Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

By: Jennifer Reese

This book is unlike any I've read before. Its a cookbook, but definitely more than a cookbook. This is something that you need to read from cover to cover before you decide how to go about using her recipes. It helps you decide what is worth making from scratch, is the hassle worth it, is the price difference even a factor. It also helps you decide if going even further and living an even more frugal life is worth it. She even explains raising livestock and the benefits from that. If you are looking for a life changing book this is definitely something you should pick up! The only thing I didn't care for was the lack of pictures. I love to see how something is suppose to turn out and this book didn't have any. Its not a must for me but something I do like to see. Other than that it was a great read, cute stories, and great recipes!

About the Author

Jennifer Reese has been a professional journalist all of her adult life, working mostly for national magazines, and has been an avid, adventurous home cook for even longer, which she blogs about at the Tipsy Baker as well as for online publications like Slate and DoubleX. A former reporter at Fortune magazine, she moved to northern California and freelanced for publications including Food & Wine, Saveur, and the New York Times Book Review. Jennifre was hired as the book critic for Entertainment Weekly in 2003, where she worked until 2008. She was on Board of the National Book Critics Circle for two terms. In April of 2008, she started her blog, The Tipsy Baker, where she writes about cooking for her finicky family from a collection of 1,000 cookbooks and making household staples from scratch. The Tipsy Baker has been listed as The Oregoian newspaper's "web site of he week" and has been featured on Marketplace. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What Not to Say to Adoptive Parents

I absolutely LOVED this when I saw it and if you're an adoptive parent you probably have similar feelings.

Single Dad Laughing’s Guide to Adoption Etiquette.
  1. Never, ever, ever, ask how much a child costs. This includes the phrase, “how much did you pay for him?” First of all, it’s none of your business. Second of all, if you’re interested in adoption, research it through the appropriate channels. Speak with an adoption agency. Adoptive parents don’t purchase children. They simply pay legal fees and agency fees. Just like biological parents pay hospital and doctor bills. Don’t turn the child into nothing more than a commodity.
  2. Never ask if a celebrity inspired the adoption. Believe it or not, Tom Cruise, Connie Chung, and Angelina Jolie did not convince me one way or the other in the biggest decision of my life. Are you serious?
  3. Never ask “where is his real dad?” Forget the fact that it will hurt my feelings. How do you think it will affect my son’s feelings to feel like I’m not a real dad to him? Adoptive parents are real parents. The term you’re looking for is “birth mother” or “birth father”.
  4. Don’t say things like, “as soon as you adopt you’re going to get pregnant” when you find out somebody is adopting. First of all, there are usually many, many years of pain and financial burden strapped to infertility, treatments, and heartache. Do you really think that what you’re saying will help them? Secondly, while it is funny when it happens, it’s rare.
  5. Never say, “why did she give him away?” Do I really need to explain why this one would hurt a child? The proper term is “placed”. A birth mother and birth father place their child for adoption. And again, it’s personal and none of your business, so don’t ask if you aren’t my BFF.
  6. Don’t say, “it’s like he’s your real son”. This is similar to number three, but worthy of mentioning. He is my real son, damn it.
  7. Don’t say, “do you love him as if he was your own?” Ummm… probably more than you love your little terror, that’s for sure. And again… he is my own, damn it.
  8. Never say things like, “you’re so wonderful to adopt a child”. I am a parent. Just like anybody else with kids.
  9. Don’t start spewing your horrible adoption stories. “This one time, my friend’s sister’s aunt’s dog’s previous owner’s niece adopted a baby and the real dad came back and they took the baby away after they had him for two years.” First of all, it probably isn’t true. Second of all, how would you feel if I told you about all the ways you could lose your child. Adoption is permanent. And in the extremely rare circumstances that something like that happens, it’s not something you should spread because the hurt that exists for all the parties involved must be immeasurable.
  10. Don’t say things like, “is it hard for him to be adopted?” Well, it wasn’t, until you asked me that right in front of him you freaking idiot.
  11. I don’t want to hear about your second cousin who was on a waiting list for twelve years and never got a baby. Granted, this one was much more annoying when we were going through the adoption process. Nobody wants to know that some people never get chosen. Show some kindness. Even to ugly people.
This came from a blog post titled: How much did Your kid cost? feel free to click the link to read the whole article. I personally loved it!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sewing: Apron

As many of you know I love to be involved in things. I love doing crafts, baking and all that fun stuff. I've taught myself how to crochet and to knit among other things and I've always wanted to get a sewing machine even though I have an odd fear of them. Yes, I've been scared of them for sometime and who knows what I think they're going to do to me chop my finger off or maybe turn into a transformer LOL, but I got over my fear here recently.

