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From Danielle’s Joyful Journal

A memorable moment…
This past Wednesday, my brother came down and carved pumpkins for Halloween with me. It was nice, because we never get to do any “sibling” activities together anymore now that he is in school and working, and I have a family.

I am grateful…
For the little that we have. I just can’t understand why so many think that you MUST live with thousands upon thousands just sitting in a savings account. Times are hard. VERY hard beyond what I can even describe without getting emotional, but we manage to live with the little we are blessed to have.

I laugh…
At my brother, who thinks it’s funny to keep pet flies. Ok, not really. They are for a genetics project in his class, but still.

I love…
My family. Period.

Something new…
It’s Little Bit’s FIRST HALLOWEEN today!!! He is going to be a turtle!

I will celebrate…
What I have in life.

A joyful picture from this week…
Our carved pumpkins for Halloween! My brother made a wolf (he loves details) and I made the kitty cat. For the first pumpkins done by myself with no help, I would say I did pretty well freehanding that thing… and my accident-prone self didn’t cut myself once!!

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I’m entering in the Food Photo Contest over at 5 Minutes for Mom. Little Bit has always HATED getting messy! So when it came time for his first birthday and the infamous Smash Cake, the funniest part was how much he DIDN’T want to play with it! The cake only got touched when Daddy smashed it on his hands! He held this pose for five minutes until someone cleaned off all that yucky mess!

I wanted to get this out earlier, but PLEASE take heed to this warning before letting your little ones (or not-so-little ones) dig into the treasures gathered from tomorrow night on Halloween.

Some of you may remember the milk chocolate Gold Pirate Coins that used to be very popular. There has been a consumer product advisory and recall of these coins due to the imported candy testing positive for MELAMINE. These coins are commonly found at Costco, dollar stores and other bulk retailers.

Melamine has been found to be the cause of a number of infant deaths and sickening thousands others in China, where the coins are produced.

For those who thrive on checking rumor to truth, it has been found proven through Snopes.com.

Trick-or-treating is a fun pasttime, and a great way to keep the spirit of having fun; but please, DO be careful in your outings and make sure to check ALL treats gathered from your night of fun!

Mommy’s Future Superman!

I was approached by the wonderful ladies at Simple Salutations and asked to review their beautiful cards and website. Since the Holidays are creeping up on us all so quickly, I was thrilled and honored to be given such a wonderful opportunity! By the way, did you know there are less than two full months until Christmas is here?!!

Their website at www.SimpleSalutations.com is very trendy and user-friendly. I love how easy it is to navigate through the pages to find exactly what you are searching to find.

They offer stylish flat holiday cards with your greeting printed on the reverse side of the cards. Not only is this a fresh new look for your holday cards, but it also saves on all the paper used for traditional fold-out cards. And aren’t we all trying to be more environmentally friendly these days?

Berry BranchesWhen browsing through the one of a kind designs they have created themselves, one of my favorites was the Berry Branch Folded Holday Card, which to my delight was one of the cards I was able to preview for myself. The overall quality is superior to those purchased at retail stores. No matter which design you choose for whatever occasion, each card offers vibrant colors and a unique new look.

And even though we are all focused on the upcoming Holiday seasons, Simple Salutations offers many other varieties of greetings from birth announcements, baby and bridal showers to thank you cards and new home announcements.

I was most impressed with their flexibility and how easy it is to customize the card of your choice. They are undoubtedly focused on customer satisfaction! Most all cards are available in your choice of sizes. If there is any little detail you want altered, they are more than willing to change a font, background or image color! And the best part… they will make the change free of charge! All of these exceptional options are explained in their process page.

Here is the best part: all of my readers are able to receive a 10% discount on their purchases, just because I am sending you! All you have to do is enter my coupon code angelskisses when you check out. And don’t forget to pass on the savings to friends and family just in time for the Holidays!

Today’s Saturday Social is “Do you like to cook? What is your best dish?”

I LOVE cooking, especially baking and entertaining for friends. Now if I could just get them to come over to eat it all… HA!

Growing up my mom was always in the kitchen cooking something. She has a huge passion for cooking! I guess that is why she has finally  started her dream as a personal chef! If you would like to visit her site she is over at Cook’s Creations Personal Chef Service. So I guess her love for food rubbed off on me.

I don’t know if I have a “best” dish, but I have tons of favorites!

I made this Smoky Corn and Potato Chowder Dish a few months ago and hubby just went nuts about it! We make our menu plan for four weeks, and this was the dish that he requested to be put in the once a week spot. It is so very easy and quick to make. With no “work” in preparing except for cutting up the sausage or ham!

I hope you enjoy the chowder. Everyone I have shared with has tried on their families with raving reviews!

