Happy New Year

It’s 2014 and I want to wish each of my followers A Happy, Safe and Blessed New Year.  I appreciate each of your visits to Mother 2 Mother, and I hope to make my blog more engaging by posting helpful and interesting content in the new year.  Any suggestions that you have on how I can achieve this goal would be appreciated.  Please leave a comment and a means to contact you so we can discuss your ideas further.   



If you’re interested in guest posting on Mother 2 Mother, please send an email to Rhonda@gigglesnsugarkisses.com and the subject that you would be interested in writing about.  I’ll contact you to discuss a possible post and post date.  We’re picky, so professional writing skills are a must.  Post must be grammatically correct, spelling skills are essential and content must be unique. 


I wish each of you everything that your heart desires in the new year.  Blessings to each of you. 


Using Suet Feeders for Backyard Birds

suet feeders

I’m trying to attract different birds to my backyard, so I decided to put up a suet feeder.  What is a suet you ask?  Simply put, it’s fat mixed with corn, fruit, peppers peanuts or  dehydrated insects.  It comes in a brick or log form.  The bricks fit into a small cage.  I purchased mine from Tractor Supply for $2.00 and $.99 for the suet.  Check out my other posts on attracting backyard birds before you leave.
Also, you can use the suet year round.  If you’re going to use the suet feeder in warmer months, I recommend using the No Melt suet.  Check the package to ensure you have the correct package.  Using the suet feeder is cheaper than bird seed.  So, if you don’t want to invest a lot of money in helping nature feed our feathered friends a suet feeder is the way to go.

Furthermore, I’ve discovered that some birds prefer suet rather than seed.  Suet is important to birds, especially during the colder months.  It helps to keep them warm.  Mostly insect lovers like Mockingbirds, Orioles, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers and Chickadees flock to suet feeders.  I have been able to get my Woodpeckers and Chickadees to eat from my platform feeder too.  They love black oil sunflower seeds.As a matter of fact, I really wanted to attract Orioles.  I tried using oranges this spring, but no luck.  I did manage to attract a Mockingbird.  He likes like suet too.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard his mating call in the wee hours of the morning in my neighbor’s yard.  Hopefully,  he will find a mate soon.   I need to get my sleep.

 

attracting backyard birds
suet feeders
how to feed backyard birds

 

I did have a visitor at the suet feeder today, a Carolina Wren along with a Cardinal.  Also, I have also seen Tufted Titmouse (bottom  picture) eating from the suet feeder too.  The Titmouse seems to prefer the seeds though.  But the wren is going for the suet.  Isn’t the cardinal, my state bird, beautiful.  So, I’m hoping as the weather gets colder, more of the birds will eat the suet.  It’s cheaper, and the suet cakes last longer.

What backyard birds visit you?  Do you feed them?  If so, what method do you?

 

Shari’s Berries Review

Shari's Berries
Shari's Berries
I decided to splurge this Christmas and order a box of Shari’s Berries.  I’ve seen the advertisement for years and they looked so delicious, I had to try them.  The lowest price was a 1/2 dozen at $19.99.  They offered an additional 1/2 dozen for $4.99 more so I ordered a dozen.  The shipping was quite expensive, $12.99.  Wow!  Because I had my heart set on them, I went the extra mile. 

They arrived packaged nicely.  The original packaging had an ice pack ensuring they arrived fresh and in tact.  The box was nice, it had a white bow which gave it a little class.  I must say, I was disappointed with the assortment.  I was expecting the berries to be colorful and appetizing.  As you can see, colorful was not a part of the package.  Two were dipped in white chocolate, 2 in nuts, and 2 in chocolate chips. 

The berries were fresh, quite delicious none the less and I did enjoy them.  Would I order them again, no.  Not for this price, and for the assortment I received.     


2013 White House Christmas Decorations

I love the White House decorations.  Each year I look forward to the First Lady unveiling the massive trees and display. The theme this year was Gather Around.  The theme focuses on holiday traditions and each tree will tell a story.  There are a total of 24 trees on display to the public, and than the Obama’s tree in their private residence totaling 25.  With the exception of the Obama’s personal tree, which will be decorated by Sasha and Malia, 83 volunteers from across the country participated in tree trimming, wreath hanging and other displays.  I think the trees and decorations are amazing.

