Happy Homemaker Monday 01.18.16

Hello everyone…it’s a cold one again.  Didn’t want to get from under my nice warm covers this morning!!  We have the day off today from school, but of course I’ve got other things to do. I have  some shelves I need to organize, and am working on our taxes, which is something I actually enjoy doing!!  Enjoy your week!!

Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Snow Squall? What the heck is a snow squall? I think they are starting to make things up now, lol. OK Google…what is a snow squall? A snowsquall is a sudden moderately heavy snow fall with blowing snow and strong, gusty surface winds. Huh…should be fun.


Just finished Hide Your Heart by Tracey Alvarez. This one was pretty standard, she’s hiding out and healing from an abusive relationship. He’s the type of guy that doesn’t settle down, he’s not made that way…until he is.  What I liked was story took place in New Zealand, so that was different. Also the main character was a former model, but now restores cars with her brother, and was quite the mechanic, and could wield a chain saw. The male main character was a photojournalist, which he explained as “Photographers capture nouns; photojournalists shoot verbs.” I need to find a good suspense to read, haven’t done that in awhile.


I will try this one this week, I bought the ingredients when I went shopping. I even have fresh basil to use…my boys will probably ask why there are leaves in the food 😐 Looks yummy. I am also trying a different sauce. I normally use Prego with all my Italian dishes, this time I bought a Newmann’s Own sauce.  I really want to try the Bongiovi brand one of these days, I think Target sells it.  Bongiovi as in Jon Bon Jovi!!  I saw him and his dad on one of the cooking shows, the sauce is their family recipe.  Anniehow…Chicken Parmesan Baked Penne is what’s on the menu this week.

This is incredible. This woman is beautifully strong. I couldn’t imagine being that flexible.

If this works, it will be amazing. I love to make Deviled Eggs, but hate to peel them. Also, this would work great when I make soft boiled eggs, you could probably use warm water, so that they stay warm.

He is literally chillin’…I love the seagulls out here!!

© 2015 Liv’s Photography




Happy Homemaker Monday 01.11.16

Hey There…looks like winter has finally arrived.  We had a little bit of snow on Saturday, and now it is fa-reezing!!  Single digits with wind chills below zero.  We might get more snow in the next couple of days!! 😀 Everyone is feeling better, now I feel like I can get my new year started!!

Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.




Underwood, Scotch, and Wry by Brian D. Meeks. This was one of those ones that Amazon advertised on my Kindle. I want to read more things out of the norm, and this was just that, but I liked it. Very dry, sarcastic, snarky humor throughout.

Arthur Byrne is a 50-ish year old Lit Professor, who doesn’t like anything, he says whatever he wants without apology. He likes to talk about literature and is a published author himself, of one book. He hasn’t written since, because he claims he has forgotten how. The Dean of the college wants to get rid of him, because she feels he doesn’t represent the fine reputation of the school. She has him to teach a class on Social Media, thinking he will totally fail, since he abhors technology. He does find himself in a compromising situation, which isn’t hard, since he does drink a lot. If only the depiction of campus life was embellished for entertainment’s sake, sadly I’m sure it was spot on. Beyond that, I enjoyed all the social media talk in this book, the character as a writer, and the relationships between him and his TA’s and how social media bridges the age gap, as they communicate through twitter.


I did try the Classic Chicken and Noodle Casserole, and it was very good. I think I would add maybe a little more pepper to it. It’s good re-heated as well.


Serves 8IMG_0579


1 pound egg noodles
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 (14 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup *
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen peas and carrots
3/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic salt
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

* I used cream of celery soup as I do not do mushrooms at all.

1. Preheat oven to 375∫ F.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook egg noodles according to packaging directions, or until al dente.

3. Drain and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine soups and heavy cream and stir together to mix.

5. Add frozen vegetables, cheddar cheese, cubed chicken and egg noodles, and season with garlic salt and pepper.

6. Pour mixture into a large casserole dish and lightly tap it against the counter to remove air bubbles and smooth it out.

7. In a separate bowl, toss together breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the top of casserole.

8. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and sauce is bubbly.

9. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with more cheese.

This is what I want to try next…Ice Cream Bread. Never thought you could bake ice cream, looks interesting!!  Maybe when it warms up….like in the 30s, LOL.

I thought this was so clever. With all the cooking vidoes that you see, this is so creative, I would love to have one of these!!

This is my youngest son’s Ice Bear…I think he’s the only one enjoying this frigid weather.



It’s always sad to hear when a musical legend passes away.

“Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.”

David Bowie

His music will live on…this one still streams on my Pandora

Book Review: Crooked Lines by Holly Michael

indexI am so excited about this book.  I love a good book, especially when it is written by one of my friends!! You can read about how I met Holly Michael at the end, but first the book review!!

This book draws you in with the very first sentence.  It tells the story of the spiritual journey taken by each of the two main characters, Rebecca and Sagai.  But they are worlds apart; Rebecca is from Wisconsin and Sagai is from South India.

Rebecca has so many questions that need to be answered.  As the story unfolds so many times I could feel her emotional pain, I felt her frustrations and sometimes her self doubt, which lead me to keep turning the page in hopes that she would find her answers.  She is a strong woman with determination that continually shines through even in the face of obstacles.  Something all of us can strive to achieve.  She also had me smiling with some of her phrases and literally laughing out loud on one particular instance when she receives a book from her Mother-in-law.

Sagai is so dedicated.  He knows he is called to be a priest from a very early age, and he goes through anything and everything to fulfill his destiny.  He has a big heart and so wants to be a priest that he tends to look past things that he should be questioning.  Eventually his frustrations and doubts are revealed, which is very realistic even for someone who knows their purpose in live.  But it’s his faith in God that helps him continually move towards his destiny.

Holly writes about India and Sagai’s life in such detail.  I liked the way she used various greetings and phrases in different languages, to capture the heart of the culture.  Most of which I could not pronounce, but it did not take away from the story, it only enhanced it.  I also found myself Googling words for various things in the Indian culture to get a clearer picture of what she was talking about.  The story flows seamlessly between the two characters and cultures, and you get a clear understanding of the culture that Sagai comes from, (even without Googling).

This is such a good story, with great characters; something I really enjoy in a book.  One other thing I would like to mention is the cover; such a beautiful cover design!!  The main thing I liked about this story is that it isn’t about them finding religion, but finding their purpose and/or calling for their lives.  It is a true spiritual journey for both characters, not only in finding God, but also in finding their true selves.  Anyone can read this book regardless of your spiritual beliefs.  I especially like the one common thread throughout the book that actually binds the two characters together.  As I mentioned, the very first sentence draws you in, but it’s the last couple of sentences that makes you say “hmmm” with a smile on your face.  I actually like to read books that are part of a series…just sayin’. =]

A little background:

I met Holly Michael about 25 years ago, when she was my supervisor at my first office job.  She taught me how to operate a PC with no hard drive by using those 5 ¼ floppy disks.  She was the one that introduced me to “modern technology” and I continued through the years advancing along with it.  We worked together for several years, until she left to start her family.  I always knew she would be a great mom, her 3 grown children are shining examples of that.  Both her sons play football, one for the NFL and one for the Rajin’ Cajuns, and her beautiful daughter just started teaching at a University.  She talked about being a writer, and I always knew she would be a great writer, this book is a shining example of that.

I am a total book lover, I love the feel of a book in my hands…the clear black type on crisp new paper…turning each page…the new book smell.  But again, Holly has nudged me towards modern technology.  I never thought I would ever use a Kindle, since I am such a book lover.  But the anticipation of wanting to read this book got the better of me.  I do not own a Kindle (yet) so I downloaded a free Kindle app to my laptop just so I could download the book and finally read it!! (Yeah…not exactly the convenience a Kindle portrays in their commercials, but it served its purpose for me).

I am ordering it from Amazon, and you can too, just click on the book cover at the top.  I’m sure I will read it again when I get the book in my hands, just so I can get the whole new book experience.

You can find more from Holly Michael at:

www.writingstraight.com and www.indiascrown.com