Thursday, April 30, 2009

Freebies

I've been wanting to have some 'freebies' here on my blog as a little thank you--you know, give back to the community. :) I've finally been able to slow business down a bit (I know, I sound insane) to spend some more time with my children and have a bit of a cleaner house. Now with that extra bit of time, I'd love to create & give!

So what kind of freebie would you like to see? I offered a free printable (Valentine's Day cards) awhile back. More of that?

I was also thinking Twitter buttons? You know the "I'm on Twitter... follow me" yadda yadda

I'd love to hear your thoughts! What could you use?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cream Cheese Banana Bread from Southern Living

 Today I have way too many VERY ripe bananas, so I will be making one of my favorites ever--Cream Cheese Banana Bread.  The recipe was originally in Southern Living.  I would direct you right to the recipe, but that part of the site seems to be down at the moment.  You could try later. 

It's so delicious and moist!!  You have to try it if you have some extra bananas laying around.  I've even been known to go out and buy ridiculously ripe bananas just so I can make this delicious treat!  A few of my own notes--I leave the butter, cream cheese, & eggs out until they're room temperature.  Shielding the bread with foil at the end is a must.  (See recipe below.)  I've also left out the pecans--still yummy.  I substituted some of the flour with whole wheat flour--still yummy.  I tried low fat cream cheese... not as yummy.  Just my opinion!!  In fact, there's a "healthier version" recipe here on RecipeZaar.  (It's actually where I got the photo--Thank you!)

Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread 
Prep: 15 min., Bake: 1 hr., Cool: 40 min.  Warm bread is yuummy, but to get perfect slices, let bread cool 30 minutes, and cut with a serrated or electric knife.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (1 1/4 pounds unpeeled bananas, about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla.  Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loafpans.

Bake at 350o for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary.  Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove fro mpans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

MUFFINS: To bake muffins, spoon batter evenly into 24 paper-line muffin cups.  Bake at 350o for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.  Makes 24 muffins.  Prep: 15 min., Bake: 25 min.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We just couldn't help ourselves...

The cat saga continues...


Short story: We had a sweet Muffin (grey sweetie above) who passed last December due to an inoperable tumor on her jawbone. It was so very difficult to lose her, but our home was so empty without a cat to love, so we researched & finally found a kitten we knew we'd love. Fred (white & grey kitten above) came to our home for just two short months. He had Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and we had to put him down. It progressed SO quickly & was so... yucky... for lack of a better word. It was hard on us all since we had lost our Muffin just months before.

But Joshua jumped right on the "let's get a new cat" bandwagon. I was ready to wait a little while because I've been feeling like we have some sort of cat curse, but one trip to the shelter and here we are with a new cat!! Going to the shelter is such an ordeal for me! I just want to love on every cat there & bring every single one home. I get so sad seeing them in their tiny little cages with hardly enough room to stretch out. We chatted with a few of the cats there & fell absolutely head over heels in love with Charlie.

Charlie is a bear of a cat. At 15 pounds he feels bigger than our one year old!! You can tell from this photo that he's already made himself at home... yes, that's our dining room table. He has such a sweet nature & loves attention. He's very easy-going and adores the children. Here's a photo of our daughter reading to him! hehe

We already feel he's blessed our family in the short few days he's been with us. I'm so glad he feels at home--The first night here, he just stretched out across our bed and I couldn't help but think how grateful he must be for all this space. I'm so glad we can spread our love & provide a home for Chuck. ;)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Movie Review Monday 4/27

Well, I'm sorry to say that Movie Review Monday won't last long if we have another weekend like this past one. Who knows if it was the baby (still) not sleeping, the fact that we were running around all weekend, or just that I really had no interest, but I kept falling asleep!!!

Joshua has been craving Batman Returns for some reason, so we rented it from Netflix. We had to split it up into two nights because I fell asleep! Too bad I fell asleep on our second attempt, too!! Poor hubby. He was searching the instant watch movies on Netflix yesterday and saw we could watch Ghostbusters, so after we put the kids to bed, we started it. And guess what! Three nights in a row, I fell asleep. And I love Ghostbusters!!! Seriously, who wouldn't? Such a classic.

Ahwell, maybe next weekend.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

SuperMoms of Summer

With the impending Summer Vacation, I've noticed a few moms out there wondering what they'll do about their businesses over the summer while their children are home from school. It made me realize just how many successful WAHMs are out there! I thought it would be a learning experience (if only for myself) to do a few interviews and post some features here on my blog over the summer. I'm sending out e-mails and getting fantastic results so far. I can't wait to share! My plan is to do one feature every week May - August. As each feature is posted, I'll add a link here.

This won't be for just moms of older children, though! I hope it will be useful for all WAHMs and hopeful WAHMs out there! I have two young children at home, so I don't know anything about summer vacation just yet! ;)

I'm including a button below for you to put on your own blog or website to let others know about the SuperMoms of Summer! It's a great way to let other moms know about some great knowledge that will be shared. There's also a special button if you've been a featured mom! (Just copy the code below and paste it onto your blog or website--It's all ready to link back here to the WAHM feature.)

