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Friday, April 28, 2017

The Race Has Started

The Tour de Yorkshire is a three day bike race that takes place in Yorkshire England. The race started in May 2015 and is promoted by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race was set up to be a legacy event similar to the Tour de France. The race takes place over 3 days before the May Day bank holiday which occurs on the first Monday in May. This year the Tour de Yorkshire will take place April 28th through April 30th.

The Tour de Yorkshire is UCI approved 2.1 Europe Tour international cycle race. It will be one of th biggest cycle races in the United Kingdom in 2017. Some of the top international teams will be taking part in the race. The race is made up of 3 stages

  1. The race will start in Bridlington and finish on Scarborough.
  2. This stage starts in Tadcaster and finishes in Harrogate
  3. The final stage starts in Bradford and finishes at Fox Valley, Sheffield 

The entire race will cover 300+ miles. The race route is meant to change each year to help showcase the beauty of Yorkshire. There will be around 2 million fans watching the race.

Find out more about this amazing race

Facebook:  @Letouryorkshire
Instagram: @Letouryorkshire
Sign up to our Tour de Yorkshire enewsletter, Allez Yorkshire.

Safety and Health at the Desk

April 28th is Safety and Health at the workplace. I am a full time nurses aide and have many safety techniques I use there. I am also a blogger and in the world of blogging there are many tips that we can us to stay safe and healthy as well.

Bloggers often spend time sitting in a chair at the desk. The chair should be one that can be adjustable and at the proper height, arm rests and back according to personal requirements. When sitting in the chair your feet should rest flat on the floor and your thighs should be parallel to the floor. The chairs arm rests should be adjusted in such a way that while sitting the body will not hunch.

The computer monitor should  be directly in front of you. If not then the body will be twisting and turning. The height of the computer should be so that top of the screen is at your eye level. Using a mouse pad with a soft padding will allow you to rest your wrist on it. Raising your forearms a bit to keep the wrists are in neutral position will help you to freely move your hands and arms.

Posture is very important as well. Slouching is something that you should not do. When you slouch you put pressure on your back. Relax your shoulders, keep your feet flat on the floor and do not lean on the table.

While we are discussing working on the computer lets talk about vision problems. Adjusting the contrast of your computer monitor screen will help your vision. Harmful radiations can cause vision issues and headaches. Placing the computer screen in front or next to a window can lead to visual stress and contrast problems. If you sit at a window be sure the computer is 90 degree angle from the window.

  • Look away from the computer screen every 30-45 minutes
  • Focus on the furthest object you can see (like a tree or a car or a sign etc)
  • When your eyes have adjusted (approx 3-5 seconds), focus on another object that is halfway between the previous object and yourself
  • When your eyes have adjusted to that object, look at a close object for a few seconds
  • Repeat the sequence and focus at each point long enough for your eyes to become comfortable
  • You can do this routine while you are on the phone, waiting for Windows to load a program, or even waiting for a file to print.

National Blueberry Pie Day === Cooler version

I am putting a cooler twist on Blueberry Pie Day. I love simple little recipes like the one I am sharing.They are easy enough for weeknight suppers and perfect for a summertime treat.

  1. 11⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 5 to 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. 1 cup fresh blueberries
  2. 1⁄4 cup water
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  5. 3⁄4 teaspoon cornstarch
  6. 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  7. 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
  8. 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  9. 3⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  10. 11⁄2 cups heavy whipping cream
  11. 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. For crust: In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter, stirring until moistened. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan.
  3. Bake 7 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For filling: In a small saucepan, stir together blueberries, 1⁄4 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until mixture begins to thicken and berries begin to burst, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in zest. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, and let cool 10 minutes. Lightly cover, and refrigerate until chilled, approximately 1 hour.
  5. In a large bowl, add cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add cream and vanilla; beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in blueberry mixture (do not stir). Spoon in prepared crust, spreading gently to edges. Lightly cover, and freeze until firm. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

Cajun Tater Tot Recipe

1/2 Cup, Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup, Panko
1 Tablespoon, Butt Kickin' Blacken, Original Recipe
1/2 Tablespoon, Coarse Kosher Salt
1 Cup Leftover, Mashed Potatoes
2 Tablespoons, Milk
1 Large, Egg Yolk
1 1/2 Cups, All-purpose Flour, as needed
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Vegetable Oil, for frying

Mix the bread crumbs, panko, blacken, and salt together and set aside.

