Monday, February 28, 2011

Yummy Cheesecake

So most times cheesecake is not on most peoples diet...well it's on mine. I had been looking at recipes trying to figure out things that I can make to eat, being on this new diet and all. It came to me...I could have cheesecake! Well cheesecake minus the crust and with the sugar replaced. So finally found a recipe that didn't call for adding flour into the filling. Changed the sugar to splenda and the results are shown above.

I am so please to report that not only was the cheesecake delightfully delicious, it wasn't as hard to make as I thought it would be. It turned out like a creamy New York styled one. I'll share the recipe and note the sugar modification in case any want to make it sugar free.

Cheesecake Recipe
1 3/4c graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c sugar (I didn't change this since I wasn't eating the crust)
1/2 c butter

5 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 c sugar (substitute 24 splenda packets)
1 c sour cream
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
7 eggs lightly beaten

Wrap aluminum foil around and up the sides of your springform pan. You will be placing the springform pan in the middle of a shallow pan (I used my jelly roll pan) and pouring water into the jelly roll pan for a water bath. After the crust is baked you will place your ready to bake filling and crust in the center of the pan, add the water and bake as directed.

Mix the ingredients for the crust. Press into a springform pan. Bake 8-10 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Beat softened cream cheese and sugar. Add sour cream, heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Mix in beaten eggs. Pour into springform pan. Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees or until the center is just set and top appears dull. Allow to cool completely.

Some of you may be asking why I didn't just use the granulated splenda that comes in the bag. Well it has added starch in it to keep it from caking and I am trying to avoid added carbs. Also I didn't eat the crust but cut it off the cake before I ate my slice. Oh and wanted to make another note about heavy whipping cream. I use Trader Joes heavy whipping cream usually, but was running low, so had the hubby and Ian run to the local grocery to pick up some more. Well the heavy cream they had there had a small bit of sugar and some other things added to it. I would have loved to had avoided using it, but didn't read the label until after I had the cheesecake all cooked. So lesson learned....make sure to read all the labels first.

Anyway, the family all had a piece of the cheesecake and determined that it was pretty good...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Robotics Competition...Sometimes the best laid plans

Go awry. How you are asking, well that will be explained as this post unfolds. Ian, my youngest is my gadget kid. He likes seeing "how" things work. Just knowing isn't good enough for him. He is the kind of kid that is always asking questions...sometimes it drives me crazy, but his father will patiently explain things...especially when it comes to "how" things work. That all is not my forte`.

Anyway, Ian goes to robotics club after school 2 days a week. His challenge: to work collaboratively with his peers to design a robot that will be able to compete in the local school systems robotics challenge. Each year the course is a little different so the robots need to be redesigned.

After attending 3 of Ian's last 4 robotics challenges, I have figured out the one part. The alliance forming. The teams compete with one other team in the first round to gain points and ranking. The top 8 teams then get to form alliances picking 2 other teams to work with them to score points in the elimination rounds with the winner of 2 out 3 matches advancing on.

Ian's robot comes to the competition with an original design, but somewhere or should I say sometime in the course of the day it has a metamorphosis into a modified version of itself. Ian's late afternoon tweak resulted in a defensive robot, yes one that will hopefully keep his opponents from scoring, into what he called "The Great Wall of China".

As you can see from the top picture to the fourth picture Ian's robot, transformed by acquiring another shield. If one is good, two has got to be better, right?

Well not necessarily so! sometimes things go awry. What looks like should work just doesn't. Sometimes the robots refuse to move in competition, whether it is faulty radio communication, poor design or sometimes even a unattached power wire.

The competition is a fun filled day for all the future inventors, designers and engineers of the future. And hopefully they learn a little along the way...that sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry!

Til next time...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Finally Found A Stitchery

I had been searching for a stitchery for my bedroom. The hubby is making me a new peg shelf for there and I wanted a stitchery to go on it. I finally stumbled across Patti's shoppe on etsy. I looked through it and saw some things that I liked. So being the nosey gal that I am, I searched her sold items. That's when I found this perfect stitchery.

So being the direct person that I am, I convo-ed her through etsy to inquire whether she would consider doing another one for me. We worked out the details and within 6 days from start to finish, I had my beautiful new stitchery in my hot little hands. Of course my shelf still isn't complete. Not really the hubby's fault though as I had him make me another project first, which I will be sharing as soon as I get the 2nd coat of paint on it. Guess I'd better get him back on task to get my new shelf completed since I "need" a place for this stitchery to sit.