[Read more…]

20 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Teen Girls

stocking stuffer ideas for teen girls

We know that teenage girls can be difficult to purchase for and are usually the last and most difficult to purchase for. I have 2 teenage nieces that I shop for each year, so I’ve put together a list of what has worked for me.  If you’re strapped for time, pick a few items from the list before you head out.  Here’s my list:    

  1. Nail polish in bright colors
  2. Gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure  (Big Hit)
  3. DVD
  4. Movie night gift basket or bag with Popcorn and Candy  
  5. A Journal
  6. CD of their favorite artist
  7. Lip gloss
  8. Gift certificate to their favorite salon 
  9. Bath and Body products
  10. Loofah/sponges 
  11. Hand lotion for her purse
  12. Socks 
  13. Infinity scarf in her favorite color
  14. Perfume
  15. Hat and gloves
  16. Bangles
  17. Nail designs
  18. Gift certificate to a Cosmetic Counter such as Lancome, Mac or Estee Lauder
  19. Pre-made Scrapbooks
  20. Magazine Subscription

Be sure to check out the bargain bins and clearance items.  Use your imagination. 

                                                         

Backyard Birds – Dark-eyed Junco Visits

 

dark eyed junco

I ‘ve had new visitors at my feeder recently, Dark-eye Junco also known as “snow birds”.  They appeared a few weeks ago during our first snow, and I must say the pictures don’t do them justice.  They are beautiful birds, a grayish black with a white belly and pink colored beak.  The prefer colder climates, which explains why they have suddenly appeared at my feeder.  Check out my other attracting backyard birds posts.
My research has shown that the Dark-eyed Junco visits backyard feeders in the winter, but breed in forests across Canada, the western U.S., and in the Appalachians.  I recently added a tube feeder to my feeding station, my tree, because the platform feeder holds the snow.  I’ve learned that the Dark-eye Junco actually prefer the platform feeder.  They are called snow birds because they love the snow.  They have interesting habits, they will lay in the snow covered platform feeder and just chill or you will find them scouring the snow covered ground for dropped seed.
                                     Dark-eyed Junco
Snow Birds
If you want to attract these entertaining birds to your backyard feeder, use a platform feeder and fill it with millet, bread crumbs, cracked corn or hulled sunflower seeds.  Remember, platform feeders need to be emptied and cleaned more often than tube feeders because they’re open to the elements.  Seed should be fresh.  I try to add fresh seed at least twice a week to my platform feeder.
Now that I know the Dark-eyed Junco likes bread crumbs, I think I will toast a few slices of bread and keep them on hand to add to the feeder since I don’t have hulled sunflower seeds.  I may make a cracked corn purchase as well.  Most backyard birds like cracked corn.  I use black oil sunflower seed mostly since it is the seed of choice for backyard birds.  I’m looking forward to watching my new visitors frolicking in our fresh snow.

 

Easy Recipes: Crockpot Cube Steak


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  • Family pack of cub steak
  • 2 cans (10.75 ounce size) cream of mushroom soup or 1 large family size
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 3/4 cup water (I did not use water)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low all day.  The recipe calls for a 3/4 cup of water; however, I didn’t include the water.  This recipe makes a nice gravy and is best served with mashed potatoes.  I didn’t want to put the energy into mashed potatoes today, so I fixed a baked potato and a side salad.  You can also serve it over rice, noodles or with your favorite side dishes.  Enjoy. 

Christmas Carols and Their Meaning

 

Have you ever wondered what some of the phrases in Christmas Carols mean.  I’m in a festival mood, and was singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas. I got to the part where you sing Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding and a Cup of Good Cheer, and wondered what is Figgy Pudding.  I’ve been singing the song for years and had no idea what it is.  I have learned that it is basically a cake made from figs and walnuts. 

