Thursday, January 26, 2012

Juicy Fruit for January

For a very brief time at the beginning of each year, honeybells come into season.  When January leaves, so do the honeybells.




You can recognize them from ordinary navel oranges by the little top knot which gives them a 'bell' shape.  They are almost always seedless, super sweet and full of juice.




I have ordered these juicy oranges from Cushner's and QVC in the past, but this year I found them in Whole Foods.  




Since it was a dull, dreary rainy day here, and a friend is coming to help me set up my new wireless printer that Santa dropped off, I got the urge to bake.  The cake is an adaptation of a Greek recipe for ravani, made with semolina and soaked with a lemon infused simple syrup.  I decided to use the honeybell juice for the lemon.


semolina flour soft pale yellow and very powdery
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan.  Prepare the syrup by mixing together 2 cups water, 1 cup plus 2 T. sugar and the juice of 1 lemon or 1 orange.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes.  Take off heat and set aside.


Using a hand mixer, mix 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla mix until combined.




In another bowl, mix 1/2 cup semolina, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1 tablespoon baking powder.  Add to wet ingredients and combine.  






Pour into greased pan and bake for 25 minutes, or test with toothpick (mine took 20 min).






Immediately after you take it out of the oven, cut into 9 squares, and evenly pour the syrup over the hot cake, letting it absorb the syrup a little at a time before adding more.




This is such a light fluffy cake, great with a cup of tea.  


Joining Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday's Letter J, Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday, Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday, and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.  Please stop by and say hi to our hostesses.  


xo





Monday, January 23, 2012

And the winner is



Sweet Melissa
Melissa, of Melissa's Heart and Home.  Melissa was chosen by Random.org generator to receive the "Light as a Feather" necklace offered by Shabby Apple.




Thanks to all who left such nice comments and entered this giveaway.  I wish I could give each of you a necklace.


xo



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just a reminder

One more day to enter my Shabby Apple giveaway by posting a comment here.  I will choose the winner by Random.org Generator tomorrow, January 23rd.


While I am here, I have been thinking about some bloggers who seemed to have disappeared from the face of Blogland.  I do hope they are all well, but it makes me think about obligations to our readers.  I would have to post something if I was not going to be around for a while, unless I was physically not able to do so.  I might even ask a friend to do a little note or something.   Maybe I take it a little too seriously?  


I don't know if I should even mention the blogs in question, for that matter.  I find it a little amusing that although some have not posted in months, they still have people following them as recently as yesterday.  I wouldn't be so quick to "follow" a blog that hasn't any recent posts.  I would definitely pop in for visits to check on the situation.  


Your thoughts?


xo



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year


 新年快樂


The Year of the Dragon 


1916  1928  1940  1952 1964  1976  1988  2000  2012


Dragon Personality 

The Dragon is magnificent. He is flamboyant, attractive and full of vitality and strength. In China the Dragon is the imperial symbol, the sign of the emperor, or the male element Yang. The Dragon is the symbol of power and wealth. 

It would be right to say that people born in the year of the dragon have a natural charisma and are certainly gifted with power and luck. It is unlikely for them to escape unnoticed from a party or to take a second place in a competition. The dragon person has an active mind and shows an unfeigned interest in the world around him/her. This person is also self-confident enough to know how to create a necessary impression. Because they are larger than life themselves, dragon people like to do everything on a grand scale. They are egoistical and ambitious, almost to the point of megalomania, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. Person born in this year wears the crown of destiny, and is capable of great achievements if he/she knows how to harness his/her tremendous energy, intelligence and talent. While these people enjoy being the center of attention, they also have a brave and charitable side to their personality. If a dragon's friend faces a problem or dilemma he/she will be there to offer help, and when others leave the field of battle the dragon person makes a step forward to solve the problem with authority and dignity. These people set the high standard of actions for themselves as well as for other people and are surprised when others cannot cope with a task; they are so carried away by the process that fail to see other people's weaknesses. 

