Thursday, October 27, 2011

"na-na-na" Bread Recipe: Banana bread :)

Recipe for the Quick Banana Bread:

1/2 cup Butter Melted
3 Bananas Overly ripe is the best
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts, optional


  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour loaf pan (81/2" x 4 1/2") 
  2. Melt Butter and set aside to cool
  3. In mixing bowl mash bananas well.  Beat in sugar and eggs.
  4. Combine flour, salt, and soda.  Add gradually to sugar mixture.
  5. Pour in Melted butter and mix well.  Stir in nuts, if desired.
  6. Pour into prepared loaf pan.  Bake 55-60 minutes.  Or until center is set and loaf is nice and brown.

Turned out really good for us.  Easy recipe!

My Confession As a SAHM: Testimony Thursday

  My Confession as a Stay at Home Mom:
A lot lately, I have been wresting with being the woman God wants me to be at home. I get lazy I get overwhelmed. I get crazy staying within the confines of "Home". God change the way I view life as a Stay At Home Mom. I know there are ups and there are downs. Today the sun is shining, and the morning is fresh and new. Forgive me for being the foolish lazy woman who just gets bored. I am so much to do and when I get things accomplished in the Strength of the Lord, I find rest and peace and ...Joy...even Joy in being a Stay at Home Mom and Wife.  But staying mindful of doing things for God is hard sometimes. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Smarterer Review: What do you know?

What is Smarterer?
Smarterer is an online testing platform which scores and sees just how much one knows about digital, social, and technical skills.  For instance Facebook, Twitter, Google Search, Google Mail are popular sites people use every day.  But just how much skill and knowledge do you have in using these sites and their features?  Smarterer is a great tool to measure an individual's skill.  Though someone may be qualified to use these sites, skill and knowledge are a different matter.

My Thoughts after Trying a Test or two from Smarterer:
I just finished taking "Google Mail" Test.  I was so surprised how much I did not know!  I thought it would be easy, but alas, answering 10 Questions in 60 seconds can prove difficult.  You see for every question you are given a certain amount of time to respond.  You either know it or don't.  I scored pretty low.  I was not all too confident in my questions and it showed because of how long it took to answer some of the questions.  There were some easy questions, that I knew right off the bat, but some things in Google mail I have not even used.
 *Scores are based on the Glicko Rating System: a Chess Scoring system.

My Scores:

I do not use Gmail's Chat much and there were a few questions concerning this!

Just started being a BzzAgent, so I honestly have much to learn about being a BzzAgent and learning more about the program.

I thought it was fun to test out how much I know about my Technical and Social network skills.  You should try it out to see just how much skill you have!  Sign up on Smarterer just to see how well you do!  Here are some of the tests available on Smarterer:
  • Blogger test
  • Facebook test
  • Flickr test
  • Twitter test
  • WordPress test
  • Tumblr Test
  • And many more!

 Want to stay in touch with Smarterer and find out all the latest news and updates?

I am a BzzAgent and had the opportunity to try out Smarterer myself.  Opinions are solely my own.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review of a Facebook App: A Better World

This is Not Just Another Game:
When I started playing "A Better World" I was kind of thinking that it would be just another Sims kind of game, but I was pleasantly surprised that it is refreshingly different.
It is different because of the positive values and elements it has incorporated all throughout the game. I find myself encouraged as well as thinking and reflecting on positive things going on in my life.

Positive Places and Activities:
There are more than 15 interesting locations for community member to explore! And each location has its own unique element of "positivity".

For instance, there is a place in the game called "Gratitude Grotto" where I find myself counting my blessings! This really encourages me--and no matter how hard a day may be, I know that there is at least one thing I can add to the "waterfall". The waterfall shows my responses as well as other players' own expression of grattitude and blessings. I love that this game causes me to sit down and share what I am grateful for.

 My most favorite of all places is the Sanctuary of Hope. Nestled in the countryside of the game, is this cathedral like place where people (players) can come and light a candle to support the hopes and dreams of others. Not only can one light a candle for others, but one can also add a hope or dream of their own. I think it is pretty neat sharing and supporting other people's hopes and dreams.

 In a section of the game called the Sanctuary of Hope, players are greeted by an angel
character who asks them to spend a moment thinking about their wishes and prayers for
a better world. In the safe environment of the game, players can post their reflections,
as well as hopes and dreams for themselves or others. They can also read other entries
and light candles to show support for other members of the community.