I went to one of the ACES sewing club meeting and my wonderful friend Melissa taught me to use one! It didn't maim me or scare me or even growl or anything! AMAZING I know! (For you enlisted wives in the Aviano area ACES is the spouses group and they do many many amazing things. I love going to the meeting and volunteering which obviously I haven't done in awhile but I so look forward to starting up again!)

At the sewing club we learned to make aprons and if I do say so myself they were stinking adorable! Here's pics of the one Melissa helped me make! I'm really looking forward to the next class and getting my own sewing supplies!

Hmmm...I wonder if ya'll can guess who my model was LOL. I think it came out rather cute. Melissa made the awesome frayed flower and helped me with the gather using dental floss which is a neat little trick and of course she helped me learn how to use a sewing machine and what not :) Thanks Melissa you ROCK!

Which reminds me Melissa now has an FB page where you can order an amazing purse custom made by her! She is also having a give away so go like her page and then share it with your friends! Eash friend that says you sent them gives you another entry into the contest and it ends Nov. 18, 2011 so go to Force Fashion Boutique Military Purses and like it now! Happy Winning :)  

We're Back

Nathan and I are back in Italy. We were truly sad to leave Texas and get back to our normal lives knowing that Tommy, Meghan and my Mom's lives will never be the same. They will continue to fight for Tommy and get him the best treatment possible and follow him wherever that may be.

Sometimes we forget not to take the simple things for granted...I realize how much more I have now with a healthy child and husband. That we're able to go to the store, for a car ride or for a simple walk outside and that we're not confined to the walls of a hospital. Please continue to pray for them and for all who have loved ones in the hospital and lives are now changed forever.

We are happy to be back together as our own little family though. My hubby was thrilled to have us home and of course we were so happy to see him. Along with our little rat dogs being super excited to have their playmate back. I'm happy to be in my own home and what not and have gotten back into the groove of things. Thankfully Nathan and I didn't take very long to get over our jetlag and my amazing other half took time off to hang out and help us get over it :).

The day I got back it was our 7th anniversary. I truly can't believe that 7 years has gone by! Time sure flies when you're in love :) My hubby got me these beautiful sunflowers one for each year we have been married.

Nathan and I also got back in time for the pumpkin festivals. We decided not to go to the one in Venzone this year but we went to the one in Cordenons (where our amazing friends live) and ran into a bunch of super awesome people! It was a ton of fun, had yummy goodies, a couple drinks with friends, a new bowl, and then went out for a super great lunch (prob one of the longest I've had!) and it was just all in all a great day with amazing people.

Needless to say it was a great weekend and a great welcome home. We don't have too much longer here so we're trying to enjoy our friends (especially those leaving before us ::sad face::) but who knows maybe we'll be here longer than expected :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's Been A Year!

Ok so it hasn't been a year since we brought home the most beautiful baby boy the world has ever seen more like 18 months but yesterday did mark the first full year that Nathan was officially ours forever!

We couldn't celebrate with my hubby because the baby and I are still in Texas with my family. Tommy is in a rehab hospital and is getting stronger everyday thankfully! But because we couldn't be home with baby's dada his Auntie Meg and Grandma got him our traditional Froggy cake! Last year when it became official we got him a frog cake and its something we would like to do every Oct. 7th forever!

If you didn't know the frog is our baby boys theme. We couldn't find a baby boy crib set anywhere and finally found one and it was frogs cute. Then when we went to the hospital to meet him he had frog blankets in his bassinet! And then our family found out and started getting him froggies too (plus my sister and Tommy are obsessed with frogs) so it has become his official theme! So if you ever live near us in October come on over for a piece of a froggy themed cake!

Excited Auntie Meghan and Grandma brought him a cake!

The cupcake cake froggy (it was loaded with frosting)

smiling with his new Texas plant

Making a mess!

Auntie feeding him the chocolate part so he didn't crush that too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Is the Bible Reliable?

Is the Bible Reliable?: Building the Historical Case (True U)

Normally I review books but this time I was able to get a dvd series. It was a rather interesting series set up in 10 lessons. It is in a classroom type setting and was very informative. You really will learn things that you never knew. It is a great aide if you have high school age kids at home or are teaching them. It is also great for adults as well! It really is a great tool and will give you so much added knowledge.

I received this DVD for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.