Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recommended Reading: Favorite Recipes of 2008

I have enjoyed making a variety of recipes from different online sources this year. Here are a few of my favorites from this year!

I loved the recipes on A Year of Crockpotting. These are two of my favorites.

MomAdvice has lots of great recipes. This one was delicious!
I found this recipe at Soule Mama's blog via one of Amy's notebook posts. I love this bread! It also has given me courage to try white bread and sandwich rolls using my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. They all turned out pretty well!
We have used this recipe at least once a week since discovering it. It makes a nice, sweet sauce for both pasta and pizza.
My first choice for pizza dough is a recipe that needs to rise, but this one is good if we don't have time for pizza dough to rise.
As you can tell, I am definitely more of a baker than a cook. What were some of your favorite recipes in 2008? Please let me know in the comments section!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Nonfiction: Favorite Deals of 2008

Mercedes over at Common Sense With Money is doing a little year in review. Today she posted some of her Favorite Deals from 2008, and is asking her readers to do the same. This year was one of some great deals for me. I have always been a saver by nature and frugal to an extent, but this year, by visiting all kinds of fabulous frugal blogs, I have learned how to stretch our dollars even further. This came at a great time for our family as we had our first child at the end of 2007. We were able to apply lots of these great deals to get more for our family, but also to give lots to other people! This was the first year I have tried CVSing, Rite Aid Single Check Rebates, and Walgreens. There was a definite learning curve to all of these things, but overall I think most of these frugal endeavors were fairly successful! So, here are some of my favorite deals from 2008!

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind! Check out Common Sense With Money for favorite 2008 deals and to keep up with new ones for 2009!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nonfiction: Christmas Home Edition

Well, Christmas is only 10 days away! These are a few of my favorite decorations in the house. Come on in!

This year's wreath. I made it with scraps of fabric tied on to the wreath and made a bow to match. Simple, but I like it! I saw it in a magazine last year, but never made it.

I got this card keeper a couple of years ago. I love the message on the front!

Our "mantle" which is really the top of our piano with a few decor items.

Shelves decorated in the kitchen.

Sign in our bedroom.

Now for a favorite Christmas Cookie recipe. I love this one and it is so simple. Eagle Brand Double Delicious Cookie Bars...yum...just the right combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Family Fun: Storytime - Christmas Edition

One of my favorite parts of my job at the library is getting to put together and present storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers. I have lots of favorite books for this age group and I especially love seasonal and holiday titles. Here are some that I like to use this time of year. I'm excited because I've even gotten to share a few with my daughter this year!

Counting Christmas by Karen Katz

This book's text is quite simple, making it a nice choice for toddlers, especially coupled with the large, vibrant illustrations. It can be used with preschoolers easily by focusing on counting items within the story and practicing counting backwards from 10.

Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear! by Audrey Wood and Don Wood

This charming tale is a great one for preschoolers. Its simple story and lovely illustrations make it a great title.

Lauren Thompson has a series of these books telling about Little Mouse's other first seasons. The illustrations are large and very nice; the text is simple and is in a guessing game format. It is a great way to use picture clues to tell what is going on in the story.

Clear Moon, Snow Soon by Tony Johnston and Guy Porfirio

This simple, poetic story has gorgeous illustrations and lots of detail for older preschoolers, but is simple enough for younger children as well.

Bear Stays Up by Karma Wilson

Karma Wilson's series about Bear is a winner for preschoolers. The illustrations of the animals are clear and well done; the stories are humorous and enjoyable.

Where is Christmas, Jesse Bear? by Nancy White Carlstrom and Bruce Degen

The book has predictable, rhyming text making it a good choice for preschoolers. It does a nice job of talking about the feelings associated with Christmas.

What Could Be Keeping Santa? by Marilyn Janovitz

A humorous story, this book is from the perspective of Santa's reindeer.

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

This book is a fun guessing game for children, with farm animals covered in snow and a musical surprise at the end!

These are just a few of my favorite Christmas stories for young children. What are some books you are sharing with your toddlers and preschoolers?


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