Great way to connect with Families and Friends:
Now I love my Farm on Farmville, and Sims, but "A Better World" is different.  And in this case--it's a good different.  While playing the game I found myself thinking that this would be such a neat game for my friends and family to play together.  Why?  Well, this game is not just a virtual game--but is a game that engages interaction between real people in the real world.  It is not just "farming with other players"--but it is leaving notes of appreciation, love, and encouragement.  The focus of the game is virtually doing good to others...but at the same time in reality.  So hence, it encourages if I may...'a better world...'

A Better World's is a great game.  I think it has lived up to its expectations for I've found myself doing exactly what they intended this game for--thinking and doing positive things virtually as well as in reality.  Here is their vision for A Better World:

 ToonUps hopes A Better World’s original approach could usher in a new genre of “do
good gaming.” Research shows that being encouraged to think about things they are
thankful for and doing activities that provide encouragement to others improves their
mental, emotional and spiritual well being.--Toonups

Check out these Links to learn more and discover A Better World:

I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. ToonUps provided a $50 donation to (name of nonprofit/church of choice) as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We are created!

As the master artist lifts his paintbrush to the canvas one can only guess what the finished piece will look like.  But until the final stroke is painted....can one stand back and gaze at the entirety of all those carefully placed brushstrokes and see what the master had envisioned.  When the master first began the strokes might have seemed irregular or even placed miscellaneously, but because he is the master and skilled each brush stroke is purposed.  

Our Daughter almost about a year ago :)

Lesson I am learning as a First Time Mom:
There are times in my life that I just feel like giving up on life, but God reminds me that I was once newly formed. I was once a baby too!
I look at my toddler my little girl. I look at her and I believe and know without a doubt she has a purpose.  She was created and knitted together with God's own hand!   I need to also believe that my Redeemer formed me. That he thinks of me, and that he has a plan for my life.
Me & My Mom
I get in the doldrums sometimes, and this helps me if there are piles of dishes and laundry to do--and I feel like giving up or discontent. When I remember that being a mom to my daughter and wife to my husband--is important and where God wants me to be right now, I gain hope.  Right now financially we cannot afford a babysitter or a daycare.  Neither do I want to!  My mom was the sole provider.  She worked as a single mom, and though we had sufficient food and clothes---I missed out on developing that relationship and bond as a child.  I knew she was my mom, but I know that she missed out on playtime with me and seeing me grow up.  I love my mom, and I know she sacrificed a lot that I may eat and be alright.  Being at home with my own daughter is a privilege that cannot be thought lightly.
Working a job and getting a diploma can wait a while longer.  My daughter will not be little forever.  I have a purpose....I have an impact...I am life is not spent in vain....I am a Mother, a Daughter, a Wife.  I am not a mistake--neither is my life---I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God. 

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5

This is what the LORD says--your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
Isaiah 44:24

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
The Treasury of David (Psalms 139)

A Fisher of Men

Is this a pet for our fishtank---Sophie thinks

"Watch My husband skillfully chop the head off!"
"Is this going on your blog?"  :) YES!

Lots of smoked salmon for us!  Chum.

 Alright, so my husband has had such a Dry Season when it comes to fishing.  It seems that for all the hours in the day he goes out to fish, he comes home empty handed and beaten by that fish that got away or did not bite!

The Fish Story
But One Day he came home with a different story to tell.  With a tremendous grin and excited voice he told me the story of how he came to catch this big one!  He was sitting there in his little kayak letting the line bob with the waves caused by a motor boat.  He began to reel in his line just because he was going to go in for the night.  Then to his surprise he felt something at the other end "just swimming around and not fighting at all".  He thought it was another bull head or dog shark.  He reeled more and the fish went "Whizzzzz!"  A friendly young fisherman near by pulled his boat near and helped him net it.  The fish was huge!!!  He could not stop grinning and telling me the story! 

My Prayer & Encouragement & Lesson I learned
You know, sometimes I just pray for these days where his life will be fruitful and that he can reap the joy and fulfillment of his efforts!  I also pray that those he meets along the way will see the Light of Jesus Christ within Him.

