Archives for August 2009

Crockpot Beef BQ

  • 1 beef roast, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, (top round, chuck)
  • 1 – 1 1/2cup barbecue sauce, your favorite or homemade
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves (I use Smuckers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced


Trim beef roast and cut into 4 uniform pieces. Place roast in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or until beef is tender. Slice or shred beef then return to juices in cooker. Cover and cook for 20 minutes longer.

*Great for sandwiches on the week-ends or when you need a quick dinner during the week.  I serve this with coleslaw, the kids love it with chips.

Can Doodling Sharpen Your Child’s Memory?

Did you know that doodling can be a benefit? I doodle when I’m sitting in meetings/conferences. It helps me to stay alert. There are benefits for children too according to the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology. The journal states that “doodling” may help
improve memory recall. Lord knows I need help with my memory at this stage of life. I don’t trust it anymore, I have to write everything down. On a bad day, I need help finding whatever list or information that I’ve written down. So pathetic I know. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

As a result of a study performed by Jackie Andrade, a psychology professor at the University of Plymouth in England, parents are being encouraged to promote creative doodling at home with their children by incorporating art activities into their life. Jackie is saying rather than give your child a coloring book, give them a doodle pad as well so they can doodle. I don’t consider myself to be an artist, but I do enjoy scrapbooking and creating crafts for my home. I think I can really get into some form of art with my 2 year old grandson. I tested him to see how he would do using a regular pen and pencil, he made a few scribbles. I’m going to purchase the larger crayons and pencils for him, and make it a regular activity.

Jackie’s study found that doodling can be used to help retain information. She performed a study where individuals listened to a recorded message which included pieces of information such as names and places. She found that individuals who doodled while listening, remembered 29 percent more than those who did not. I’m going to put this theory to the test. I’m going to try to teach Xavier the primary colors by using crayons and doodles.

Teachers are being discouraged from stopping students from doodling in class. In the past it was seen as a sign that the child was distracted. Now it’s seen as a sign that the brain is active and they are listening.

I’ve been checking out the Aquadoodle Travel ‘N’ Doodle Mat and I think it may be perfect for him. I’m looking for small birthday gifts for him, I’m going to add it to my birthday gift list. It’s getting good reviews by other moms, stayed tuned for my review.

Winter is heading our way, and we will be looking for indoor activities for the kids. We will be compiling a list of art/craft activities for children. We would love to have contributions from our readers too. Please leave us a comment with an activity or craft that you have done with your child. We will add it to our list and include a link to your blog.

Wordless Wednesday

Walking In Daddy’s Shoes

A Parade of Horses

Welcome to my parade of horses. I found them along the streets of Ogden, UT. I travel to Ogden several times a year. It has become one of my favorite places to visit. The mountains are beautiful, the food is delicious, the people are warm and welcoming and the Marriott has the best beds. I’ll make the trip across country for these perks anytime.

When I walked into the Marriott lobby my usual spot to crash when I’m visiting, I spotted a replica of a horse with a beautiful painting on its body. I thought it was unique and decided to snap a photo to use for my Wordless Wednesday post. I thought nothing else of it after taking the picture.

The next day I went to lunch with a few co-workers and noticed replicas of full sized horses along the sidewalk as far as I could see. I was in awe! I love horses, and hope to own a few when I retire. One of the ladies stated that I should take a stroll when I returned to the hotel that evening and check them out. That’s exactly what I did, and I was not disappointed. They put on quite a show for visitors and residents alike. They were simply breathtaking. Some were on their hind legs and others in a grazing position. It was if they knew they were on display.


The horses could be found in a variety of colors and each displayed a magnificent scene. I saw everything from a 1966 yellow mustang to one covered in money. The horses were unveiled on July 3rd and will remain on display until October 1. The plan was to display 75 horses for Ogden Pioneer Days, but because of budget restraints only 55 are on display. Artists from across the country paint the horses and each has a sponsor. It takes as much work to display the horses as it does to paint them. Twenty people were needed for two days to secure the horses to concrete bases and set them in their locations.


I couldn’t get enough, I walked for blocks. As I was viewing the horses, I wondered what inspired the artists. Each horse has the artist’s name and the sponsor listed beneath it. I wondered what I would have painted on my canvass if I had the ability to paint. I thought maybe the Ben Lomond or Mt Ogden mountains that stood so majestically in the background. A trained filled with children rolled by, and I thought maybe I would have painted a choo choo full of children or the historical buildings that lined the streets. I admired the colors, they were so warm and bright and every hue imaginable could be found on the horses. You could hear the children’s excitment when they saw the horses. I giggled as I watched them run toward them. That’s exactly what I wanted to do, but as an adult I maintained control. Damn, I hate being a grown up at times. I wanted to let the child within out.

It was a fascinating stroll. With a heavy heart I bid Ogden farewell. I’ll be heading back east, but it’s surprises like this that keep me coming back and come back I will. You can count on it.

Quotable Sunday

It’s Quotable Sunday thanks to Toni at A Daily Dose of Toni. For those who aren’t familiar with Quotable Sunday, it’s the day we list a few of our favorite quotes. Since I’m just returning from a business trip, I decided to focus on travel. Here are a few of my favorite travel quotes:

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ~Lin Yutang

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money. ~Susan Heller

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. ~Seneca

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes “sight-seeing.” ~Daniel J. Boorstin

What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road. ~William Least

I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. ~Mark Twain

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. ~Mark Twain

The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway. ~Henry Boye

I hope you enjoyed my quotes this week. Leave me a comment and let know which is your favorite quote. If you’re interested in reading more quotes, head over to A Daily Dose of Toni If you would like to join us, add your blog to the link. We’ll visit and take a look at your quotes too.