My leftover potatoes had so much butter in them I had to warm them up a bit in order to work with them. Do this by placing them in a small pot, adding a little milk, and turn burner to high. Constantly stir until they've just warmed up.

Add the egg yolk, salt , pepper, and enough flower so that you can roll this potato mixture into a small log 3/4" - 1" in diameter. Cut this log into 1 1/2" lengths, and coat with the bread crumbs.

You can do this a few hours ahead of time, then cover and leave in your refrigerator until you're ready to cook them.

Heat oil to 350 degrees, and fry them for 5 - 7 minutes, or until they've browned. Drain them either on paper towels, or on a rack in a sheet pan to drain. Sprinkle a little salt on while they're still hot.

Serve with Sour cream, or any one of your favorite dipping sauces.

You could also freeze them after they've cooled, then bake them in the oven to heat up at a moments notice. To freeze tem, you should place them on a sheet pan, not touching, then place them in the freezer. After they've frozen solid, place them in a freezer bag, and take them out as you need them.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Babe Ruth Day

George Herman Ruth Jr. was born on February 6, 1895. He would grow up to be a great ball player and be known to the world as Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth was not only a great baseball player but considered to many to be the greatest Major League Baseball (MLB) players in U.S. history. 

Babe Ruth also known as "The Bambino" created a legacy that lives on years after his death in 1948. A legendary ball player Babe Ruth continues to have a fan following. Babe Ruth Day allows baseball fans to pay homage to the player and his career and commemorate his passing.

Babe Ruth Day dates back to 1947. The date coincides when Ruth returned to Yankee Stadium and speak before thousands of fans. In effect this was Ruth's way of saying farewell to baseball. 

Ruth would die of throat cancer a year later at the age of 53. But that night he was still the king as he appeared in front of 58,339 fans at Yankee Stadium. The champ was greeted with players, newspaper and radio persons who would all choke up with tears in their eyes.

George Herman Ruth had spent most of his childhood at a Roman Catholic reformatory in Baltimore. His parent had chose to have Ruth live there as he did not behave as thy thought he should and had a free spirit as as student as well. Baseball would become an outlet of escape for him. At the age of 19 in 1914 he joined the minor league Baltimore Orioles team. This is where he would be given the nick name Babe. The Boston Red Sox would acquire him that same year.

Babe Ruth would pitch for the Boston Red Sox The Red Sox would win the World Series in 1916 and 1918. In 1919 Babe Ruth's contract would b sold to the Yankees for quite a large sum. Whether this happened because of Ruth's demand for more money or the owner's choice to use the money earned to finance other interest is not clear.

Ruth would play the outfield and become a full time hitter playing in the outfield. This is where Ruth would shine. The popularity that Ruth would enjoy would help the yankees as well. The Yankees would move to their own ballpark in the Bronx. This stadium would become known as the House that Ruth Built. 1927 was Ruth's greatest season as he hit 60 homeruns.

Ruth's life off the field would become a legend as well. During the roaring 20s he enjoyed the party life. He had fans of all ages and showed the love for his fans as well. 