I know that there are times my husband comes home and he's just beat.  The job and the workplace in the shipyard is a tough place to be a Bible believing, God fearing man.  I know he has his faults and slips into things at work.  But I know that there must be something in him that wants to bring souls to repentance and to the Truth in the Word of God.  But as a wife, I pray for the calling of God in his life--for him to be a Fisher of Men.  I pray that he'll bring that "BIG FISH" in one day, and come home with a big grin on his face.  Until then I hope he'll not give up casting out his fishing line.

Mark 1:17 - "Come, follow Me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

For by grace are ye saved through faith, not of yourselves--it is a gift of God--Not of works, Lest any man should boast.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Churchill Family Adoption Fundraiser

Something I want, but sadly not in our size!  :)

I just wanted to spread the word about this Adoption Fundraiser to all my followers!  There might be some goodies there for you!  Here is some information from the Event off of Terramade Product's Facebook page.

Roger and Mindy are adding a new addition to their family! Please join us this Friday on the TerraMade Products FB page as we will be holding an auction to help defray their adoption costs. Several work-at-home moms who are friends with the Churchill's will have items for sale, and a portion of all sales will be donated to the Churchills.

Please help spread the word!

To encourage everyone to help get the word out about the Churchill auction, TerraMade Products will be drawing a name from everyone who "shares" the event, and that person will have the choice of a ffs custom recycled wool spot, or a $15 gift certificate. There is a spot in the discussion tab on the TerraMade Products page to add your name if you have shared about the event!

Facebook page:  
Fundraiser is in the Photo albums marked: Churchill Family Adoption Fundraiser
I am just sharing about the fundraiser :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Knitted Project: Cool Knit Hat

INSTRUCTION: K2Tog until you have 7 stitches left....
It sounds easy enough, but up until this step I've been K2Tog--and everything seemed so hard to knit because of the bulk? or the tightness of the stitches. 

SO funny yet frustrating to me is that I was 3 stitches away from finishing my knit hat!  Upon having trouble knitting together on one of the DPNs, I dropped a few stitches on another needle.  This is my first hat, and my other first projects were dish cloths.  I am so NEAR and a couple of dropped stitches is holding me back from finishing this gift for my grandma.

My Inspiration and what I'm working towards is to make a hat like this for my daughter.  When I was pregnant with my daughter (1 year 1 month ago), my husband had an idea for matching hats.

I've been working on my Grandma's hat for about a year now, and still have not finished it.  Oh the want for those last 7 stitches!  He keeps poking fun at me and teasing me that "I'll get those matching hats I promised him and Sophie in ten years!"  Haha!  He wants me to make Panda Hats--with ears! :)

Fred Meyers Hat
  We went to Fred Meyers last night, and this knitted hat was priced at $15 (on sale too)!   Now it was not a homemade hat so it did not have that special touch.  I just hate paying for something that was machine I'm working myself towards something like this.

Anybody have any cute patterns or pictures to further inspire my efforts? Just point me in the direction!

Love this hat! :) 

Planning on going to A Good Yarn Shop to ask help from my friends! :)
They hare having a "Knit In" this Friday from 4-9!  I wonder if hubby will watch dear daughter so I can go!

Brain: "Pay Attention" from NatGeo

 The FASTEST PICK POCKET...just a little fun, with a serious thought provoker. 

 Now, Lastnight my husband and I were watching a Special on NatGeo about our Brains and what we "Pay Attention" to.  We loved it!  But thinking about it now, what takes our attention for the most part throughout the day?

Taking it from a Faith-Spiritual perspective:
Are our minds being distracted from what God wants us to pay attention to? 
Or is my daughter suffering from me not really giving my full attention to her when we play?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mom Blog Monday Blog Hop!

Are you a Mommy blogger?
Do you blog about your kids?
Do you blog about great things for Mommies?
Do you wanna meet other Mom Bloggers?

This blog hop is hosted by The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom, Luxury Living Frugal Style, and So Easy Being Green!

Rules to Hop?

All we ask is that you follow the co-hosts: The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom, Luxury Living Frugal Style, and So Easy Being Green... the first three blogs on the linky! Then follow Spot #4 which is the featured blog of the week! <

We would LOVE it if you'd grab our button and put it somewhere on your blog or in a blog post! This would help us spread the word. However, you aren't required to.
Be sure to leave us a comment so we can follow you back!