A few days ago I was checking in my blog statistics and noticed an interesting site that had approximately six incoming hits to my page. I thought this was interesting and kept watching it. Over an hour’s time the count went from six to 20, then from 20 to over 35! Within three hours I had over 40 hits from AlphaInventions.com!!

It is an automatically updated site that scrolls through blogs from around the world that have currently been updated. A few of the “factors” confused me, but hey, it said I was getting all these hits, right?

I started reading through his explaination of his site and how it worked. But if it is supposedly catching all sites that are being currently updated, why did I only see around seven or so sites in the three hours that I watched this thing? (Yes, I actually did sit here and watch it for that long while I was reading up on this place.) And, why has it only caught my actions of updating in the last three days, when I have had the site for the last four months? But none of the questions that I had to wonder he could answer.

My current count for today, only through the page spoken of, (as of now) is up to 86, but are these real people who are actually taking time to read through my posts and see what I have to say, or someone who just happened to have the window open at the right moment when my page had its turn through the cycle?

If you have found me through AlphaInventions.com I would love to have your opinions about it and if you yourself have gotten as much traffic as I have found. It does seem to be a great concept of an idea, but there also appear to be a few things that would probably need more explainations.

A memorable moment…
There have been SO many memorable things this week! My favorite memory from this last week was all of the sweet times I got to have with my hubby. We got to watch a few new movies this week and snuggled up to watch them.

I am grateful…
That my hubby is so supportive of our decision and working so hard for me to be able to be a stay-at-home Mom to our Little Bit.

I laugh…
At my little Little Bit being the biggest clown in the world! He has such a huge sense of humor and loves to make jokes and laugh all day long at himself and Mommy when she acts silly.

I love…
All of the GREAT new friendships I have made over at TwitterMoms.com. They are incredibly supportive, encouraging and loving!

Something new…
My Little Bit has, well, done EVERYTHING new this week!! He is now OFFICIALLY eating solid foods at dinner and lunch with Mommy and Daddy. And is now venturing to walk out in the open all by himself! He has been able to just stand up randomly for a while now, loves to walk around attached to things, and will just about run everywhere as long as he has your hands… but he is now trying to do it on his own. I’m SO PROUD of my little Angel!!

I will celebrate…
My wonderful family; our great wonderful sweet new life as a great family. This will be Little Bit’s first “real” holiday season this year. Last year he was only just a few months old. This year he will get to be a turtle for his first year getting to go Trick-or-Treating! He will get to eat so many great new foods at Thanksgiving; and tear into all the presents at Christmas… even if they aren’t his, hehe!!

A joyful picture from this week…
At Mimi and Dad’s house last weekend, Dad, Daddy and Little Bit decided to watch Bee Movie. Well, Little Bit decided that he was more interested in Daddy… so he said, “Daddy, look at MEEEEE… not the movie!!” as he turned my husband’s face so he would look at him.

Oh boy. My boy. He’s certainly not my little bitty baby boy that we came home from the birthing center with fourteen months ago anymore! He’s my big baby boy, and just keeps trucking on to accomplish every new little thing.

When we started trying new solid foods with him, he just could not keep them down. I felt so bad for him. He would try, but he would either gag, or once it hit his stomach, he would end up throwing it up again. His little stomach is just so sensitive.

I am certainly the “Protective Mama Bear” kind of mom, so pretty much everyone would just look at me and roll their eyes when they saw me pull out a jar of food for his dinner. One of those looks where you just know they’re thinking, “Yeah right, he doesn’t gag, she just doesn’t want him to grow up.” Well, OK, that’s true that I don’t want my baby to grow up, but I certain have persisted trying to get him to eat, with no success. I just let those who doubted his own mother’s word try to feed him themselves. When they were wearing what I had so many times before, THEN they would finally believe me, HA!

BUT!! As of last week, he started wanting to try little things while we were sitting at the table. So I would give him a tiny bite of chicken, a little spoon of rice… and he LOVED IT!! Last weekend, after he had finished his entire lunch and milk, he still ate half of MY Chicken and Rice Casserole for lunch! So after he ate almost all of my food I decided to let him start eating more of our foods at lunch and dinner. He’s doing great!

So… I have a Big Boy who eats big food with Mommy and Daddy now!! He still hasn’t quite grasped the whole “spoon goes in the mouth but it needs to have the food ON it, too” concept… but little steps at a time!!!

YAY for Mommy’s Big Boy!!

Yesterday I was thrilled to learn that my friend Jessica, at Bug and Bee honored me with her Spreader of Love Award. I met Jessica at TwitterMoms.com. She is such a sweet lady and wonderful new friend!

Thank you so much, Jessica, for honoring me with your award!

*sigh* My little boy just gets the biggest joy from bathtime, and apparently Mommy had some fun, too! Daddy proclaimed this his “Goku Hair”. (from an anime cartoon)

As I sit here eating my lunch, for once, in peace, I spent some time looking over a few of the recent pictures of our Little Bit and his silly little playtimes. The last fourteen months has gone by much too quickly!

