Hello everyone!

My new blog has now been moved to My Angel’s Kisses.com, so for any new updates, please head over to my new website. I have also imported all entries from the blog, so if there is something you are looking for here, you will still be able to find it at the new location.

Thank you to EVERYONE who has been a reader. I appreciate all of your support.

Ok my friends. I hope that you got the memo today!!

I got in the car this morning, on our merry way… and what do I hear?? You may want to get ready to run to the fridge (or store) for this… Today, July 30th, has been National CHEESECAKE Day!!

No… I am not pulling this out of my sleeve. No… I did not make it up JUST for sweets, either!!!

If you are still looking for dinner plans… head on over to Cheesecake Factory if you’ve got one close! All day today, they are honoring this, sweet, day by offering all slices of cheesecake (get ready again…) …… half off!! And another thing I will mention is that they are offering gift cards for a free slice of cheesecake with a $30 purchase good through September 17th. This I know, because we got TWO gift cards.

I jokingly asked DH if we could have Cheesecake Factory for dinner tonight. His computer decided to die on him again just after I asked, so he said that his computer decided that he needed to take us to dinner. /GRIN! It was a very good dinner – and their children’s chicken strips, are amazing!

It was so sweet of him to take us out tonight! So… if you have no plans for dinner tonight… Go snatch some cheesecake!!

Well, we got home from our road trip to Kansas City. Not the best trip in the world, but it had it’s advantages and high points.

We got home to find something quite cool waiting for us. We now have valet service… for our TRASH! That’s right. Every night of the week, minus Fridays and Saturdays, all we have to do is tie up the garbage and stick it outside our door at the given time. They come by and take it all away for us! Gee, now I may never have to walk to the garbage ever again while we live here! Not that that was particularly difficult to do seeing as the dumpster is right behind our building… but still!

Anyway, I just thought that was the coolest thing. Talk about spoiled!!

Well, tomorrow we start the VEEERY long trek back home to good ol’ Dallas, Texas. I miss home, and sleeping in my own soft bed, and being able to eat when I want and not have to spend $30 per person on a meal, and most importantly… I miss my little Baby Bug!!! This is the longest we have ever been without him. We usually drop him off for a day and a half or so for a weekend break, but this has been FIVE days without my sweet Angel. I have been going insane without squeals of laughter as he runs to give hugs, slobber-encrusted kisses and my two-year-old “maid” who picks up any minute shred of trash that may have gotten forgotten on the floor.

Although, I can’t count the time as a COMPLETE disaster (even though at least 90% has been). I got to meet and talk with Rob Alexander who is a fantasy artist for the whole weekend. This morning, he even – personally :) – showed me around his website and requested to see the ones that I have done myself. He even really liked my work and said if he didn’t already have a site he would be using me!!! Can we say MAJOR compliment??!!!! I love fantasy art, and even though I can’t stand Magic: The Gathering, he does a ton of other work… and it’s all, spectacular!

So tomorrow we get to wake up and begin the, very, long 8 hour van ride back. But, at least we won’t have to be waking to an alarm, or rushing to get ready for anything. Once we get everyone dropped off, THEN we get to go get our Baby Bug!

To pass a little time this morning, I thought it would be fun to link up to a fun Saturday’s Meme. I found this Camera Critters Saturday Meme and figured I had to get in on this one.

Ironically, it was just meant to be today I assume. I had JUST been thinking about this picture of our younger 3-year-old cat named Izzy. Being ready to curl up once again in my own soft bed, tucked in and warm. And there’s also just the fact of, who doesn’t love just browsing through pictures of cute animals and reading the history of the shot taken.

So, here is our Izzy, all curled up and ready for bed one night.

Awww, I feel sad this morning. My good comfy chair (that I may add I have been sitting in for 3 days now) has been taken by some other lady today. I mean, you know it’s not like she can find as much to do or be stuck staying here as long as I have to be here. LOL!