This week's featured blog is...

My name is Sarah. I am wife to Christopher and first time mommy to our precious baby girl Evie. I started my blog as a way for friends and family to keep up with our first pregnancy. It has turned into a space for me to make new friends, put myself out there for the world and chronicle the joys and pitfalls of our life as first time parents. Oh, and did I mention, four dogs and two cats included.

Christmas Card Picks from Tiny Prints & Discount Code!

Last year as first time parents:
 This year I am already prepping up for Christmas!  Last year Christmas just snuck up on us with power outage and cold wintry nights!  I hardly had a chance to catch my breath after giving birth to our daughter.  I just felt a little less motivated and was rather captivated with our daughter :)

We ended up not getting a Christmas tree until Christmas Eve when a tree fell down by our house!  Dear husband cut the top off of the tree and brought it home.  He also brought another tree top home from work--he was a landscaper and they were working on fallen trees after a windstorm.

SO this year, I am planning to
  • Get a Christmas tree and decorate it before Christmas Eve at least.
  • Bake to my heart's content.
  • Have a fire in our fireplace.  
  • Pop popcorn and string them around the house.
  • Last and not least: Send off Christmas Cards before the season ends!

A New Tradition:
I think it would be fun to start a tradition of hanging up our Christmas cards on our Christmas tree this year.  Every time we look upon the tree we will think about the family members and friends who make seasons like Christmas more meaningful.  I enjoy life because of those who have left a big impression in my life.

Some of my picks for this year's Christmas Cards from Tiny Prints:

Ornament Cards
Booming Blossoms : Winterberry
Designed by Darling Papers for Tiny Prints

Ornament Cards

Traditional Tidings : Linen
Designed by Lady Jae Designs for Tiny Prints

For more Christmas cards from tiny prints and to browse their site click here:

Christmas Trees and Pets:
As a family who has active cats, Christmas trees are always in danger of toppling over. I mentioned hanging Christmas Cards for display on our tree.  So knowing I have pets, I just want to address Christmas Trees and pets.   Last year our cat played with our ornaments and soon figured he could jump on some of the lower branches.  Our tree was more of a nuisance to me because of the constant fear of it toppling over.  I've done some research and hope this can help you out for I know we all love our Christmas trees and would love it to be safe for pets too!

  • Have a ceiling hook above the Christmas tree and tie it in place.  
  • Secure the bottom of the tree to the tree stand  and make sure to cover base so as to keep pets from drinking the water.  
  • Make sure that the tree is not top heavy from ornaments. The more secure and stable your tree is the less likely it will topple over. 

For more tips check out these websites:

 Here is a code that you can use for Tiny Prints Holiday Cards and Party Invites:

Zulily Daily Deals!

I am on the hunt for Sweet Deals that are WARM and Fashion Focused and Practical.

Here is just a snippet of what is going on at Zulily!

Beary Basics--up to 40% off! 

Little Riding Hoods--up to 60% off!

Bratt Decor--up to 40% off!

I could really use something as simple and elegant as this for our nursery! Quite lovely furniture!

I invite you to shop Zulily today!  There is always something new and on sale at Zulily--as well as ways that you can earn credits just for inviting and having someone make a purchase through your invitation link.  Here is my invitation to you:

Non-Toxic & Biodegradable Simple Green vs. Our Cats!

Simple Green Non-Toxic & Biodegradable Pet Stain and Odor Remover--Dog and Oxy Formula

Have you heard that Simple Green makes a Non-Toxic, biodegradable cleaner for pet messes?
I did not hear about it until looking for a solution for our pet stains and odors! What I got introduced to was two great products that work fabulously against my pets' messes. 

Today, I am really happy to say that I am done living with Pet Stains and Pet odors!  
We had some issues with our cats wetting the carpet.  Also, not to be gross but hair balls and other such things on occasion.  Not fun were the stains and odors left behind on our interior carpets!  Cleaning after the cats are always a hastle, and living in an apartment is not a good thing either.  Carpet stains are sure to make any landlord unhappy.  In the past we coped with obvious big time stains with area rugs.  The carpet cleaners we had simply were not working for us in the long run.  Simple Green came to our rescue with "DOG" and "OXY" Pet Stain & Odor Remover. So now, I do not have to throw a rug over the stains, I've got nothing to hide!

