Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hot Cocoa

A favorite memory of my Grandma Sannar takes place in her kitchen.  Grandma is standing at her stove.  She has a wooden spoon in her hand and is using it to stir a steaming stainless steel pot full of hot cocoa.  My siblings, cousins and I are sitting around the table, expectantly waiting for Grandma to place those warm mugs of cocoa in front of us.  There is some chatter going on around me, but I'm a little tyke, only about four years of age and it has been a long day.  My family and I have just arrived in Alaska this evening after a long drive from Oregon through Canada and then a ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan.  Even in memory I can still feel the foggy tiredness that is making my eyes droop and my families voices seem a bit far away. 

Grandma sets my brown cup in front of me and I take a sip.  Heavenly chocolate sweetness fills my mouth and the warmness seeps into my soul.  As I am tucked into my bed and snuggle down with my favorite blanket and soft pink cat, I know beyond any doubt that I am loved.  Sometimes hot cocoa can do that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bookmark Freebie!

So Many Books to Read, So Little Time!
Bookmarks make great gifts for all of us book lover's and how great to be able to print up a few and pass them out!    I've printed up a couple for myself and a couple for some friends at work.  So much fun!

Click here to download the template for yourself, courtesy of My Memories.  You don't have to have the My Memories software to use these templates, just download, save, and they are yours to use as you like.  You can use them alone or use them within any graphics software that you might have.  I think that's pretty sweet of this company to share with everyone, don't you? 

Next week, on Tuesday, I will share another sweet and free bookmark template with you.  In the meantime, please check out the My Memories store and let me know your favorite kit;  that will get you entered in my contest to win your own copy of this wonderful scrapbooking software! 

Tune in tomorrow for a page I've made with a recipe that my Grandma used to make for us kids.  Come on back and join me!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gift Wrap

Today I had a little birthday gift to wrap for our sweet little Mazzy Kaye who is turning one soon.  Looking through our wrapping paper, I decided that Christmas paper just would not do...hmmm...what else can I use?  Hey, how easy would it be to open My Memories scrapbook software and pick a page to print.  The gift wasn't very big, so I knew this would work fairly well and there's lots and lots of different designs to choose from, plus it's super easy to change the color on any of the pages.  I wanted something with a little bit of a French feel and found what I was looking for right away, so I adjusted a few things and printed.  Wa-laa~ out of my printer came just the right wrapping paper! 

That was easy, fun and turned out just like I wanted it too.  Perfect for small gifts and a never-ending supply!  I'm really liking this software and tickled that My Memories is sponsoring a giveaway of this great product on my blog!  To enter, go to this post for the directions.  I'm certain you will have just as much fun with it as I am! 

Oh!  and do you want to see what's in that little package for Mazzy?

It's a pair of these sweet sweet leg warmers from Posh Pipsqueak's etsy shop!!  Can't wait to see her wearing them!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pub Crawling in Astoria

Pub Crawl- to move in a group from one drinking establishment to the next, drinking at each;  also known as the "gin crawl", "beer crawl" and "Bohemian Death March".

Back in December, we had a rough day of work with no holiday cheer to speak of, so my friend Lisa and I decided to head down to one of the local hot spots for some holiday cheer in the form of Hot Buttered Rums.  We asked all of our co-workers to join us after work and a few people and their spouses showed up.  My brother, Joshua, was visiting from New York and we all enjoyed some lively conversation along with our warm rum.  Before the night ended, we decided we needed to do this again.  Astoria has quite a few old taverns that have been here for many many years.  How about a pub crawl, only hitting the old time taverns and pubs?  Sounds fun to me! 

Our Pub Crawl took place a couple of weeks ago and was a hit!  We started out at the Portway Tavern, "the oldest watering hole in the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies."  It's a very fine establishment that boasts a few bra's hanging from the ceiling.  I think perhaps some wild times have been had here...?

From here, we headed to The Triangle;  a very old triangle shaped bar that back in the day was a cafe'.  In The Triangle, the walls are adorned with some really intersting old pictures of Astoria and the barstools are full of some Astoria characters indeed!

Next, it was on to Mary Todd's Workers Bar and Grill.  The Workers is known for their giant servings of prime rib.  A couple of the men were contemplating partaking in a slab of beef but I think we scared the poor lone bartender/waitress to death when 12 of us came traipsing in to her bar.  We were informed that there was only a couple of pieces of prime left, so we drank up and moved on to....

Merry Time!  Merry Time has good bar food.  Burgers, nacho's, fish 'n chips and even the occasional prime rib.  (Why oh why didn't I snap a few shots of our nourishment?)   Here the party got into full swing as Lisa talked Bill into doing a shot of tequila with her.  Wildness! 

Riff and I were party poopers and this was our last stop before heading home.  (It was 8 o'clock after all - lol!)  A few of the die hards kept going to the Dirty D, (Desdemonda Club) and ended up at the Labor Temple before the night was over.  The Labor Temple is one of those places that every town has.  You know, the one that stays open all night and serves you breakfast before you go home.  It's also a building full of local history, built in 1924, it is the oldest Union Hall in the Pacific Northwest.  Very cool to end the night with a history lesson!

