Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lots to Catch Up On...

I'm back - I promise!
My husband's sweet grandmother passed away earlier in the week and so I've been away. She was a WONDERFUL person who lived a good life and will be greatly missed by many!!

On a happier note, today was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. We all worked out in the yard and gardens today cleaning them out and getting them all ready for spring planting. Even the kids helped out! Definitely a family affair! Anyway, while near my Rose of Sharon bush/tree, I removed some of the seed pods from the branches that had only partially opened last fall. I removed the seeds only to find out that they are shaped like a perfect little heart - who knew??!! So cute I just had to run inside and take a picture. I never knew they were heart shaped. I guess I need to pay more attention to these things!!
Then, I came in to take a break and do some baking!
My very good friend gave me the neatest gift about two weeks ago. She gave me a very unique gift of Amish Friendship Bread starter.
This is how it works:
The starter comes in a zip-loc baggie and for the first 5 days, you just squeeze and mush the bag each day to mix it up. On the sixth day, you add flour, sugar and milk and then mush the bag again. On days six through nine, you continue to mush the bag each day. On day 10, you add more flour, sugar and milk and then mush the bag again to mix it up. Then, you measure out four 1 cup servings of the mixture and place them into four new zip-loc baggies. You now have 4 new bags of starter. You keep one for yourself and then pass along the remaining 3 to your friends. You take what's leftover in the original baggie, mix it up with various ingredients and then pour the batter into two large bread pans. Then, you have 2 loaves of wonderfully, delicious Amish Friendship bread! The secret is in the starter. They say that only the Amish know the secret starter recipe. If you follow the directions and always keep one of the starters for yourself, you'll be baking this bread every 10 days! So today I made my first two loaves. What fun! I took this loaf pictured along with one of the starters and the directions to my neighbor down the street.

Okay...some more fun stuff!! Remember the Sweet Little Nest swap I mentioned a while back? Well, I'm finally able to post what my swap partner Heather sent me! Isn't this such a sweet nest? I love it so much and look at all of the goodies she sent along with it!

Here is a beautiful box in a lovely shade of pale blue that I simply adore! On the box are the sweetest cherubs (which I also love) it is soooo me - just what I love! And guess what was inside the box??Yep...this oh so cute rabbit - which I also love!

And...check out this lovely tag with beautiful ribbon attached she made for me

This tag has my name on it all glittery and pretty
and this tag says "nest" also beautiful all done up in glitter!
Would you look at this gorgeous vintage postcard she sent me - LOVE IT!!
Thank you so much Heather!! She also sent me lovely book pages too! They're wonderful and I'm thinking of using some of them as a backing for some pictures I took of the baby. I switched the images to sepia tone and they would look beautiful mounted on those book pages! I'll have to post pictures when I'm done! Thanks again Heather, I had such a great time swapping with you! You should go and check out her beautiful blog!!

Then, I got another package from sweet Deborah at Pictures, Pots and Pens for participating in her Pay It Forward!! She sent me an adorable bucket filled to the brim with all sorts of wonderful goodies!! The beautiful bucket is a lovely gift in itself!
She beautifully wrapped each gift in pretty pink rose covered paper. It was so pretty I took a picture of the wrapping first. It was driving my son nuts! He kept saying please, please can we just open it?? Why do you have to take a picture - LOL!
Inside were these lovelies...

A notepad that says "Both of us can't look good at the same time. It's either me or the house." Too funny! Also enclosed was a super cute magnet that says "It's so exhausting being fabulous." Love it!! Also packaged inside were adorable Mary Engelbreit dimensional stickers, a wonderful dark chocolate candy bar with a vintage postcard image as the wrapper. I just know I'm going to use that wrapper in a great art project after I've eaten the candy. The wrapper is so pretty! There is also a wonderful rose scented candle and a nice BIG bar of soap (which I love) that smells really yummy!!

Thank you sooo much Deborah! You are very sweet and very kind to send such a wonderful gift! I really appreciate your kindness and generosity!

I have one other goodie that I received in the mail that I want to post but I'm suddenly having trouble uploading photos to blogger. So...I'm going to keep you in suspense until tomorrow when I can hopefully upload the photos.

Have a good night all!

xo Erin


jennifer said...

I've got Sensory overload from all the gorgeous things posted this time! LOL! But WOW!
Glad you are up and running again.


Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Hi Erin, I am so sorry to hear of your family loss... it is so sad when one of our family goes even if they are ready and lived a full life.

I am so happy to see you loved your goodies from our swap. I am way overdue to post yours on my blog. I am planning a whole post on Swaps I did this week so I just wanted to pop over and thank you again!

xoxoxo Heather

Deborah said...

I had no idea Rose of Sharon seeds looked like that! Don't you love them?!!

So sorry about your husband's grandmother. Hugs to you all.

I'm glad you got your gift and so happy that you like it all!
Thank you so much for having fun with the Pay-it-forward!


J. Adams said...

I really love rabbits, and wow, your blog, it's just really great. Thanks for sharing your life with us.