This is our Area Rug.  We don't "NEED" it to cover up stains anymore!
"Skippy" and the Stains our rug hid. 
Closer shot of bottom Stain
Bottom Stain is practically gone after using Dog formula.
Closer shot of Top stains
After blotting and respraying Top stains
Dried and look all stains are gone!

Reasons Why I love using Simple Green: DOG Pet Stains and Odor Remover
  1. What I like about it is that it is Non-toxic and biodegradable and works great! 
  2. This Pet Stain and Odor Remover stands true to its name--it sucessfully removed the stains and odors from my carpet.
  3. Quick working.  I am a mom with a toddler.  I love it when things work quickly and does not take a whole lot of time to do.  Quick Spray, let it soak, blot, and let dry.  Vacuum.   I can deal with that.  Easy peasy!
  4. Has a pleasant scent to it.  It does not smell like chemicals.
  5. People and Pet Safe Product*.  (Information From the label, check out the MSDS and more information on the product from their website:

OXY Dog Stain & Odor Oxidizer
Now here are some photos that were taken using the OXY formula.  Enjoy!
Before treatment

Stain after getting sprayed with OXY Dog Stain & Odor Oxidizer
Stain after sitting for 3-5 minutes.  Hardly can see much of the stain!
Another stain treated (already gone) but treated twice and it's drying.
 The last two pictures are of the Stains after blotting.  I let them dry overnight, and vacuum in the morning.  It works well for us, and I am loving the results.  The stains are indeed gone, and the smells and odors are taken care of.

Reasons Why I love using Simple Green: OXY Pet Stains and Odor Remover
  1.  All of the above points apply to the OXY formula. 
  2. OXY seemed to work faster than the DOG formula.  At 2 minutes my husband made the remark that it already looks like the OXY is working.  I have to agree that the soiled area seemed to return back to a lighter color after being sprayed.
  3. OXY seems to be better geared for soiled clothing.  Early on before we got our cat Mojo fixed, he would get in a hissy fit and marked up our clothes with his "lovely" scent.  I wish we knew of OXY Pet Stains and Odor Remover.  We ended up using Eco Nuts Laundry Soap to get rid of the urine smell.  Oxy would have come in handy for sure!
  4. The label claims "Fast Acting" and it is indeed fast acting! 

*For more information check out the MSDS of Simple Green DOG and OXY information here: MSDS on Simple Green Pet Stains and Odor Remover.

Conclusions and Final Thoughts:
These two products by Simple Green are indeed a blessing to have handy in our cupboards.   I find that I use these products quite often to clean up messes after our pets.  For example: Our cats track dirt onto the carpets or scarf up a hairball.  I like using the DOG formula to get rid of odors, and have used the OXY DOG formula to clean up after accidents such as a cup being knocked over.

The versatility of having a Pet product that works on our own (human) spills is advantageous.  We have a product that is geared to target pet messes as well as work just as great with other messes too.

I am a happy tester and reviewer of these products, and will be most likely purchasing this for our family in the future. 
Mojo and Pun'Kin


I received these products in order to fascilitate this review, and was not compensated in any other way.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Home is where...

I learned a good lesson today as a momma:
Evidently, Home is where I want my kids to make their mistakes.  
I want my daughter to be able to make the messes and learn from them here--right before my eyes!

"No-No-No" to Mom Help???

As my daughter was eating dinner, she wanted no help from mom.  She wanted to get her hands into everything!  She grabbed whatever pasta aimed for that "cave mouth" of hers.  ( Her four teeth: Stalagmite and Stalactite).  I just couldn't get past those chubby hands!  So I let her go.  Frustrated at first, but found that I was free to eat my own dinner.  So it turned out to be a fair exchange. 

"NO-NO-NO" to the sippy cups too??? 
Alright, so we tried her child's cup with a little bit of water for dinner too.  I watched her over tip the cup as she drank.  I chuckled and said, "Too far, Sophie".  She did it maybe three more times, but she did get it to a good angle a lot more than over tip!  I cannot believe that she is drinking out of a cup!  It was then that I realized that this is where I want her to learn..I am her teacher...her mother...and hopefully her friend as she grows up.  I am going to set boundaries, but also I want her to experience "doing things on her own" and finding out for herself how to do things.