; Life is like champagne......: 2008-09-07

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hello Kitty

I feel like I am having flash backs with my daughter. I was in love with Hello Kitty as a child, and Bugaboo Girl loves her too! I do not see much merchandise available, crackers I found at a market, and Bugaboo Girl has a small change purse she loves. Got any tips on finding some neat Hello kitty items?

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What Happens to Corn....

When I first saw the damage to my corn, my first thought was Little House on the Prairie where Charles lost his whole wheat crop after a summer thunderstorm. This damage to the corn was a surprise since the first planting made it and hid the damage to the second planting. I was able to salvage some ripe ears but the rest is done! Who says you need to live on a prairie to get crop damage!

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Wow, I Am Featured Today!

I received an email request from one of the blogs I visit, Kathleen at Katydid and Kid to be featured on her Friday Featured Blogger. This is an honor, my first request and I was happy to answer a few questions and give a little insight to my blog! Stop on by and take a look, her blog is always a great read!

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Champagne Food Friday - The Adult Birthday Cake

I am a cake fanatic! I love to bake and birthdays are so much fun to bake for. When I got a call from my friend Amy that Her husband was making his own birthday plans for celebrating, I offered up the cake right away.

First I thought ice cream cake, end of summer, sounded good but he actually had my ice cream maker and no time to go out to pick up the ingredients. Chocolate cake? I love it, but I know there are going to be mostly adults there so why not make an adult cake with something I know they love, Bourbon. I have a recipe for Bourbon Pecan Pound Cake from the Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri, in a decorative bundt pan with a bourbon drizzle and add a little vanilla ice cream, now that is an adult birthday cake!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup bourbon
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shopped pecans tossed with TBSP flour

Position oven rack on the lower third and set temperature for 325 degrees. Butter and flour bundt pan. Place Flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixer and combine. Add butter and combine at lowest speed for about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the pecans. Increase the mixer to medium speed and add the wet ingredients in one third at a time, beating for 2 minutes in between and scraping the sides of the bowl.

Make sure all of the ingredients are mixed by hand mixing with a spatula scraping the sides. Fold in the pecans with a spatula and place in bundt pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, testing with a cake tester or toothpick. Cool on rack for 10 minutes and invert onto the rack to finish cooling.

To make the drizzle, cook down 1/4 cup of bourbon on medium heat until it is reduced to half, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, drizzle over the cake while it is warm and let it set!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Responsibility Project

I am a firm believer of the "pay it forward" concept. Recently, with the death of my very good friend and relative Loretta Gunther, it has made the concept even more meaningful. This is what Loretta was about, she would do something for someone she barely knew, help out a neighbor without question and be there at the drop of a hat if you needed help. I want to pass this on to my daughter, show her how gratifying it is and know that something so simple can make a difference. Liberty Mutual has developed a wonderful tool for parents, such as myself, called The Responsibility Project that offers information about doing just this, a simple act of kindness goes a long way! After all, responsibility does involve acts of kindness.

The Responsibility Project site offers resources such as a blog, short films and the latest topics to discuss. I love the idea of submitting your story and having them post it on the blog. This is a great way to communicate with your children and give them a challenge to think about and act on what they would do. It can be something as simple as stopping by your local Senior Center to converse with the locals or even pop over to a neighbor that you haven't seen in a while to say hello. I think you would be surprised how much it does make a difference. For adults, even in a working environment you can make a difference such as being proactive. Stop by a co-workers desk and see if they would like a cup of coffee, it just might make their day!

Responsibility starts at home and I know I can make a difference, how about you?

This post was written for Mom Central.

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9/11 Anniversary

We live in a wonderful country and even though it is not perfect, we are fortunate to have the freedoms that we have and the ability to make choices in our lives. Always remember, never forget 9/11.

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Bugaboo Book Review

This weeks review is Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton. This is a counting book, a little different than most of my other counting books since halfway through the story, they count backwards!

First, mommy had to explain to me what the word "berserk" meant, which made me giggle. The book starts out with one hippo all alone who calls two hippos on the phone. Can you guess where this is going? At six hippos, a guest appearance by another animal shows up who looks like he could cause trouble! Each count up to nine, brings more hippos in to the party. I am not sure if the one hippo was expecting this many guests but he seems to be o.k. with everyone . Then all of the sudden, all of the hippos go berserk, bringing out drinks and food and the crazy guest is causing trouble! I do not want to give it away what he is doing but mommy would not like it!

Once the party is over, each group leaves, counting backwards, along with the crazy guest. In the end there were 45 hippos in this house and only one left, maybe he might make another call? You will have to get the book to see! I love seeing all of the hippos come in and then all leave, counting each time. Can you fit 45 hippos in your house?