The Chinese believe that there is a balance between heaven and earth in the life of people born in the year of the dragon, and successful follows them everywhere. Along with a good fortune, these people are also good organizers, who can step in at the right moment with an exciting or creative scheme. They can be quick-tempered and obstinate, and sometimes too outspoken, but there is usually good advice in their criticisms or suggestions. As a friend, a person born in this year often allows him/herself to be carried away by his/her needs to show everyone the way and neglects to solicit opinions and ideas from others. Yet no one could find a more devoted, open-hearted friend than this personality type. His/her vibrant, positive attitude is irreplaceable to have around and one can always count on him to support his friends unequivocally in times of need.    -  www.gotohoroscope.com







Now I need to order from my favorite Chinese take-out!  I'll be sharing dumplings with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.


xo
                                                      

Friday, January 20, 2012

You Smiled.....and the spell was cast

At Last.......a beautiful song, one of my all time favorites


Rest in peace, Miss Etta.   This song belongs to you, thanks for sharing it with us.


xo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's inevitable

Hi all - I edited this post to avoid any more confusion that this is a calorie laden concoction - it is a protein shake mix, low-glycemic, lots of vitamins and minerals!  Visit www.Shaklee.com to learn more about the product.


I still crave a snack some time during the day


It is sooo cold, yet I find my self immersed in thoughts of




And dare I say






Incongruous really, or just plain insane.  But-- I am a former Girl Scout so I am prepared


Cinch is from Shaklee Corporation and can be ordered thru their site
Just put 2 scoops in 1 cup of low fat milk (I added 1 cup of ice cubes).    




Low-fat milk is good to help keep skin firm.  




I also tried to be artistic with chocolate syrup.





Immensely satisfying.  Almost instant gratification.  Imagine, I actually did something good for me!


Join me over at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday, where this week's letter is the innocuous Letter I!


xo



Monday, January 16, 2012

S.O.S.

This is a very good description of me every most days.


I have been reading on other blogs that Google Friend Connect is going away in March........why???   Does anyone know the answer?  What are we supposed to do?




I joined Facebook under duress.  I find it boring and still can't seem to find my way around it.  Don't get me started with the games.  Good for families living far apart to keep up perhaps.  I personally would rather talk on the phone or just email.   I do adore Pinterest and Twitter.




I admit if I lose followers, I will not enjoy blogging as much as I do.  And will lose motivation.  Are there tutorials for switching over to Networked Blogs?  I tried to follow a blog today, it went through Facebook, but I am not showing up on the blog although it accepted me when I hit the follow button.  My avatar is not the one I want to use for blogging, I don't like that my full name shows up, I am really very annoyed with this whole thing.


This is NOT me, just a representation of how I am feeling!



Any help will be greatly appreciated.  


xo


All photos are from my "My Style" board on Pinterest.  Not all negative things, I do have some fashionable stuff!  ;-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Never Enough Wishes for a Good New Year



A friend emailed me this link, and I was so taken with it that I had to share it.  It is worth the five minutes or so to view it.  Beautiful photography of a place most of us would not get to visit.  Mother Nature at her very best.


Enjoy.




http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=x91rBzNKvlc&vq=large

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th and random thoughts

This week we've had a full moon and today it is Friday the 13th.




Ahem, I don't want to offend cat lovers, but I do find this one a lot scarier than an old black one!  :)


On my way out to a surprise birthday party Saturday evening, I went back in to get my camera to try to capture the moon, which really caught my eye




Not too terrible for my old point-and-shoot


I want to remind everyone to enter my Shabby Apple giveaway here (pretty please!).  Right now the odds are excellent.  Winner to be drawn January 23rd.


Have a happy weekend, everyone!  I am still packing away Christmas decor.  Hope to have photos of home stuff in the next couple of days.


xo





Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Heartfelt

Heart of roses


Real love birds make a heart


Words to take to heart


A sweet heart 


Really sweet hearts


I heart breakfast - any time of day


A heart throb from years ago


BJ, this is for you!  




From my heart, wishing you health and happiness always. 


Please take a moment to visit here and check out my Shabby Apple giveaway, winner to be drawn on January 23rd.  


Happily joining Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday's Letter H and Natasha at 5 Minutes Just for Me for Singing and Pinning on the Weekend.  Thanks to our hostesses for hosting these weekly parties.  