The schedule (not yet complete):
1 May: Karina of Soap That Makes Scents: Read here.
8 May: Justine of Plume Adore: Read here.
15 May: Tara of Modernality: Read here.

5 June: Kiley of gogovivi: Read here.
12 June: Angela of Dolce Baci Boutique: Read here.

10 July: Kate of Strawberry Moonbeam and Interlaunch: Read here.
17 July: Julie of Jules Mae and Candy Apple Illustrations: Read here.

14 August: Meredith of Tilley Jewels: Read here.
21 August: Jessica of BabyThingsbyJessica: Read here.









Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Summer of Pink 2009

Have you heard about this fantastic giveaway opportunity? I'm absolutely floored at all the participants! Each month this summer (May, June, July) there's a grand prize winner AND three runners up! Just click the button below to find out more.
HUGE PRIZES!

I found out about this fantastic giveaway summer because I bid on a project on Etsy through Alchemy. The lovely Jeri of Pink & Posh was looking for someone to create thank you cards to give to the sponsers. Take a look at what I whipped up.

I think I'll create something similar to list for sale on my website.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eco-Conscious Moms

Oh Eco-Conscious moms... Happy Earth Day!! Hop on over to PeekabooBottoms.com for a great sale. (And yes! I did make that adorable sale graphic...)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Movie Review Monday 4/21

I know what you're thinking and yes it IS Tuesday.  I just missed my Monday goal of starting this little segment since we didn't finish our movies over the weekend. ;)  A little background: We don't have cable or satellite.  We watch a lot of our shows online & thoroughly enjoy our Netflix subscription.  This way, we're not paying an arm & a leg for a cable/satellite bill AND we can control what comes into our home a bit better.  (I could not believe some of the COMMERCIALS that are on during 'family time' television.)

Anyway, we watch at least one movie a weekend, so I thought I'd share our (my) thoughts.  Sometimes we get a family movie and we all watch it, but usually it's just my husband and me.  So let's dig right in, shall we?

This weekend was quite movie-filled!  We had an impulse-buy of Bedtime Stories at Walmart on Friday while we were grabbing a few things.  And we're so glad we did!  What a fantastic movie!  Our four-year-old daughter who usually doesn't sit through anything that isn't a cartoon actually enjoyed this one.  She DID get up and wander around, but she was watching here & there. ;)  I've always been a fan of Adam Sandler & I was really glad for a 'clean' movie with his fun sense of humor.  A sweet & funny family movie with great acting from Keri Russell and the hilarious Russell Brand.  Let's not leave out Guy Pearce who seems to have quite a talent at playing 'the bad guy'.  We had to giggle each time a new character was introduced because you seemed to recognize everyone!  Courtney Cox, Richard Griffiths, etc.  Definitely worth renting--we're glad we own it because we're sure to watch it again.

(More coming...)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Items

I've been working hard to make my website better than ever! I finally enlisted in some help from a very talented web designer, Nathan from Insupport.com. He's fantastic & I highly recommend him if you're looking. His talent speaks for himself, but if that wasn't enough, the customer service is through the roof! :) I've been spoiled!

It's not quite up yet, but will be soon & I'll be sure to share.

But while that's been finalizing, I've been expanding my product line. I do a lot of custom invitation designs, but rarely have time to design my own for my website. Here are a few new ones (including some I've done for customers who didn't want exclusivity so they'll be available on my website or in my BitsysGreetings etsy shop shortly).

My invitations and announcements can be purchased two ways: You can purchase the design only for $10 and have them printed elsewhere OR you can have me do the printing. On my website, you'll have the option of them being printed on smooth cardstock, pearl/shimmer cardstock, or photo paper.

*Please note that many of my birthday invitations and birth announcements are available in "boy colors", "girl colors", and gender neutral colors.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Moms

There's a fellow Etsian with a fantastic blog--Pampering Beki.  You should go check it out.  She had the most fantastic post that I just have to share:
http://pamperingbeki.blogspot.com/2009/04/lets-talk.html

As a woman, mom, and wife, it's hard NOT to compare yourself to others out there.  And she's so right--in the blogging world, it's so easy to cover up all your flaws.  In my opinion, there are a lot of women out there who are great at covering flaws in real life, too! 

Little secret?  It's really hard for me to make friends.  One sweet friend of mine told me "the truth"!  Ha!  She said I intimidate other women.  These are her words--not mine, I promise you--that I have this gorgeous curly hair, fantastic little children who always look clean & well-behaved, I run my own business, my home is always neat & orderly....

I almost fell over laughing!  If only those people knew that I'm in a constant state of frenzy--my hair is my enemy most days, my children can be little hellions just like any others, and I hurry to pick up the toys & shove the cat hair under the sofa when someone's coming over. ;)  Ha!

So women out there, don't be so hard on yourselves.  No one is perfect!  And I'm sure if we spent a day as a fly on the wall at a friend's house, we'd realize this all too quickly.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hop on Over to the Etsy Marketing Blog

Go take a look at the Etsy Marketing blog!  You won't be sorry you did--100% worth your time.  While you're there, make sure to read this great article including some tips from yours truly. ;)
http://etsymarketing.org/etsy-promotion-packs/

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