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Simple Elegance

In my quest for locating handmade items for the holidays, I happen to stumble upon Mericreations, an Etsy shop of course. Meredith designs Tote Bags, Burp Cloths and blankets. What was a hobby for Meredith soon became a business when she started selling them to bring in a few extra dollars after her husband was injured in the line of duty.

I have several handbags, majority of them being Coach since I worked for them and a few vintage from my mom. I always look for the detail, the style and of course function, good training from Coach. I can tell you I now have a new favorite, a small tote from Mericreations. The fabrics are lovely, fresh and simple. The details are excellent from lining the interior of the bag with a corresponding fabric to the finishing stitches. I sported my bag out of the town for a bachelorett party this past weekend at the casino, and wouldn't you know many people asked me if I bought it in one of the stores there!

Looking for a baby gift? Check out her burp clothes, bibs and pinafores. I love the prints and the fact she offers the burp clothes as a two pack, we know that one is just not enough! She will also work with you if you want something a little more tailored to what you may be looking for.  Mericreations is offering 10% off all purchase until 9/18/08 by entering in Lifeislikechampagne in the checkout comment box. 


I am so excited to give this away! Mericreations has offered a custom Big Daddy Tote as seen here. It is 18x17x17 with a pocket inside and perfect for a trip to the market, over night or even a baby bag! See rules below.

1. Stop by Mericreations and take a look at her wonderful designs. Post a comment on this post as to what you like the best.
2. US Addresses only, one post per person and please leave you email address for contact.
3. EXTRA CREDIT!! Be a new subscriber to my email feed and post a separate comment that you did so.
4. EXTRA CREDIT!! Blog about this giveaway linking both Mericreations and Life is like champagne, posting a separate comment with the link to your blog post.
5. Contest ends midnight 9/17/08 with the random winner chosen on 9/18/08. Prizes must be claimed within 72 hours or will be forfeited.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We have a Off the Peg Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Off the Peg Giveaway! And the winner is......

janetfaye said "Gina Giraffe White is my favorite.Thank you!"

Congratulations! Email me with your mailing info and your choice of T Shirt.

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Funky Functional Bags

Accessories say a lot about a person. You can have a beautiful hand bag, but how you keep all of your belongings organized inside also counts. Having worked at Coach for e=several years, I have seen it all from zip lock bags to even tupperware! I would always point out that just because you like to see what is in your bag, doesn't mean you need to see the organized part of it. You can start out with taking a look at Carissa Black, a wonderful Etsy shop who makes zippy pouches, tri folds and other organizing pouches.

I have the four pocket zippy pouch. The fabric choices are bright, modern and yet will not go out of style. Another key to the fabric choice is to be able to see it in your bag! Always get either a bright accessory or a pattern. Using a black color accessory only creates a black hole in your bag! I love the interior work of the pouch that has a corresponding print fabric and four small pockets.
The construction of the pouch is well done with tucked edges and a finished zipper. You can see time was taken to produce each piece with details taken into account.
What would you use a zippy pouch for? Just about anything such as makeup, cards, small toys, tissues, small electronics or even a quick clutch purse for on the go!
Get ready to start organizing your handbag! Carissa Black has offered up your choice pattern of a Medium Zippy Pouch. See rules below.
1. Go to Carissa Black's Etsy Shop and take a look at what she has to offer. Post a comment on this post which pattern you would choose if you won and how you would use it!
2. US addresses only, one entry per person and please post your email address.
3. EXTRA CREDIT!! Be a new subscriber to my email feed and post a separate comment that you did so.
4. EXTRA CREDIT!! Blog about this giveaway linking both Carissa Black and Life is like champagne, then post a separate comment on the post with the link.
5. Contest ends midnight 9/16/08 with the winner announced 9/17/08. All prizes need to be claimed within 72 hours or will be forfeited.

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Wordless Wednesday

Because I am unable to show the pictures of Aunty Mip's Bachelorett Party we had Saturday night, here is the day after. She looks pretty good for having a long night out! Of course, Bugaboo Girl loved the red feather boa!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And The PakNak Winners Are.....

Thank you to everyone who entered the PakNak Giveaway! With out any further waiting, here are the three random winners.

noreen said "can't pick just one. I love manfred, the hearts are so cute, Birdy Birdy is the cutes bird ever, I also like all of the flowers, the purple buyyer fly and the oh so cute dragon fly. I will stop before I name them all like the cute Minty (how they got that name for a heart I will never know!!)My daughter would love these for her first year of kindergarten, she starts Thursday."

Gina said "Adorable! I would put Grant the Soccer Ball on my daughter's soccer backpack!"

Laura said "My favorites are Isaac, Sprinkles, Lago and Mona. Would love to use these on backpacks or jeans!! Thanks."