The Love of a Fathers Son

Todays devotional verse that I studied was 1 John 5:12

1 John 5:12

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

King James Version (KJV)

This verse  brought back memories of my home town and a wealthy family that lived there. The family loved life and one of the passions was books. Inside the large house was a rather large library that the family loved. The family would travel and collect books, this was before the day of online shopping. They would look high and low for books that were highly collectible. As the family grew the children would take the collection over and the hobby would continue and the collection would grow.
After a bit of time the children became more invested in their own lives. For a while the son seemed to disappear leaving on his journeys and his father would wait for him to return. Then one trip the son left but would never return again. An accident would take his short life and he was greatly missed by not only the family but the entire town. 
The family seemed to become isolated and not seen in the public as much. The light in the house where the library was seemed to never be lit nor was anyone welcome in to go to the library where the cherished books remained. 
As the story goes the master of the house received a guest one day. The young lady that visited told the father of meeting his son. As she spoke she shared her love of books and the conversations that the two would have. She had brought a treasure of her own a book that her own mother had shared with her about the love of a family. 
The book would become a companion for the old man as he read through the pages. The book would help him recall the joys that he had shared with his son and he thought of the people his son must have met along his paths. This helped him to want to learn more of his sons travels and about what others thought so once again he opened his house and the grand library. 
Several years later when I was in my 20s I recall watching that grand house destroyed and tore down. The home that had been a welcoming site was now planed to be a convenient store and parking lot. The house was split so that the it seemed to open displaying the grand library. The books were donated with one small inclusion that the book that the young lady had brought and had made the elderly gentleman think be placed on display so that all could know about the love of a family and thus that of the memory of his son. 

The man did not want to keep the books to himself but wanted to share the love of his son with the world. This is how it is with God's love once we discover it. The power within warms us inside and then we want to share it and pass it on to all those around so that they too will know. The older gentleman thinking that he had lost the love of his son thought his life was over. Realizing that the love of his son was still present made him more aware and want to live. God's love is present in everything that we see if we simply want to take it we can live for eternity and have better life now.

shared here 

Spice It Up a Bit with this New Recipe :::: Spicy Red gravy and Sausage





recipe source here

Starfish S'mores

Starfish S'mores
Adapted from Hungry Happenings
Makes about 13 s'mores

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch 
40 oz. marshmallows
36 graham cracker squares, crushed into crumbs
16 oz. chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
Approximately 1 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable shortening
edible candy eyes

Pour crushed graham crackers into a shallow dish. I used an 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Set aside. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Use butter or non-stick cooking spray to coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, then sprinkle bottom and sides with powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. Tap the pan to remove excess. Save remaining mixture for later.
Pour marshmallows into a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until marshmallows are melted to a sticky liquid consistency. If marshmallows start to brown, they are beginning to burn. Carefully pour melted marshmallows into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. Spraying your spatula with non-stick cooking spray, or buttering it, will keep it from sticking to the marshmallows throughout this process. Dust the top of the marshmallow with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Cover bowl of powdered sugar mixture for later use. Allow the marshmallow to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Wh
en ready to proceed to next steps, place marshmallow in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Set a large cutting board on top of the pan of marshmallows. Turn both the board and the pan upside down and lightly tap the bottom of the pan. If the marshmallow doesn't fall right out, use a spatula to slowly pry it out of the pan. 

Dust a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter with the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture. Press the cookie cutter into the marshmallow, remove, and press the marshmallow out onto one of the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Dust cutter again and repeat, cutting out stars until you can't cut out anymore. There will be a lot of marshmallow scraps. To make them into regular marshmallows, dust all sides with powdered sugar/cornstarch. Or, do whatever you wish with them! Place cookie sheet of marshmallow stars in the freezer.
Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler on the stove or in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval, until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in coconut oil or shortening to achieve thin, dip-able consistency.
Removing one star at a time from the freezer, use a fork to dip the marshmallow in the melted chocolate, coating all sides. Lift the marshmallow out with the fork, gently shake it from side to side to remove excess chocolate, then scrape the fork along the edge of the bowl to remove any excess from the bottom. Place chocolate-covered marshmallow in graham cracker crumbs. Allow to sit for 30 seconds, then use your fingers to sprinkle and gently toss the marshmallow in the crumbs so all sides are coated. Allow to dry in the crumbs for about a minute. Place graham cracker covered marshmallow on other parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Using a toothpick or the point of a sharp knife, make two small circular indentations on the marshmallow in the graham cracker crumbs where the eyes will go. Apply a tiny button of melted chocolate to the backs of the eyes and press into place.
Repeat steps 8 and 9 with remaining marshmallows. Place cookie sheet of finished marshmallows in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up, then transfer to airtight containers. We recommend storing marshmallows in the fridge to prevent melting, but they can also be kept at room temperature. They will be good for up to one week. Use remaining graham cracker crumbs as "sand" on serving platter.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April?

