Thursday, April 29, 2010

Freebie Friday

I once had a friend say to me, "If it's free, then it's for me". These days, I love going to the mailbox to see what free sample has arrived.

This photo is of samples that I have recently received within the last two weeks.

I spend about 5 minutes a night going through the freebie blogs (listed on the right hand side of my blog) and sign up. Usually the samples show up within just a few weeks.

Not only do you get to try great new products, most samples come with coupons worth a lot of money. Speaking of coupons, one of my freebies was a coupon book from P&G worth $135.00!

However, you never know what you're going to end up with. Just last night I signed up for Thumb Socks.... Your guess is as good as mine!

Oh, and yes, that is Rachel Ray's Dog food and no we don't have a dog. I got it just in case the neighbors dog gets hungry or a stray fur baby wanders my way.

Newest Member of Our Family: Tiny

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family. Our newest kin folk is an imaginary field mouse that we have lovingly named Tiny.

Here is a picture of the door to his new home as it will sit along the baseboard and go into our pantry (how else will he leave crumbs behind if not close to the pantry?)

Oh the tales we will have with our new little rodent friend. My Sweetie and I have dreamed up all kinds of adventures for the kids and Tiny.

Stay tuned, you never know what Tiny will get in next!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bloom Where You Are Planted Wednesday

The Gateway Arch

I remember seeing the Gateway Arch for the first time. I was so excited when I strolled through the park and headed up towards the magnificent structure. It was much bigger than I had realized.

I was so excited when I landed a job just around the corner from the Arch, I felt like I had finally "arrived". While working in downtown St. Louis, I often would walk to the Arch on my lunch breaks. I always felt privileged to work in a major city with such a spectacular structure nearby.

Here are some interesting facts about The Gateway Arch:

•The Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet; it is the city's best known landmark and a popular tourist attraction.
•Construction began February 12, 1963 and the last section of the Arch was put into place on October 28, 1965.
•The Arch is a structure known as a catenary curve, the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends, and considered the most structurally-sound arch shape. The span of the Arch legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height.
•Each year, approximately a million visitors ride the trams to the top of the Arch. The trams have been in operation for over 30 years, traveling a total of 250,000 miles and carrying over 25 million passengers.
•The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.
•The Arch was built at a cost of $13 million. The transportation system was built at a cost of $3,500,000.
•In order to ensure that the constructed legs would meet, the margin of error for failure was 1/64th of an inch. All survey work was done at night to eliminate distortion caused by the sun's rays. Since the Arch was constructed before the advent of computer technology, relatively crude instruments were used for these measurements.
•The Arch sways a maximum of 18" (9" each way) in a 150 mph wind. The usual sway is 1/2".

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Roast Beef with Pasta Salad
Tuesday: Thick and Creamy New England Clam Chowder with chopped salad and fresh bread
Wednesday: Chicken Pesto with steamed califlower
Sunday: Dinner Out

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010

"If God treats the tree like a tree, the machine like a machine, the man like a man, shouldn't I, as a fellow-creature, do the same -- treating each thing in integrity in its own order? And for the highest reason: because I love God -- I love the One who has made it! Loving the Lover who has made it, I have respect for the thing He has made."
~Francis A. Schaeffer, Pollution and the Death of Man, Ch. 4

Bloom Where You Are Planted Wednesday

I thought I would start a Wednesday series called Bloom Where You Are Planted Wednesday. In this series I will explore and highlight the area where I live.

So, in the next few weeks, I would like to take you on a tour of my St. Louis, Missouri.
One of my favorite places to visit is called The Hill. The Hill is a mostly Italian-American neighborhood within St. Louis. Italians, mainly from northern Italy and Sicily, immigrated and settled in the area starting in the late 19th century, attracted by jobs in nearby plants established to exploit deposits of clay discovered by immigrants in the 1830s. That heritage remains evident today. As of May 2003, about three-quarters of the residents are Italian-Americans, helped perhaps by the practice of rarely listing homes on the open market. The neighborhood is home to a large number of locally renowned Italian-American restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, salons, and two bocce gardens.
The statue memorializes the Italian families that arrived in St. Louis looking for a better life. Today, the statue has become a preferred symbol of the neighborhood, right along with the Hill's famous green, white and red painted fire hydrants.

I love visiting the authentic Italian restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. I have some wonderful memories of funny things happening while visiting.

When I was 9 and 1/2 months pregnant with Sissyboo I was standing in line at Amighetti's Bakery when an old Italian man kissed my very pregnant baby belly! I have thought fondly on that moment thinking his kiss was for luck (or that Sissyboo might marry an Italian, hee hee).

So this week, my family and I were visiting the very famous Volpi Salumaria when 20 month old Sissyboo decided to run behind the meat counter. Well out walked Armando Pasetti, the former owner of Volpi. He immediately took to Sissyboo and was offering her all kinds of cheeses for her to try. He was so kind and just gushed over the kids and offered me congratulations on my little ones. He was so friendly. This man is a legend in St. Louis where he and his family have been on Food Network and The Discovery Channel showing off how they make their salami and other meat products.

I always have a wonderful time exploring The Hill.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Road Trip

My little family and I are heading off to Xenia, Ohio to visit my parents. My brother and his family are flying in from California and will be there as well.

I am so excited because my brother has not met my husband or babies and I have not met his little girl. I have not seen them for three and half years!

Praying for a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Corn Salsa

This is a delicious recipe that I made the other night. The entire family couldn't stop eating it. Even 20 month old Sissyboo!

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (add seeds back depending on your desire of heat)
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, rinsed or same amount fresh
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes or grape tomatoes cut in half
salt and pepper

Mix the first 5 ingredients together.
Add avocado, onions, corn and tomatoes. Toss into dressing.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let sit for 30 minutes then toss. Delish!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: BBQ Chicken on the grill, baked potatoes

Tuesday: Ham and Bean Soup with Sweet Corn Bread

Wednesday: Bourbon Chicken with rice

Thursday: *Wellzones with Cheesy Side Sauce

Friday - Sunday (In Xenia, Ohio visiting my family).

*Denotes a new recipe.

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April Fools Day

The theory goes like this: In 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. Those who failed to keep up with the change, who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish—which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools—and so the tradition was born.