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My Christmas Wish

My most earnest Christmas wish for this year was for us to get matched to Kiddo and have our first “forever family” Christmas. Today we were blessed with the notification that we were picked in the BIS meeting and by the Regent, and we start lining our ducks in a row this Thursday!!

I’m still in shock, I think. I start something and go sit down. After a while I remember I was doing something, go move an item or complete the task, and sit down again to just stare into space. *laugh* I spend time thinking about Christmas, since our Social Worker believes we’ll definitely have Kiddo moved in by then and able to celebrate with us (if not, daring to hope, sooner). Sometimes I wonder how those first minutes are going to be. Will they be awkward, tearfully happy, a bit of both…? And I need to get her suitcase for that first meeting, still, because my daughter isn’t putting her belongings in a trash bag to move. The knowledge that it occurs still tears me up.

In a couple days we get to go over the transition plan, which includes meeting Kiddo in person, visiting on her turf, and bringing her here for some overnighters. It varies with every situation, so who knows if it’ll take her a while to feel comfortable enough to stay overnight or if we’re all running headlong into family life.

So, although I’ve been working on product a lot (and having some EPIC fails!), those plans are getting set aside. I have some fun ones to add to my site now, but lots of my new ideas are going to wait for mother/daughter project times now. I have fun creating product, even when I fail horribly, but we’ve waited so many years for this blessing that my business is going back to being a craft now. I’ll share some of the fails with you soon, just for a good laugh and to mourn with me how pretty they looked at first. *laugh* Once I know Kiddo’s preferences I need to make some gifts for her. I also am about to hit the manic housewife mode that I need to get my house into some serious order. *grin* Do you remember when I mentioned how I have a hard time dealing with emotions? You add excitement and nerves together, and suddenly our home is good enough for us but not for bringing in Kiddo. Anyone want to paint some boards with me, take things down the ladder into the basement, or steam clean my living room? *laugh*

Beyond the insanity, it’s been a beautiful day of sharing our news. I appreciate every person who has been encouraging, uplifting, and travelled this journey with us. And for those of you who are involved and so excited, thank you for being part of this. We couldn’t have kept going if it wasn’t for all of you. Who would have thought I’d actually get my Christmas wish early? Now that I’m getting all girly and emotional I’m going to go move things around, and then sit back down again for awhile. I think Jacksepticeye is perfect for tonight’s dazed mind.

Until next time, I wish you joy and blessings. 🙂

Christmas shopping

I did a search and couldn’t find that I mentioned this right before we lost the internet, so I’m hoping this is new information from you.  You’ve probably heard of the Wish app, where you shop vendors at really low prices, pay almost an even amount for shipping, and wait a long time to get these little packages from China.  I learned about another app, Joom, that has no shipping charges and their items have been a lot better quality than most Wish ones, so far, in my opinion.

 

Now, I know some are going to be like “seriously, Christmas shopping in September?!  That’s going too far!”.  Stay with me here though.  For $30 I got a bunch of stocking stuffers (which have some of my best purchases for people usually).  Then try to forget about it and the packages slowly come in.  Due to the massive delays, I’d advise you check it out as soon as possible if you’re interested in some interesting, cost effective little items!

 

I do have a few bits of advise though.  One, the sizes are usually incredibly off on the clothing, so read reviews or may the odds be with you.  Two, use the app if possible – the website is much harder to navigate in my opinion.  In addition, the app immediately checks that you want to pay in US dollars instead of other currencies, so it’s a LOT less frustrating.  Three, if you’re considering makeup, see if there is a screenshot or list of ingredients, because knock offs sometimes have some bad chemicals mixed in, so just be aware (goes for any outlet type shopping).

 

They even have a section where you can enter a lottery for select items for that day, to get them for just $0.10, with the caveat that you need to do a photograph-containing review on the item.  I haven’t won all week, but I’m noticing that I kind of set myself up for loss anyway.  I was selecting items that a lot of people were in the raffle for, so I’m watching that number of other entries more now.  We’ll see if I might get a fun and wild wig or piece of jewelry this way.  *laugh*

 

So, I definitely recommend you at least take a look and see if anything appeals to you.  I even found a bunch of business items that are really inspiring me (unfortunately the most inspiring item is not here and it’s been almost two months – see, that’s why you need to order early!).  The only really bad side I’ve found so far is that it’s incredibly addictive.  That thrill of getting a great deal is almost nonstop, especially with “item of the hour” flash sales with things for $1 or such.  *grin* Hopefully this will help some people have a more cost effective holiday while still having lots of fun (check out the Harry Potter alloy wands if you have a Potterhead to shop for; looks so pretty but is a phenomenal price!).