It was a fun night, (well, early evening for us), and we are thinking next time...BOWLING! 

The scrapbook layout above was done with my new My Memories software.  It's only my second attempt and I really like how it turned out.  Scroll down to my last post to find out how to win your own set!  You don't have to be a blogger to enter!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Memories Scrapbook Software Giveaway

I will be testing and reviewing some digital scrapbook software called My Memories Suite;  it is a wonderful program that allows you to do your scrapbooking on your computer as well as print out the pages for a traditional paper scrapbook. You can make calendars, cards and fun gifts with this software as well.

I will be making some fun things and posting them here in the next couple of weeks for you to see and then, on April 4th, thanks to the generosity of My Memories, I will be Sharing the Memories by giving away a copy of the software, My Memories Suite! Yay!  The winner will get a link and special code to download their free copy of the software.

There are a couple of ways to get entries and improve your chance of winning:

1. First, pop over to My Memories, check out the different digital kits and let me know in the comments on this post which one is your favorite. That'll get you your first entry.

2. Visit the My Memories Facebook page and "like" them for another entry.

3. Send your friends to this post,(make sure they tell me you sent them!). You will get TWO entries for every person who enters the giveaway that you sent this way!

Maybe a couple of hoops to jump through, but hey, it'll be worth it!

And, if you don't win, or just can't wait for the giveaway date, go to My Memories to purchase your scrapbook software. At checkout, enter my promo code STMMMS89596 for $10 off and also recieve a $10 coupon good for your next purchase in the My Memories on-line store! Can't beat that deal!

Please check back here often. I will be creating some fun things using this software and posting them every couple of days. Lets have some scrapbooking fun!

Here is my first amatuer attempt!  
                                                             ~Mazzy Kaye ~

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Turn the Page...Tuesday

Hey!  It's Turn the Page...Tuesday and I'm not late this month.  There is still 1 hour and 50 minutes left in this Tuesday and I think I can squeeze my post in before it's over!
I read two books this past month and my favorite was Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Incredible! In Kindred, Octavia Butler creates a surreal world in which Dana, a black women in 1976, is somehow pulled through time again and again and deposited into the antebellum south. During the first travel expreience, Dana finds herself on the banks of a river where a small red-haired boy named Rufus is in serious danger of drowning. She jumps in to save his life, only to be confronted by the muzzle of the boys dad's rifle. Dana feels dizzy and once again finds herself back in her Los Angeles home, wet and muddy. Her husband, Kevin, saw her go and come but finds the story she tells him very hard to believe. A few hours later, Dana is called to the past to once again save Rufus' life. This time she realizes she is not only traveling to another place but also to another time. Each time she "visits", she seems to stay in the past longer. Rufus Weylin turns out to be the son of a plantation owner and Dana finds herself in the dangerous world of the slave trade. Tom, Rufus' father, is a man of his time who looks at his slaves as property and thinks nothing of beating them, selling them and hunting any runaways down with the help of patrollers and packs of dogs. As Rufus grows older, will he become another version of his father?
 The author has painted a picture of a harsh time and done it very well. Dana is a very likeable woman who struggles with living in two very different times. She finds that to keep herself and the other slaves around her safe, she had to learn to quietly accept, at least outwardly, the way things are and what is expected of her as a black woman on a plantation. It is disconcerting to her, and to the reader, to realize how easy it is to make a slave of someone.
 This is a very good read that brings our countries slave era into sharp focus. A novel that I would recommend to everyone and have already lent out to a friend.
The second book I read this past month, How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal, was a quick and fun read.

How to Bake a Perfect Life is set in Colorado Springs in a bakery run by Ramona Gallagher. Ramona inherited the old Victorian house from her Grandmother and has opened her bakery in it where she makes and serves wonderful artisian breads. The story opens with Ramona and her daughter, Sophia, talking in the kitchen when the phone rings and Sophia gets the news that her soldier husband has been wounded in Afghanistan. As Sophia rushes off, she asks her mom to take in Katie, Sophia's step-daughter. Katie has had a hard time and her mom has just been arrested for meth use. Bringing Katie to live with her brings back memories from Ramona's teenage years. As a 15 year old, she became pregnant and was sent to live with her Aunt Poppy until the baby was born. There Ramona learned the art and love of bread baking from her aunt. She hopes that maybe she can help Katie to come to terms with her new life by helping her find something to love as well. Katie comes with a dog, Merlin, who seems to have special skills in keeping Katie safe and out of trouble.

Not going to say more so that I don't give away to much. Just know that this is a very fun read and fairly light even though it deals with some tough issues. I'll certainly pick up more by this author. Oh! And there are some wonderful bread recipes interspersed throughout the story that will be baking in my oven soon.
As for reading a book from a series this month - I read about half of L.M. Montgomery's Pat of Silver Bush but just didn't get it finished.  Maybe in March...
Pop on over to Adrienne's Some of a Kind to see what others are reading. Add your voice and let us know where your reading is taking you these days.