I have never been a fan of these tournaments that I have been escorted to this weekend. But I will admit, that I usually end up meeting some pretty cool people. This weekend I have been chatting with Rob Alexander, an artist that creates some of the pretty neat images for the cards in Magic, The Gathering – like this meadow picture, pretty… no? He kept walking by as I sit in the same ol’ seat watching the people pass by and eventually started conversing. And as I get a little side-tracked this morning, he came by and said a good morning! Ah, the interesting people you can meet.

I now have my comfy seat back. See, I knew I was going to outlast anyone who would be working this morning! Ok, that’s a little sad, but if I am going to be sitting here browsing through blogs and thinking of grand new things to write, it’s good to be comfy, no? I even found my own room service here in the lobby! Alright that’s exaggerating… DH came by and took the money, so I sweetly asked for a Starbucks.

On to another day… have a great weekend!

After four months of going back into the world of the corporate workforce, DH and I decided that the amount of pay I was receiving versus the expenses of childcare, gas, food, clothes, etc. just wasn’t worth the trade. So I am finally SO excited to be able to stay at home again with our amazing almost-two-year-old again!!! We did enjoy our daycare provider, don’t get me wrong (we decided on a home daycare close by where I have been working, instead of a corporate chain), but it will feel so much better being home with my little Bug again. And we also agreed that once a week (or every other week or so) that he will be able to go stay with her to be the little socialite that he is.

I have been so blessed to be offered a position with 5 Minutes for Mom and 5 Minutes for Giveaways as their Contests Administrative Assistant. These are the most wonderful group of ladies, pretty much, ever! I will be doing my best to keep everyone in the loop for your own chances to enter… so keep checking back!

I am SO excited that my little Bug will be turning two on August 17th!! Well, OK, I can’t lie. I’m excited, but it’s also depressing to see my Angel be already getting – so – darn – BIG! Is it a little sad that the biggest thing that I am looking forward too will be making his cake?! He LOVES the color green; anything green. For his first birthday, we made him a turtle cake… this year… he’s getting a full 3D dinosaur!! The trial cake has already come and gone, so I will leave the pictures until after his party. It’s just about too cute to devour, that much is for sure!

I think I forgot to mention – I am posting this weekend coming from Kansas City! I am only here by request of my lovely DH, who is in a tournament over the weekend. Now, I’m a traveling girl. I LOVE traveling, road trips, and everything involved. But man, oh, man! This had to have been one of the most strenuous drives, just about ever. So while the boys are off doing their own things in their tournament, I am lounging here in the lobby with my computer plugged in, my notebook conveniently opened for noting important things, and my bottle of water next to me. I can’t complain too much! Except I will say, that Bug is staying with my in-laws while we are away. Five days without my little Baby Love… it’s going to be a very – long – five – days. I miss him already.

Until next time, keep a lookout for links for fun contests! And I will also be finding more of my great recipes to keep everyone in the kitchen. It’s always fun cooking with friends (even if it is virtually), no?

There are a lot of people who are very into politics, government, and any and all that has to do with our governing rulers of today. I simply just haven’t been able to be one of those people. Politics and sports are almost the same to me. Now, don’t get me wrong on this… I LOVE sports, but I am thinking more in the way that they are run. Who can recruit the most qualified people for the most money, to find ways to get all of us average Joes to pay to support them.

Here is where I get into the political issues. Bare with me, because this is a posting on my own opinion.

I am an Obama supporter. As far as certain things that he, has at least said, that he is pushing for they should be helping the up-and-coming younger families who don’t have the triple-digit salaries. But, I recently learned of what they are trying to do to our health care system… and I do NOT support it!

President Obama and the current government are pushing to start a more government-run health care system that mirrors the way that Canada and some other countries are run. Which means, that at least half, if not the greater majority of average American citizens will lose the health insurance that we currently have and be forced into the governized system. Think of it this way… over half of America, on Medicare.