If you are looking for a nice stitchery, be sure to stop by Patti's shoppe and take a look at what she has to offer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Lost but Someone Will Gain Giveaway

Those of you that regularly read my blog know that last month I had to change the way I eat and what I eat. I didn't have much of a choice as my blood sugar was kind of wonky. So I have been on a Atkins like diet for the last 6 weeks. It's been hard at times as it gets sooo boring but I have managed to add something new that I can eat each week, to help keep me going on.

I guess I should have told you all that to make matters worse, I had applied for health insurance and was accepted conditionally... When I received the counter offer the insurance company seemed to think that I was obese because my BMI, body mass index, was above 30. Hmmm...I never thought of myself as obese! I knew I had gained some weight over the years, and needed to lose about 20-25 pounds but I never considered my obese.

Anyway, so in addition to my new diet plan, I started walking again. I walk most days about 2-2 1/2 miles. I started out slow adding 2 blocks to my walk a day. So far I have lost 12 pounds and my BMI is down to 28 and I am now officially just "overweight"! So I decided that I would have a giveaway to celebrate! I painted this cute bunny sign to giveaway.

So while I may have lost, someone else will gain...Anyway, the rules are simple..

1. You must be a follower of my blog (new followers welcome)
2. Leave a comment on this post only letting me know that you would like to enter.
3. You can post this on your blog sidebar to help my celebrate my loss if you so desire.

Winner will be drawn on March 10th.

I hope that you all decide to enter and help me celebrate my weight loss. I still have about 25 more pounds to lose and then I will be officially at "normal weight". Watch in a few days as a share my special treat that I get to eat on my diet!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Old Man Winter Returned....

It's amazing how we can go from the above picture and 70 degree weather to this in 5 short days...

While we didn't get all that much by most standards...5 inches, it was enough to close schools for the day and to delay colleges.
I sure hope that old man winter is willing to go some place else til next year. I was enjoying the nicer weather and temps we were having. Hurry up spring!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Be sure to Check out These Fantastic Giveaways

Be sure to hurry on over to Brenda at The Rusty Thimbles blog and sign up for her giveaway. This is Brenda's second giveaway for February and she is giving away this cute bunny with a sunflower. Entry deadline is February 28th.

Carol over at Firecracker Kid is having a kicking winters butt giveaway. Carol is so excited for spring to get here, she's giving away this awesome cubby. So hurry over to Carol's blog and sign up. Entry deadline is March 20th.

Karen at Cedar Creek Primitives is having a 100 followers giveaway. Aren't these little ditty bags too darn prim?

The lucky winner also gets this cute little bunny too. So hurry over to Karen's blog and sign up. Entry deadline is March 6th.

You can find all the links to these great giveaways and more on my blogs sidebar. I gotta tell you that the gals in blogland are more than generous with their time and talent. Be sure to visit all the giveaways I have listed to enter.

Keep a look out. In a few days I'll be announcing another giveaway, this time in celebration of a different kind of goal I achieved. Til the next time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh My Aching Back!

With temps in the 60's on Thursday and 70's on Friday, I decided it was time to clean out my huge perennial bed that we put in last year. The echineceas, the bee balm, the coreopsis and sedum had long ago died down for the growing season and the remnants remained. So with the break in the weather, decided it was time to get the beds ready for spring.

So Sean and I cut back all the dried flower stalks and cleaned out all the leaves that accumulated on Thursday. We got a huge bag of debris.

Friday, Joshua and Sean went to Home Depot and picked up 23 bags of mulch. I like to use bagged mulch as it's easier than moving a truckload of mulch one wheelbarrow at a time. We just put the bags where we want them and then open them up.

After working 2 hours, we got the front perennial bed, the lower front tier, the bed under the arborvitea, the bed around the linden tree and the side yard perennial bed all mulched.

We still have to mulch the pathway in the side yard and all the backyard beds, but that will have to wait til my back rests and another warm day comes along. I still need to prune back my rose bushes and wisteria in a few weeks.

I can't wait til spring gets here, so I can see which of my perennials have come back and which haven't. I am really hoping that they all do, as they cost me a fortune last year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day... A day of Love

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope your day is filled with love and happiness.

Ever wonder just how things we so closely associate with a holiday come about? I sure do...take the classic conversation heart. A simple confection made by NECCO, the same company that makes the flat wafers we all use when making gingerbread houses at Christmas. Anyway, this little confection of love has been around for 144 years and has evolved with the times. In 2009, the candy hearts had phrases from the movie Twilight such as "Bite Me" "Dazzle" and "Live4Ever". This years introduction to the phrases available..."Tweet Me". Amazing how a little candy heart can say so much!