 

This is definitely one of my favorite apps.  Makes for a rather random blog post, but that’s what makes me interesting, right?  *laugh* Who knows what the next one will be about, but for now, happy pampering (and shopping!)! 🙂

Happy Birthday Virgos

L and B 9 11 18 Boudouire_097

 

Happy Birthday to all those Virgos out there!  

 

I’m sorry for the radio silence since the internet went out.  All sorts of stuff went on, between my laptop starting to go out, internet going back out; all those great moments in life that make you say meh and hide away until the next day.  Next thing you know it’s been quite a while since you’ve blogged.  *grin* I have managed to make several pieces of product that I’m actually sending over to a favorite show in Ireland, plus Christmas items, and had a LOT of failures while making product recipes.  *laugh*

 

While I’m at it, this is the least enthusiastic I’ve ever felt about my birthday, honestly.  My mind is pulled too many directions, plus it was recently the twentieth anniversary of miscarrying Sierra, which has a lot more emotional impact than just another middling birthday.  It’s a step closer to the fortieth, which is a little less enthusiastic than even this one.  *laugh* It’ll make figuring up my age easier for the doctor’s office, at least.  If you ever wonder about why I’m so critical with myself or analyse everything, just read the definition of a Virgo.  I’m the epitome of the nerdy one.  *grin*

 

One super huge event that has taken up most of my thoughts while off is that the BIS meeting happened for our hopeful daughter.  We’ll know in a month or so how the results came out, so it’s a dual-edged sword; there’s finally a time frame for expectations, but now there’s a chance that in four or so weeks I may learn that we weren’t selected for this daughter that I felt for as soon as I read her profile.  It’s been just the two of us rattling around in this home for so long that it’s hard to imagine another person, especially when it’s not one that has grown up into our family, but is a mini-adult with us all jumping into massive changes.  I can imagine her at Christmas, making product with me, and going through schoolwork together.  I’m trying to not be excited, since our SW made it sound like it went very favorably, but we’ve been burned so much by our experiences.  Parts of me can’t help but think if we have at least visitation by Christmas I’m turning our home into a mini-Branson.  *laugh* Make a freaking Winter Wonderland for the first Christmas with our daughter, plus it’ll be such a memorable time with the family anyway.  Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of self-editing of my emotions and thoughts, but the hamsters are still pretty lost in the ideas and hope, honestly.

 

Anyway, I’m back with my new laptop, improved internet connection, and five injuries I’m recovering from.  *laugh* Bengay is considered pampering too, right?  😉

Fuji Apple Salad Recipe by Leah

Leahs New Logo

 

Panera Bread® sells a fabulous Fuji Apple Salad with seasoned chicken breast, crispy apple chips, and an AMAZING apple vinaigrette.  It is sooo good!  I love the combination of crunch with the saltiness of the chicken and nuts, all topped off with the sweet tangy dressing.  When I saw the grocery store selling Panera’s® dressing I may have squealed in delight. I grabbed two bottles just in case it was a one-time thing.  When I got home my thriftiness crept in.  “I can make that.  I love that salad.  What have I been waiting for?”  I tried a few times and have ended up with an apple vinaigrette I love.

My salad is slightly different than Panera’s®.  They use chicken, but I usually leave it out and serve this as a side.  They use apple chips and I use thinly sliced apples.  They use toasted pecans and I use candied.  Either way, this salad is a winner.

 

 

 

 

Fuji Apple Salad

yield: 6 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

dressing

2 Tbsp apple juice concentrate

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Canola oil

salad

12 cups mixed greens

2 chilled fuji apples, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola

1/2 medium red onion, quartered and sliced

1 cup grape tomatoes

1/2 cup candied pecans

PREPARATION

  1. Blend all dressing ingredients together and set aside.  You’ll have more dressing than you need.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss greens with dressing.
  3. Divide among plates and top with remaining ingredients.

Marshmallow Oreo Chip Cookies, Adapted Recipe by Leah

Leahs New Logo

 

A few years ago I came across this Marshmallow Oreo Chip Cookie recipe© from The Gracious Wife™.  I knew they would be delicious just reading through the recipe, but it didn’t prepare me for just how good they would be.  A couple weeks later I made them again for a dessert table at a birthday party.  You wouldn’t believe how many people approached me about them!  Some wanted the recipe, some wanted to know if I would be willing to make and sell them, and there were even a few who sheepishly asked if they could take some home.

 

When I was whipping up the batch for this blog post my sister happened to call.  The conversation went like this…

“What are you doing?”

“Oh, I just took some cookies out of the oven.”

“Which ones?”

“Oreo and Marshmallow”

“Are those the ones with the Cookies n’ Cream bar?”

“Yes.”

“I’ll be right over.”

And she was!

I’ve made a few small alterations over time so if you want the original recipe be sure to check out The Gracious Wife blog©.