He is so very close to walking! He stands up and will take a step slowly, one at a time before crashing and thinking it’s funny to fall. He wants to walk SO badly!! You can just see it in his precious little face.

He is doing so much better eating solids, too. He will eat all of his snacks, if he knows that Mommy will end up eating them all away from him if he doesn’t! LOL! By the way, those Gerber fruit bar chews are pretty darn good… HA!! Last week hubby and I had a Chicken Rice Casserole and saved the left overs for my lunch. Of course, Little Bit wanted a taste because Mommy got to eat it, even though he had just finished his entire lunch and cup of milk. Well, that little kid ate almost half of my lunch!! I tore the diced pieces of chicken in half and he would absolutely scarf down the rice! I guess that will come to be a pretty regular dish when he is sitting and eating dinner with us soon!

The little silly will also talk your ear off, even though he just can’t quite get those words to process the way he wants them too. I will sometimes just simply sit and watch him and laugh as he tries to tell me all his stories of his cars and little blocks and toys. His little tongue just tries to process all those thoughts in his sweet little head. I sit and thank God so many times every day for allowing hubby and I to be responsible for such perfection!!

Now, on a silly note, this little guy is just going to grow up to be the biggest comedian in the world! For some reason last Saturday, he thought it would be alright for him to wake up at 7AM on the dot. He is usually a late sleeper and will usually sleep until 8.30 or 9 in the morning. As I had him strapped in his high chair getting ready for breakfast he started playing with our younger cat. I grabbed the camera and at the last second he decided that that wasn’t the picture he wanted taken, so I ended up with this….

What a little clown we have….. *sigh*

Maybe this is just me, but I am down to my absolutely last shred of emotion by others who belittle and just overall put me down for being a stay-at-home mother to my son. Is it really such a bad thing??

While, I will admit that I grew up more “well off” than a lot of others, I was by no means rich or wealthy. I was given a lot, but also taught to be humble, caring, and kind to others.

Since I was little, I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could be a Mommy! I’ve always had a passion for babies. I now am married to the love of my life and we have been beyond blessed with the most perfect Angel of a son. But now that I am living my dream, I have found that so many in today’s society view being a stay-at-home mother as lazy and selfish!

I did not know that an entire life’s goal of being able to raise my own children the way that my husband and I desired was selfish. I did not know that staying home with our son to feed him, change his clothes, play with and teach him, bathe him and everything else was lazy. I did not know that actually WANTING to stay at home to cook all of our meals, clean up all the messes, change the cats’ liter box, make the bed and wash, dry, fold and put away everyone’s dirty laundry was being self-centered??!!!!!

I did not realize that choosing to have the desire to teach my child(ren) the way that we see fit, instead of having some person who only cares about a paycheck and not the last time my son’s diaper was changed was “being dimwitted”. Or not wanting someone who does not have the desire to enrich my child’s life while they are “raised” there for 8 hours each and every day was “stupid”.

In today’s economic state, the overall “view” is that all families must be two-income families to survive. While this is true in many cases… or at least for the ones who desire to live in giant two-story houses with four televisons and Xbox 360s for each child… there are others of us who simply can’t afford both parents going to work.

Maybe this is just my opinion or view of the world. Or maybe it is because I was raised in a “fantasy world”… But in whatever case may be true, just because it is our decision of what is best for our family, why do others see fit that they should put me down for our choice. And not even my husband and me… JUST ME – because I’m the one not “working”!!

1 package Spaghetti (16 oz)
1 pound Ground Beef
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 jar Meatless Spaghetti Sauce (26 oz)
1/2 TSP Seasoned Salt
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
5 TBSP Butter, melted
2 cups Small Curd Cottage Cheese (16 oz)
4 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

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STEP ONE
Cook spaghetti according to package. In a skillet, cook beef and onion until beef is cooked through and drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese and seasoned salt. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

STEP TWO
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti, return to pot. Add egg mixture and toss to coat.

STEP THREE
Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 13X9 baking dish. Top with half of the sauce mixture, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.

STEP FOUR
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover, bake an additional 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted.

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PERSONAL NOTES

We aren’t much of onion people in my family. If you do not want to chop the onion, you can still cut it in half and sautee while browning the meat.

This is great for a larger family. My husband and I eat on these left overs for almost a week! It will feed a family of four to six just perfectly.

When I posted my link about the The Business of Being Born Documentary, it really opened up my eyes and heart to a world of information that I think women are becoming blinded to in this new age of technology and advancement.

I received a comment from Geriatric Mama and poking around in her site I found this AMAZING video that coinsides with the Business of Being Born Documentary very well, I believe.

Enjoy!



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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