You may not have had any exposure to Medicare and the way that they work, or know what they do, but let me share my experience of this system. We are a young family. We don’t have the most mind-blowing jobs in the world, but we get the bills paid. We have an almost-two-year-old son. When I was pregnant with our son, I lost my job. We applied for Medicare to help cover the cost of check-ups and appointments. We were denied help – TWICE – because they said that for our age group, we made too much money to be provided coverage. What if this is the way that our new system will be run? Will my two-year-old son be denied medical coverage if he breaks a bone (he’s a boy, it’s inevitably going to happen), JUST because his mom and dad make about $300 more than the monetary cut off requirement to get health care???

I could go on for about another week with “what if”s about this “improvement”. I encourage you to please do your own research about the President Obama Health Care Reform, and think of where you will stand. Not just for ourselves, but for the present and future of each and every one of our little precious one’s health, safety, and what COULD or MAY NOT possibly even save their lives one day.

As for myself, I am against this reform. If you decide to join me in my stand against this change, I encourage you to PLEASE go here to the Free Our Health Care Now Online Petition and pass it on to family and friends.

As I was reading on in the many tangents and rabbit chases I find myself browsing through (Google is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?), I came across this quote. Being the sugar queen that I am, I can’t believe I had never heard this one before!

So, for anyone having a bad day, just remember……

STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backwards!!

And we all know that Life is too short, so you should always eat dessert first. So… go indulge a bit!

Oh, the busy days!

To start, I am the kind of person who MUST have my day, or week, or month, what have you, mapped and scheduled down to the letter. I thrive on organization, make a million lists every day, and go insane without things all sitting in perfect angles where ever I’m working.

Today was supposed to start off pretty simple. My Little Man had to stay home sick today, so we had a short little list of priorities to tackle and then it would be home to relax. Well, I guess the words “were supposed to…” should tip off the direction of my day’s story…

The list was simple. Get up and ready, head to the store for waters, Gatorade, and some ice pops since my son is on an all clear liquids diet. Then head to one last store to find him a good pair of little sandals. Easy enough, right? Wrong.

As we are walking to the car, all psyched for our outing, Mommy looks in the car and it hits… the car seat is in Daddy’s car, with Daddy at work! So we take a little detour and tromp around our neighborhood for a while. By the time we got back, it was nap time as we waited for a car seat delivery at lunch time.

Time goes by, the car seat is delivered by my great husband who came home for us and naps come to a close. And then, the real fun begins… !

We load up, stop at the gas station to fill up, and head out to Kohl’s department store – one of our favorites. We chat with a few employees that I used to work with, find Little Bit his prize sandals (that he, of course, wanted to wear to bed…), and start of to the grocery store for the last bit of our journey. Only to be caught with just a LITTLE snag… I turn the key and our van wouldn’t start!!!

Back into the store we go. We make our way back to the customer service desk and call my husband. He comes to jump the car, and has to take it back with him to work to change the battery…

So all in all, the car seat ended up back in Daddy’s car. Daddy had to take two extra long lunches to rescue us from stranded fun (or maybe that’s from spending extra money at Kohl’s he was saving himself from?). And our sick little boy has not gotten any better.

Oh, such fun days!

Oh! I almost forgot! I had made a trial dinosaur birthday cake for a certain someone turning two in August. Hubby had taken it to work, since it wouldn’t have gotten eaten here at home. And then, Mr. Dino decided that he didn’t want to be eaten and slipped off the tray as Daddy was getting out of the car. Sad dinosaur!

This recipe is SO good and easy! Throw everything in the crock pot in the morning, and it’s ready to go by dinner! Of course, that’s how most crock pot recipes are; and I’d just LOVE to meet the person who came up with that wonderful invention, vital to any kitchen.

2 lb. boneless chicken pieces
1 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. vinegar
1/4 C. lemon lime soda (I used Sprite)
2-3 Tbs. minced garlic
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. black pepper

————-

STEP ONE ~
Place chicken (uncooked), in the bottom of the crock pot.