 

Oreo and Marshmallow Cookies

 

 

Marshmallow Oreo Chip Cookies, Adapted

 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

4.2 oz pkg Oreo cookies ‘n creme instant pudding

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup mini marshmallows

6 oz chopped pieces of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream bar

8 Oreos, coarsely crushed

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again.
  4. Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, along with cocoa powder and pudding mix. Stir until everything is fully combined.
  5. Fold in marshmallows, chopped candy bar, and crushed Oreos.
  6. Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
  7. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and shape into balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet (and I DO mean greased. None of that wimpy cooking spray. You’re going to have to break out the butter and slick it down because marshmallows are sticky!) or silpat 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 8-11 minutes.  When they come out of the oven you can use a greased butter knife to gently push the marshmallows that have spread back against the cookie edges.  Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet before moving.

A Little Scots-Irish Heritage Celebration

Today L surprised me with a trip to a Highland Games held nearby between the championships. When I learned I’d be outside I knew my hair would get that horrible drippy-sweaty look, plus I didn’t want the wind blowing my hair in my face, so I used an S A face shield for a bandana. Pre-event it worked perfectly in the wind, and even when I got overheated it did a great job of keeping my hair neat.

We couldn’t stay in the shade the whole time though, and I didn’t think to sunblock my scalp, so I just opened the bandana a bit to cover to the back of my scalp, while the rest still worked as a headband.

I can’t quit raving about (and using) them, and nope, I don’t get squat for what I say about them. They’d probably fix that little mistaken link with that amazing deal if I did reach out. *grin*

Anyway, I just wanted to share that I got to celebrate part of my heritage today that was on my bucket list (caber toss in person!!) and had a great chance to show the face shield in one of the many uses it has.

Bucket list #34 Check!! Thank you Gentlemen!

Since we don’t have internet and they’ve given themselves another whole week to try to figure out what’s wrong with our DSL line, and so much of my life is internet based, I have to limit my LTE time before I cap out any minute. That said, I’m hoping to slip in a post at a hotspot when I’m in the city on Monday, otherwise, you’ll only get the last few recipes blogged by Leah. Unfortunately she needs to dedicate her time to family and I’m hoping to have a new food guest blogger soon. *crossing fingers* So, if it’s a little bit before I post, just know I’m jonesing for some ‘net and probably have a bunch of products or gifts to share once I’m back online. In the meantime, happy pampering! 🙂

SA Face Shields

It’s no secret that I’m halfway through my Christmas shopping, which gives me time to hit sales when they come up beyond the frustrating ones that make the server crash usually. So, when I find an incredible deal, I’ll share them with you.

If you have an outdoorsy person on your list, then S A Fishing has a lot of great options for you, however, there are deals that are massively different than what they show on their bundles page. There are a variety of items available, but I think face shields are more versatile, so that’s where I went.

A bundle of five are currently on sale for $75. However, I found a sub link that takes you to a face shields sale page of five for $15, plus a decal HERE. If you want more you can even select another shield for just $3. If you don’t want to do the add ons, there are also 8 for $24 at this link. These are massive discounts from what the current “sale” prices are and I don’t know how long these sub links will work, so I hope to it if you’re interested.

As you can tell, they’re very versatile. I’m not outdoorsy and I use one of the two of mine almost daily. I use the pirate wrap, but tuck the extra under to make a skull cap and I use as a headband. They’re moisture wicking and help prevent flying outdoor nasties from getting in your mouth or nose when you use the face shield. Mine are actually for when I am crafting or working and are so much more comfortable than a hairnet or shower cap!! Some look pretty wicked when the face shield layout is used. My fav that I have is a hot pink with a half skeletal face, so it just rests on the nose and makes the rest of my face creep as hell, so I kind of love that idea come winter. *laugh*

My hot pink one is like the blue one in this pic.

Here’s another way of using them that I love, although I have short hair still, so it’s a doubled sheet hanging down my neck if left like that, which is why I go ahead and twist at the end of my hair and then tuck the bottom at the base of my skull.

They’re great for when you have to get sweaty or it’s windy and it’s worth getting the good brand (especially at knockoff prices!!). I have a different kind and it makes me hot even if I’m just vacuuming or making product.

There are a TON of options to suit anyone who would wear one, but take my advice – don’t pick mystery. Sure, it could be randomly selected by a computer, but I got two that I would much rather have just chosen black instead and suspect they pick from the less loved bins. *laugh*

I had a nasty fall the other day and am going to have to limit my activities, so batch 2 of the Dreadful Delight Soaps will be a little longer than expected. Instead I’ll post some helpful shopping bits or fun randomness (I’m definitely able to promise randomness!). In the meantime, have a healthy and fun remaining week! 🙂

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