Congratulations to all the winners! Contact me via email with your mailing information and what Naks you would like.

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Tackle It Tuesday - Tough Times Call for Creativity

If you follow my blog, you know that I have a garden which is producing a lot of tomatoes, green beans and all of the sudden a boom in jalapenos. right now, I do not have time to be processing tomatoes every day and I do not want them to rot so I have decided to set up a small produce stand in front of my house selling the excess and really ripe tomatoes.

I made a few quick signs, stapling them on tomato stakes, dragged out a metal bench we got from our neighbors that they were giving away, placed a table cloth over it, bought some paper lunch bags and taped a note on a tin for the money.

If I had known how fast my produce would have sold, I would have done this long ago! I ran out of my banana peppers and the tomatoes on my first day! I know I am charging pretty inexpensive prices, 6 plums for a $1 or 25 cents each but did not know the demand was there. So far, I have paid for the garden expenses and now the rest will be for next year. I may have stumbled upon something that could "grow" for next year! Do you think people will buy okra?

Tackle it Tuesday is sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom. Stop by to see other tackles!

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Soap That Sets The Mood

The sense of smell can set a tone of your mood. As moms, we all know what a dirty diaper smells like and of course our mood is dampened by a smell we cannot wait to get rid of. Then there are smells that can put us in a happy mood such as a favorite pie in the oven, filling the home with a warm sweet smell. Or how about what it smells like after a summer rain, clean and fresh. Wouldn't you like a soap that gives you these same type of feelings? I have found that in the soap from Long Winter Farm, an Etsy shop in Maine that makes homemade soap in wonderful combinations.

So they do not make a dirty diaper soap smell, but again we do not need this since most of us have this to deal with every day. What they do have are scents that have great combinations such as Basil and Mandarin Goat Milk which is a fresh summertime feel. I am using their Fig and Currant soap which is very luxurious, with the slight sweet smell of fig and the currant being the predominant scent. It is not too powerful to use and it also makes my shower smell so nice, calming me after a long day.

Long Winter Farm is a mom of two who lives in Maine on a Farm. She is like me, no naps and always doing something from craft, knitting to making soap! You can check out her blog about her farm and stop by her Etsy shop. No mom deserves to smell just dirty diapers every day!!


Long Meadow Farm is giving away a bar of Peppermilk Cold Process Goat Milk Soap to a lucky reader! See rules below.

1. Stop by Long Winter Farm and take a peak at her scent combinations. Post a comment on this post about which one you would like to try.
2. US addresses only, one post per person and please include your email address.
3. EXTRA CREDIT!!! Blog about this giveaway on your blog linking both Long Winter Farm and Life is like champagne, posting an extra comment at this post with the link.
4. EXTRA CREDIT!!! Sign up for my email feed and post a separate comment that you did so.
5. Contest ends midnight 9/15/08, random winner will be announced 9/16/08. Prizes need to be claimed within 72 hours or will be forfeited.

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Last Call for Off The Peg Giveaway!

Don't miss out on entering the Off the Peg Giveaway, today is the last day to enter!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Last Call for PakNak Giveaway!

Today is the last day for the PakNak Giveaway! Don't miss out on a great way to accessorize your child for the new school year!

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Planning Vacations By Car

When we planed our Maine vacation this summer, I knew it would be quite a long car ride. I have been checking out some web sites for tips on long drives with children, since Bugaboo Girl can get a little restless. We ARE that Family has a great list of ideas, tips and web sites to help you on the trip.

Planning seems to be the key to any vacation and packing is always the part that takes the most time. There is a printable Car Trip Check List that has it categorized from must have to Nice to have. It even has a baby check list which to me seems to be the most important! They should put on it "Baby in car seat".

Another great tool is the Moms Minivan site that has the activities categorized out by age group. This site has great tips for gear, travel freebies and games in the car. I am all over this Snack and Play Travel Tray! It has raised sides so nothing spills, side pockets and easy to secure. Bugaboo Girl was able to keep her toys on the tray, draw and have O's not spilling all over her seat!

Do you have any great car travel tips? Would love to hear about them!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Etsy for the Holidays

In case you didn't know, we are now upon the time of year where you may want to start thinking about shopping for Christmas. I have already started this process, actually started in March and took advantage of some great finds.

Everyone is thinking finances with the economy taking a hit and oil prices sucking the money out of our wallets. I have decided to promote homemade gifts for this holiday, and Etsy is always one of my favorite places to find that unique one of a kind gift. You will notice that a lot of my reviews and giveaways coming up will be Etsy Shops. This is my way of helping blog out the recession by promoting buying not only home made but supporting many moms who own these small business.

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