course, my being sick for much of January, I have been unable to keep up with household tasks such as laundry and cooking. My husband has graciously stepped in and given me a helping hand, as he has in the past when I needed it, without complaint and without being asked. He calls before coming home to ask what I need so that I can put off going shopping a little longer and he rents good family movies so the kids and I can curl up in bed during the day and enjoy watching something we all will enjoy. He knows I can only stand so much Barney/Sesame Street/Word Girl and they can only tolerate so much Martha Stewart/Price Is Right/local news. I know I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and I am so thankful to have him in my life.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I love my children and I love my husband so, so much and I thank my Heavenly Father for them daily.

Shannon and my other readers

I know I have expressed my gratitude in the past to my loyal readers who have stuck by me even through my unexplained, extended absences, but I do not think I can ever say exactly how much you all mean to me. Your kind words and virtual hugs truly brighten my day. By nature, I am a cheery person and quite the optimist, so dealing with this bout of depression has been difficult for me. Shannon- your sweet comment the other day, reminded me that there are others out there who love and care for me. As for my health, I wish I had answers for you (and myself). Unfortunately, we are currently without health insurance (but working on getting it) so I have not been to the doctor recently. I have had a massive, at times, migraine-like, headache for almost a week now, so while my previous medical concerns seem to have resolved, I have been struck with a new one, but I will get through it. I have learned several things over the past few weeks and even though I do not feel wonderful physically, my spirit is happy. Thank you again and please know that of all the things I love, it is the people in my life, including all of you, that I love the most.

12 January 2009

MIA: MY apologies, once again

I apologize once again for going missing unannounced. I have had some medical issues that led to some minor depression. The issues are being taken care of and I am hoping I am back on track for good now.