Hugs and kisses


All photos from my "Heartfelt" board on Pinterest.  Click on the link on my sidebar to visit and follow along.  











Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Giveaway

Contest is now closed and winner has been chosen.


I was recently contacted by Chelsea at Shabby Apple asking if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway.  Of course I said "Yes!"




Shabby Apple is your online source for vintage women's and children's dresses, as well as swimwear, aprons, jewelry and accessories.  I am particular fond of their gorgeous ebony dresses.


There have been several great giveaways at other blogs.  This one is for a piece of their vintage jewelry.  It was not an easy decision as I liked every piece that was being offered.  But the one I chose had caught my eye almost immediately.






This piece is called "Light As A Feather" (so apropos for Two Birdies and a B, right?).   It is suspended on an 18 inch gold chain, handmade in the USA.   Feathers are in style these days, with home decor and even in hair trends.  


I was given a list of jewelry pieces to make a selection.  I gave it lots of thought and it was not easy to just choose one.  No exchanges for the winning piece will be allowed.


The giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. residence.  If you are a follower but do not have a blog, please be sure I have an email to contact you.  You can email me privately.


The rules are simple: 


1)  You must be a follower of my blog and leave a comment saying you want to be entered.  


2)  For an additional entry, you can like Shabby Apple's page  on Facebook and leave a comment here stating you did that.  You can sign up to be eligible for special promotions and exclusive discounts.


3)  If you mention it on a post or put it on your sidebar, leave a third comment, and many thanks in advance!


For the next thirty days, you are eligible for a 10% off coupon by using the code "twobirdies10off".  


The giveaway starts today and I will select the winner using Random Org generator on Monday, January 23, 2012.


Good luck!


xo





Friday, January 6, 2012

The Year of the Shed

While commenting on a blog post just minutes ago, the idea for one came into being.    In my head, I am 'secretly' referring to 2012 as 'my year' and also as 'the year of the shed'.




No, not this type of shed but




that one.  Oh yeah. The infamous New Year's Resolution that I always make while eating something or another.


But I am armed with some reinforcements




I sort of poo-pooed walking as not really being such a strong weight loss aid, since we've all been pretty much doing it since we were two, but obviously I needed to be more enlightened




Being more honest with myself and owning my mistakes




Even just getting up off the couch and stepping away from the computer!


Preparing healthy foods by only buying healthy foods and snacks (easier said than done, but note to self:  grow up!)




Be my own motivational coach




I will post updates here and there, as well as share any delicious healthy or light recipes I will be trying.  I hope to actually do a photo reveal of myself eventually.  


Sharing my not so 'secret' with Natasha at 5 Minutes Just For Me for her weekly Pinning & Singing Party", as all photos are from my Pinterest board called "Just for Me".  


xo



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gifts of the Wise Men

This is a repost from one year ago today.  I wanted to share it again.




January 6th is known as the Epiphany or Feast of the Three Magi.  It is the 12th day of Christmas, beginning December 25th.  This holiday looks toward the Church's mission to the world to show Jesus as our Savior.




The Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.


In Italy, The Epiphany is a national holiday and children wait for La Befana.  She is  an old woman who brings gifts to good children, and leaves coal to the bad ones.  The tale goes on to say that the Wise Men knocked on her door and asked her to accompany them on their journey, but she refused.  After seeing a huge powerful light in the sky, she set out with gifts to join them, but got lost.  She goes out bringing gifts each year in the hopes of finding Baby Jesus.




As part of celebrating on January 6th, some people make a King's Cake or a bread filled with all sorts of goodies to represent the gifts brought by the Wise Men.  


You can find a tasty recipe here.


Dear Jesus, as You led the Three Kings to You by the light of a star, 
Please draw us ever closer to You by the light of Faith. 
Help us to desire You as ardently as they did. 
Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You. 
May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You. 
Mary, Our Mother, help us to know Your Son. 
Amen.       

                     -  from Catholic Cuisine


Joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays and Elaine for Sunny Simple Sundays.  


xo

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fresh Start


Here's wishing all of us a really great year, where goals are achieved and dreams come true!  


xo
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