STEP TWO ~
Combine all remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low setting for 6 – 8 hours.
————-

PERSONAL NOTES:

~ When you combine all the ingredients, it WILL look like a science experiment (Sprite and vinegar are fun HA!). That’s OK, though!

~ Don’t let the chicken cook too much longer over the 8 hours. I’ve made this recipe twice because the first time, beyond my control, we didn’t get home until it had been sitting there 10 hours. We had brown sugar rocks and a crusted crock pot that night!

~ This goes really well with yellow squash and green beans!!

We all love the little spoils in life, no? My Recipe of the Moment today is just that. For those of you who enjoy Starbucks as much as I do (and I don’t even drink coffee!), this is a MUST try recipe! My “regular” as I walk into any given Starbucks would be a Vente hot chocolate and a Pumpkin Loaf. Well, to save a buck or two, here is a recipe for your own pumpkin treat!

1 1/2 cups raisins
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
6 eggs
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup chopped walnuts

——–
STEP ONE ~
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and have enough cupcake papers for 3 dozen muffins. (The recipe will make about 3 dozen – 36) Soak raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes to plump, and then drain.

STEP TWO ~
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, canned pumpkin, and applesauce until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until you have a smooth batter. Add the raisins and walnuts. Spoon into baking cups.

STEP THREE ~
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

———
PERSONAL NOTES:

~ These are muffins. They WILL turn out still sticky on the top.

~ Store in air-tight containers. To last longer, keep them in the fridge or freeze them.

~ When Hubby tried them, he said, “These are better than the Starbucks bread!” I think that had to have been the best compliment he’s ever given my baking!! ENJOY!

The original source can be found HERE at AllRecipes.com.

Well, HELLO!! to everyone!! It has been way too long since I have been able to stop by for a chat with you all here in my little space. I had a few computer problems, but you know what… I got a new computer so all those problems are solved!!

Let me just catch up a bit…

I got checked for breast cancer and am in the ALL CLEAR on that front, thus far. Of course, I will always be keeping a close check in that area.

I also could not handle the pain and inconvenience of the gallstones any longer. I finally broke, and had surgery to remove my gallbladder in late March. My surgeon was nothing less than a Godsend and the surgery was a full success. The recovery was a bit rough, but I made it through and now I am pain free!

The hubby and I are wonderful, growing together more every day. We have finally learned to break our barriers and are coming to be more than 100% honest about every last thought. God truly does answer prayer. Hubby’s job will soon be needing managers, and he is in top prospects for a promotion and raise in possibly only a month’s time! And, once he gets to a stable, progressing position where he is comfortable, it will be BABY BROTHER OR SISTER talking time!!

The Little Bit… Oh, my Little Bit!!!! Our son will be TWO years old in only a short month and a half!! Time has flown by MUCH too quickly! He has developed the sweetest little temperament! He always loves to clean up after himself, and loves to make sure everything is stacked and lined up, just right. Over all his toys, he LOVES to sit down and read his books, and he is obsessed with shoes! If you leave them laying around, he will make sure to bring them to you, and offer to assist you in making sure they get back on your feet. He has grown so much!!

I am currently back in the workforce, but am praying hard that I will be able to find the opportunity that I have been waiting for, in order to be able to work from home and stay home with our boy.

I’m so glad to join everyone back here in this great virtual space! See you all again… soon!!

So, I had a huge breakdown last night. And if I start not making sense, forgive me. I have a lot of thoughts right now.

I have had gallstones for a little over four years now. I’ve modified my diet and always kept it under check and have only had a couple attacks. Well, it’s getting uncomfortable now. No pain, it doesn’t hurt; but I can feel it up against my rib cage. I’m having to come to terms that there’s no more delaying it, and I’m going to have to have surgery. BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD MIX with me and surgery!

I have also had lump under my arm that comes and goes that no one could ever diagnose for about 10 years now, and an uncomfortable pain I was starting to have in my breast on the same side a few months ago. Well, the pain has done nothing but get worse and worse and worse. It hurts SO bad, I can barely stretch my arm or back to do anything without having pain. Last week I just about hit the floor in hysteric sobs when I realized I could feel something that WAS NOT part of what is supposed to be there!