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's All About The Chocolate

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, and chocolate being perhaps the #1 gift that is given on that day, I thought I'd share with you some of my latest signs that were about chocolate.

Ahhh...the soothing healing power of chocolate!

Even on a bad day, chocolate does fix everything...

While chicken soup is good....chocolate is better...

And quitting chocolate is the hardest thing to why bother? LOL! Sure hope that you get some chocolates for Valentine's Day if you are lucky, and it is ok not to share them with anyone else!

Forgot to put that these along with many more stenciled signs can be found on my website at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My giveaway win came!

My cute little spring bunny in a cone came yesterday from Becky Jean over at Primitives n Stitchin that I won in her giveaway. He is soooo darling. I was finally able to get a picture of him today as the mail lady was here after dark last night.

I have picked the perfect spot for him to hang. My hubby is building me a new peg shelf for all my goodies that I keep buying, much to his dismay. Anyway, I thank Becky Jean so much for hosting this giveaway and for drawing my name.

Be sure to check out Becky Jeans blog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We Have A Winner.....

Thanks to everyone that entered my Sweetheart Giveaway. I enjoyed reading all the things that everyone loves about Valentine's Day. For some it was spending time with loved ones, for others it was wonderful childhood memories and for some it was making new memories with their children. Of course, chocolate was a recurrent theme too!

I used random. org to pick the lucky winner for me. It was so much less nerve wracking for me that to pick the name from slips of paper as I did last time. This way I can blame randomness for not picking everyone's number! LOL! Ok, so I know you are trying to be patient and read my post before seeing who the winner is.

Anyway, generated #67 and the winner is.....

Can you see her name?....Barb of Barb's Heartstrokes is my winner. Barb, if you can send me your mailing info via email, I would love to get your package off in the mail to you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some Signs of Spring...In The Mail

I was feeling a little blah recently with all the really, really cold weather that we had been having lately. It seemed like December we were locked into winters icy grip with arctic blast after blast. Is winter really suppose to be this cold?

While we haven't had the copious amounts of snow that we had last year so far, still this winter will not be recorded in my mind as a mild one. Our heating bill surely proves that fact too.

So needing a little spring pick me up I went shopping on etsy for something that would remind me of spring. Not really having anything in mind to buy I stumbled across this darling little shoppe on etsy....New England Primitive. She has some cute things for sale and I decided on the 3 that I have included in my picture. I have found the perfect place for them in my bedroom hanging off my peg shelf but first I had to attach a string hanger for them to hang from.

While the shipping took a little longer than expected, maybe the bad weather on the east coast helped with that, the items are darling in person. I will definitely purchase from her again. So if you are looking for some signs of spring or just in the mood to shoppe, maybe you should stop by etsy and check out her shoppe.

This is their new home on the pegs to my Norman Rockwell shelf as I call it. I love the simple and folksy drawings of Norman Rockwell's America. He's one of my favorite american artists. And yes, my bedroom is painted raspberry lemonade and the hubby doesn't mind one bit.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The RustyThimble Sale and Some Great Giveaways

Hurry on over to The Rusty Thimbles sales blog to check out the prim spring goodies that Brenda has whipped up for her sale this month. Brenda says she will be adding things daily and the next batch will be added today at 12 noon her time, so be sure to take a gander so you don't miss out.

Brenda is also hosting 2 giveaways in connection with her sale this time. The cute little bunny pulling a cart full of carrots will go to one of her lucky customers. A set of watermelon slices, which look good enough to eat will also go to 2 lucky winners who email Brenda their email address. Now isn't that a sweet deal?

I have to say as a returning customer and friend that Brenda's workmanship is topnotch. Everything I have purchased from her is perfectly made.

Also be sure to checkout my blogs sidebar for the wonderful giveaways that I have found to share. The talent that these gals have is simply awesome. Be sure to pop by and visit all the blogs, follow the rules and enter for your chance to win.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Crows Nest Gift Shoppe Giveaway

Becky over at Crows Nest Gift Shoppe is having a neat giveaway. She is trying to reach 100 followers and will put the names in of the bloggers who send her some followers. So if you found her giveaway through my blog, will you please tell her that "Dee" sent ya. Boy, she's gonna make us work for this wonderful prize, but it's worth it. Good luck to Becky in reaching her goal.