We have had our share of showers as well as storms. I have used an umbrella before and have one but most times I don a jacket if needed and try to dodge the rain drops. Our April has been filled with much drama, allergies and illness. Hoping May will be much better.

2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

there are many recipes, saving tips and being a mom I could share I could also share many bible stories for kids at moments notice

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

Sunday dinner at Grandmas was full of food and I have so many great memories from then

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

I am famous for making up my own words as I go along. So most songs I am most likely not singing lyrics correctly

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I have not had the opportunity to see any of these places. I believe tourist traps in my area are the large amusement parks. I truly love nature and living in Southern Illinois I am able to find lots of it

6. Your signature clothing item?

Hats, currently I have been into wearing lots of different hats

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

I believe everyone should be able to get into nature, see the caves, rivers, rocks and so much more

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Enjoy some Irish music and dance

Copycat Recipe Chicken nuggets

Chicken Nuggets
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 6 nuggets
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 6 breasts), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • Peanut oil (is best) or canola oil, for frying
Combine the eggs and milk in a medium-sized bowl. Add the chicken bites and stir briefly to coat in the milk mixture. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours, or up to overnight.
Using a gallon size storage bag, combine the flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper. Seal and shake to combine. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven (or another deep stockpot) over medium high heat until the temperature reaches 375F.
Using tongs, transfer half of the marinated chicken from the milk mixture into the storage bag with the flour. Seal and shake to coat the chicken pieces. Fry 6 to 8 nuggets at a time until cooked through and golden brown, turning once halfway. The timing will depend on the size of your nuggets, but I found that I needed to fry each batch a total of 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining nuggets. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
To freeze: Allow nuggets to cool completely, then transfer to a labeled freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Bake frozen nuggets lined on a baking sheet with a wire rack at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Source: Adapted from My Name is Snickerdoodle
Don't forget the sauce: (honey mustard sauce)

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

James Audubon ---- Audubon Day

John James Audubon was born April 26, 1785. He was an American naturalist and painter. He is most known for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats.

Audubon was born in Les Cayes a french colony of Saint Domingue now known as Haiti. He grew up on his fathers sugarcane plantation. He learned the talent of slow looking. And took his time illustrating nature especially birds. The Audubon Society was established in his name. Through magazines and publications the audubon society helps demonstrate the plight of these birds.

Audubon's book Birds of America was produced in the 1830's and has over 435 color engravings in four volumes. There were only 119 copies known to exist. In 2014 the book was named on Forbes top ten most expensive books ever sold. One copy of the book sold for $12.6 million.

Robert Harvell and engraver from England used Audubon's original paintings to produce the book in London. The book was created by using copper plates to print on fine paper. The images were haind painted by workforce of colorists. Audubon organized the plates aesthetically, taking readers through an astonishing journey filled with wonder

Audubon used primarily watercolors but did use oils, ink and egg white to imitate the shine of eyes or a beak. Pastels were also used to affect the downy look of feathers. The life like poses of the birds was achievd by mounting recently killed specimens on wires.

Audubon had a deep interest in birds, their habits and habitats. He was a skilled hunter who killed large numbers of them o obtain specimens. Photography was not yet available. Hunting in this time was unregulated. His art would help bring the dead back to life.