I wondered what other carols I had been singing for years and didn’t know what I was singing.  I found a few others.  Here we go:

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.  (a nostalgic desire)  

Away In A Manager – The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky.
And stay by my side and the morning is nigh,  (Near in time or place)

Deck the Halls with boughs of holly Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
‘Tis the season to be jolly Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel  (Festive attire, party clothes)

Jingle Bells – Dashing through the snow On a one-horse open sleigh
Over the fields we go Laughing all the way. Bells on bob-tail ring  ( tail of a horse that has been braided.  It was also common to put bells on horses pulling carriages to warn pedestrians)

Over the river and through the woods Trot fast my dapple gray  (a type of horse)
Spring o’er the ground just like a hound For this is Christmas Day.

Honestly, I have been mumbling lyrics for years because I can’t get past the first verse on most of them unless I have the written words in front of me.  I have no idea why it suddenly dawned on me tonight that I didn’t know the meaning of some of the lyrics that I have been singing for years.  I do know that Christmas Carols make me happy and put me in a festive mood.  Happy Holidays!

 

Dreams Really Do Come True

                                                                     

  

Dreams really do come true.  My daughter has been a Tar Heel fan as far back as I can remember.  I purchased Tar Heel gear for her all through high school so she could show her love.  She has passed her love on to Xavier.  He has on his University of North Carolina colors, light blue and white shirt, and a smile bright enough to light up the sky as he stands in front of the NC Chapel Hill logo.  A big moment for a little boy. 


My daughter was given 4 tickets to see the Tar Heel basketball team play this pass week-end at the Dean Dome, which seats 21,750 fans.  That’s a huge stadium.  I don’t know who was happier, Xavier or Marisha.  My SIL, who is not a UNC fan, swallowed his pride and made arrangements to take the family and one of Xavier’s friends to Chapel Hill, NC for the week-end.  They had seats directly behind the team, 12 rows away.  How great is that.  To put the icing on the cake, the Tar Heels won 80-51.  Go Bighorn Rams. 

Wondering where the name Tar Heels comes from.  Here’s the history:  North Carolina settlements provided tar, pitch, and turpentine for the navy, in particular the British navy. It was used to paint the bottom of wooden British ships to seal them and to prevent damage to the hull from shipworms.  During the Civil War, it was stated that troops stuck to their ranks like they had tar on their heels. The nickname “Tar Heels” was born. 

This is a picture of Marisha, Xavier, and Xavier’s friend with Rameses the Tar Heel mascot.   Rameses first appeared at a pep rally before a football game against Virginia Military Institute in 1924.  The Bighorn Ram was officially adopted as the mascot and continues to cheer on the Tar Heels. 
Some well known graduates from UNC who went on to play pro ball are Rick Fox and Michael Jordan.  Rick Fox was married to one of my all time favorite singers, Vanessa Williams, and he turned out to be a great actor.  
Family is important and making memories with family is just as important for children.  This family event will live in Xavier’s memory.  He will always remember being at Dean Dome and all of its surroundings when he’s watching the Tar Heels play on TV.  He will always remember daddy making arrangements to take him and mommy to see their favorite NCAA team.  He will be able to look at these pictures and remember one of the most exciting activities ever with mommy, daddy and friend Prince.  I see a scrapbook of this trip in his future.     


ABCya


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ABCya!  ABCya is an educational site that we found for Xavier and he loves it.  He’s outgrown Nick Jr. so this site is the replacement.  The site has educational games and activities for Kindergartner’s through fifth grade, and has become the leader in on-line education for kids.  One of the great things about the site is that you don’t have to create a username or password to access it.  The site was created by teachers and it’s goal is simply to assist parents and children with education.       


The site has math and language arts as well as basic computer skills. Many of the kindergarten and first grade activities are equipped with sound to enhance understanding. You can found holiday activities in the grade sections as well. 

Xavier has become astute in navigating the site.  We use it primarily for spelling, math and occasionally game play.  The site makes learning fun.  There’s Bingo to help with spelling and math.  There’s an app for sight word recognition, learning the coins and how to tell time.  

ABCya.com has been featured by Apple, The New York Times, Disney Family Fun Magazine and Fox News and has received many awards.  I understand why.  I suggest that you introduce your child to this site.  They will love learning in a creative and fun way.