Wordless Wednesday

A Painted Horse!

Mama’s Growing A Pumpkin Patch, Unexpectedly

I’ve been trying to figure out what type of plant mysteriously appeared in my front yard for weeks. When I saw this plant initially, I thought it was a weed and decided I would tear it out when I weeded the next time around and kill the roots with Round Up. Since weeding wasn’t at the top of my list, it has continued to spread across the yard and it’s now heading toward the drive way.

Last week, I noticed orange blooms on the plant and decided to walk over and check it out. Much to my surprise, it’s bearing miniature pumpkins. WTH?

I display my mums and pumpkins in this area in the fall and I guess one of the pumpkins that burst because I left them out too long must have germinated. I won’t be tearing it down after all, my Xavier will have his own pumpkin patch in Gran’s yard this fall.

When I purchased the lot the farmer who lived next to me said that I would be able to grow anything, my lot used to be his pig pen. Everything grows double its size if I don’t keep my shrubs cut back. In the meantime, I guess I better do some research on how I need to handle this baby. I’ve been told that a pumpkin plant can grow as much as 6 inches a day and grow up to 30 feet. I’m looking forward to seeing my unexpected pumpkin patch this fall. Stay tuned.

My Little Picasso – Crayola Paint Review

Look at my little Picasso, he’s creating a master piece. I decided to introduce Xavier to finger paints. He had a ball. I purchased the No Mess Crayola Finger Paint set and I loved it as much as he did. The paint showed up only on the paper. I did put an old sheet under him, I just had hardwood floors installed and I didn’t want to take any chances, but there was truly no mess.

The set comes with an adorable tray in the shape of a hand with 5 paint colors, red, yellow, green, blue, orange, and 12 double wide sheets of the Wonder paper. I like he fact that the hand is sturdy and stays in place on the table. The lids covering the paint are easy to open; however, for a 2 year old they will need assistance.
Xavier enjoyed sticking his fingers into the paint and was amazed when the colors magically appeared on the paper. He was so funny using the sponge. I tried to get him to wipe his fingers with it, but he wasn’t interested. I decided to show him how to sponge paint. He’s only 2, I didn’t think it would hold his interest. Wrong. He’s quite astute, and caught on quickly as to how he should dip the sponge into the paints and than apply it to the paper.

Here’s my Little Picasso taking a break. Painting makes baby thirsty. This set is recommended for 3+, but Xavier didn’t have a problem using the set. I like to challenge him with toys (as long as they don’t contain small parts), books etc. that are recommended for children a year or 2 older than he is. I believe it helps with a child’s advancement.

I would highly recommend this set to any parent who is looking for a rainy day activity or who just wants to expose their child’s creativity on paper. They have the Gel Paint refills, which includes the classic colors shown and additional tropical colors. Purchasing the set will be money well spent.

A New Orleans Tradition

My daughter and her family have been visiting all week.  My son-in-law is from South Carolina, and loves seafood.  I decided to do a small seafood boil for him.  Normally, I have a seafood boil when I’m having a large family gathering.  It requires using a large propane tank and burner along with a large stockpot with strainer basket. 

Seafood boils are a Louisiana tradition.  I experienced my first boil years ago with friends who are from Louisiana.  I love being able to complete the entire meal in the same pot.  I was feeling lazy, so I decided not to use the propane tank and burner, but to prepare the boil in my kitchen.  It was the first time that I prepared the boil in the house, but it turned out great.  I have a small pot with the strainer basket, it was perfect for the occasion.

I pretty much used the same ingredients that I use for larger boils, I just didn’t use as much.  I used small red potatoes, corn on the cob, and large shrimp.  A lemon quartered is optional.  For the seasoning, I use Zatarain’s crab boil and Cajun seasoning. You can add mussels, crawl fish or whole crabs.

I used snow cluster crab legs, but I placed the crab legs on a cookie sheet, seasoned them with Obay, and warmed them in the oven on 375 for about 20 minutes since the pot wasn’t large enough to accommodate the crab legs.

This is a nice meal for large and small gatherings.  Even the children enjoy the small potatoes and corn. If you would like my recipe for the in-house seafood boil, please let me know.

You Cheating Bastard

Several days ago, a friend confided that her husband was cheating on her. When I asked her how she knew, she stated that she had hired an investigator and she had photos of her husband with the other woman. As I listened, I thought about several pictures that I had seen from women who had been cheated on. I thought you would get a good laugh or idea from these photos.


Relationship experts site the following reasons for cheating in a relationship. In my opinion, there’s no excuse or reason for a cheating spouse or mate, nevertheless, here are the top 10 reasons:

  1. They Had The Option
  2. Ego Boost
  3. Individuals In The Relationship Are Growing Apart
  4. They’ve Fallen Out Of Love
  5. Continuous Arguing
  6. Sex Life Is Boring
  7. To Get Revenge
  8. It’s New, Different, and Exciting
  9. To See If They Can Get Away With It
  10. You Allow It

I thought about what I would do if my significant other was cheating on me. I could really see myself taking these steps.  I love all of the photos, especially Photo 1 and 4. What a perfect way to advertise the fact that you have a cheating husband. I would have loved to see both of their faces when they saw the display.  I love the clothing hanging from the tree in photo 1.


What would you do if you found out your husband/significant other was cheating on you?  Which of the photos is your favorite?  Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.