Today, on Audubon day get outside and do a bit of bird hunting yourself

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

Everyone has some sort of leader. At my workplace we have an Administrator that leads the show and has been at it for quite some time. She has wore many different hats and has filled in whenever and wherever needed. Administrators like her should be celebrated. So if you know an administrator that works hard at her job here are a few great ideas:

  • flowers always brighten up someones day and desk 
  • Take them out to lunch or have lunch brought in for them always a great treat
  • a massage is always great to help ease up the stress of the job
  • give a gift certificate for a mani and pedi again a great stress reliever
  • I do not have the power but if I did I would offer my administrator a paid day off they deserve it

Administrative Professionals Day is observed in many places around the world. It all started during World War II when there was increased need for skilled administrative personnel. The national secretaries association was established in the U.S. The association would help recognize the work they did, support their development and open the door so more could join the workplace. The name of the association changed a few different times and now is known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

The IAAP set standards in tasks, qualifications and responsibilities of the members. They continue to provide education and training so that their member standards will be recognized as excellence on global perspective. The original name of this holiday was National Secretaries week and it was observed starting in 1952. In 2000 the name was changed to Administrative Professionals Day as the job titles had seemed to change and responsibilities had expanded.

Spring Time Pineapple and Pretzel Salad

Pineapple Pretzel Salad
original recipe source here

1 cup Pretzels 
 1 1/4 cup Sugar 
1 stick Butter 
8 oz Cream Cheese 
8 oz Cool Whip 
15 oz Crushed Pineapples 
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
There are three separate layers. The crust, cream cheese mixture and the scrumptious pineapple topping.
The bottom consists of 1 cup pretzels, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 stick butter. Throw the pretzels in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to crush the pretzels into smaller pieces. Melt the butter and combine ingredients together. You can mix in the rectangle pan to save dishes. Just press down with fingers or spatula to cover the bottom of pan and form a thin crust.
For the middle layer, combine 8 ounces of cream cheese, 8 ounces cool whip and 1/2 cup sugar. If you thaw the cool whip and soften the cream cheese ahead it takes no time to mix it together. Be careful not to over mix. Spread on top of the crust.
For the third layer you will need to strain the juice from the pineapple and set both aside. Combine the juice, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat until it is a clear, thick consistency. Remove from heat and add in the pineapple. Once that is cooled you can add it to the top of the other two layers.
Chill for four hours and you have yourself one yummy treat! Trust me, the salty/sweet combo is a winner!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sexual Assault awareness month

Sexual Assault Awareness month was created by women in the 1970s who protested against the violence they encountered as they walked the streets at night. These marches were known as Take Back The Night marches. As the protest grew word started to spread. A few years later in 1978 San Francisco and New York City held the first Take Back the Night events in the U.S.  

The early 1980s would see activists using October to raise awareness of violence against women. Domestic violence would become the main theme. This is when sexual assault advocates started to look for a new month to focus attention on the issues. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is an extremely pervasive issue in the United States. It is considered any form of penetration, attempted penetration, forcing someone to perform a sex act, sexual touching, verbal harassment an more. 

If you have been sexually assaulted please report so that you will not be one 1 of the 7 that do not report

World Penguin Day

World Penguin Day coincides with the annual northward migration of penguins. Each year on or around April 25th penguins will walk or waddle their way to the northern part of their destination. You will fin penguins in their natural habitats of Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland an Galapagos Islands.

Penguins are adored around the world. They are adorable with their waddle, stylish look and quirky personalities. As you may have noticed today April 25th is World Penguin day. This day was created to promote the health and conservation of these amazing creatures. Penguins are unique and an important part of our world. Zoos, parks, and conservationist will all help promote the day.

Penguins are considered to be the world's most popular bird. Over the past 100 years the penguin population has dropped in numbers. There are 17 species of penguins living through the worl. They come in a variety of sizes and each species has their own distinctive patterns and markings of black and white. Penguins are superior swimmers but on land they look a bit clumsy. They may spend up to 75% of their time in water. all hunting is done in the water as well.

Oreo Penguin Snack

I bought some Oreo cookies and was getting ready to make a snowman snack (that I will post about later), when Sarah said, 'Hey Mom, let's make these oreos into PENGUINS!'

What a great idea - why didn't I think of that!

Here is our little
Oreo Penguin

The eyes and beak are made from fruit snacks.