A little background: I have a family history of breast cancer. My grandmother has undergone a number of surgeries for it. It’s now come back, and she has only been given a maximum of a couple more years (with chemo). Ever since I was able to really have a say-so in doctors visits I have been begging, pleading and yelling for SOMEONE to give me a mammogram, and still have YET for anyone to grant it to be because “I’m just too young to have cancer.” I’m sorry, but NO WAY!!!

I broke down sobbing for half an hour last night before my hubby realized I was seriously upset (men lol) and came to lie down in bed with me. He said that he’s always going to take care of me no matter what, and he’s not going to think the worst until it happens. He just didn’t realize that I HAVE been thinking the worst for the last two and a half months and it’s finally taken me over!

Anyway, he had me finally make an appointment for next Monday morning for BOTH points of issue. My mom is going to come up to watch Little Bit so he doesn’t have to go, and hubby is going to try his best to take time off so he can go with me because I’m SO SCARED and absolutely just DON’T want to go face that alone!

On a lot happier notes:

Little Bit got an ENTIRE mouth-full of teeth last week… ALL at once! Boy, was that fun! He’s walking around everywhere and now that he’s got some chompers, enjoys eating more big boy meals with Mommy and Daddy! He turned 15 months last Monday, the 17th. Time has flown by MUCH too quickly!

So, after a busy, busy, BUSY weekend, I finally have time to sit and relax, in quiet… as my 15-month-old has crashed back in bed after an early morning of taking Daddy to work and doing our monthly grocery shopping.

I had to post this morning singing the praises of my marvelously wonderful husband.

About three years ago I developed chronic stress headaches. Recently, I have not had many and they have been very few and far between. Last night, however, I ended up with one of the worst episodes I have had in months; with blinding pains in my eyes, nausea and the whole nine yards. (For those who don’t know, they are a combination of migraines and sinus headaches, complete with all symptoms of both.) I managed to dig out my medicine, but knew I was in for a long haul waiting for everything to take effect. One of the bad things about these headaches is that I have to be sitting up or standing, if I lie down they get much worse.

So as I am sitting on the bed in agony, hubby somehow wakes up, which he normally does not do. Even though it was 2:30 AM, he got up to rub my back and neck and did whatever he could to make things better for me. He even got out of bed, now at 3 AM, to run me a hot bath. When my husband wakes up in the middle of the night, he usually will not remember being up, or anything that he did (going to the bathroom or getting a drink and such things). But this night he made sure that he was awake, and did not go back to bed until the medicine had kicked in and I was able to lie down to sleep.

This morning, he did not do anything else before making sure that I was alright. And even stopped to get me a soda on our way to his work, just in case I hadn’t slept off all of the medicine.

It just goes to show that no matter what we go through each day, he will always do whatever he can to take care of our family when we need it the most. Aw!

And while I am on the subject of singing praises, here are a few more…

One of my greatest friends, Erica, has always been there to support me through ups and many downs. I don’t think I could have made it through the darkest time of my life without you. I love you, girl!

The best Mom sites I have ever found are MomConnection.com and TwitterMoms.com. The AMAZING women at Mom Connection are so incredibly sweet and some of the best friends I have made. Twitter Moms is a site for like-minded Moms who are also on Twitter. They are so creative and tallented! There are so many great groups to connect with other Moms with similar interests and hobbies.

And to draw to a close (but absolutely NOT least by any measure!), is Jessica, who I met through Twitter Moms. She is SO sweet and has the biggest heart for not only her little ones, but for everyone around her as well! You’re fantasic!



Hi and Welcome to Angel's Kisses! My name is Cara. I am a wife and SAHM. I also work for 5 Minutes for Mom as their Contests Administrator.



My husband and I have a two-year-old son who is the light of our lives. He LOVES cleaning, sharing and reading his books! We have two cats and a busy, busy life!

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