Friday, June 29, 2012

I love it when a dish comes out perfectly!

My Sweet and Sour Chicken
My daughter and I seem to live off of chicken. We get the frozen breasts in the big family pack at walmart, they run pretty inexpensive and that is what my budget has to afford. Eating chicken all of the time can get very boring. Luckily my daughter is willing to try anything that I make. I looked up sweet and sour chicken on the internet it looked pretty yummy, so, off to the cupboard I went. Wouldn't you know, I didn't have a lot of what the recipe called for, so, time to play. I will share my recipe and hopefully if you make it, you will leave a comment on how you liked it. It was a huge hit here. I am happy that I wrote it down, I have a habit of playing around with what I have on hand and then can't duplicate it.
1large can of crushed pineapple
1/4 c cornstarch
1 3/4 c water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c white vinegar
2 drops red food coloring
4-6 pre-cooked chicken breasts~ cut into bite sized chunks
2 1/4 c flour
2 T olive oil
2 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 egg
1 green pepper~ cut into chunks
1 1/2 c water
1) In a saucepan, combine the pineapple, green pepper, 1 & 1/2 cups of the water, vinegar, sugar, and red food coloring.Heat to boiling. Remove from heat, combine the 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Slowly stir into saucepan. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
2) In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oil, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and egg.gradually add the 1 1/2 cups of water to mixture. mix thoroughly. Add chicken chunks, make sure chicken is well coated.
3)Fry chicken pieces for about 10 mins until golden. Drain on paper towels or a brown bag.
4) Serve on top of white rice and cover with the warm sauce.
My daughter thinks it would be tasty to add a splash of orange juice to the sauce. I had wished I had maraschino cherries, I would have replaced the sugar with the cherry juice and would have thrown in a couple of the cherries!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sometimes, you just need kindness!

I know, I know, You missed me right?? What? You didn't notice I was away? Oh, it was because you were catching up on all my blog pages. WOW!! Thank you! Have you ever had one of those days when everything was just a bit off? Maybe, the alarm went off too early or too late, you didn't wash the outfit that you really wanted to wear, or you burned the toast and spilled your coffee. And that is all before leaving your house! When you leave your house, you're running late and a slow driver gets in front of you, no time to stop for coffee now!! And you pray that you make it to work on the gas fumes you are using. Okay, just slow down a second and take a deep breath! Hold it, hold it, okay, exhale slowly. Now look around. If it is raining, look at the drops on your windows and imagine that you are in a soda and with each bubble, it washes away one of those "last" know the ones...the ones that sound like threats, "you hit my last nerve" "how dare you" "get out of my way"...etc. Look at the beauty around you. breathe! If the sun is shining, enjoy it! Don't complain that it's in your eyes. Enjoy the beauty that it brings. Oh yeah, and breathe! We all have our own "stories", our own battles we are trying to conquer. Some of the hurdles seem to be nearly impossible to get over, but, trust me, you can do it! Have faith! You may not believe in God, but, you need to find something POSITIVE to believe in! Life is way too short for you to go through it with a chip on your shoulder. Am I saying that you can't have a bad day? Not really, I am saying that YOU can change your bad day into a good day. Try to find something that makes you feel better. The sound of a child laughing, a couple in love, a flock of birds sitting on the phone line. Show some one some kindness, pay the toll for the car behind you, pay for someone's coffee as you stop to get yours, give the cashier money towards the next person's groceries, or if you are struggling for money like me, hold the door open for someone, make eye contact and smile at them. Honestly, I promise, it'll turn both your days around! As for me, I try to be kind to everyone I meet. That is what my husband loved so much about me. He always told me that I had the biggest heart of anyone he knew. I believe everyone deserves a hug, I have hugged people that others wouldn't go near. My thought is what if that was the only contact they have had with anyone in so long. Oh, I have also hugged people that ended up giving me the creeps, but, I walked away afterward and I was a better person for it. I lost "me" for a while, but, I am slowly finding myself again. It has been a very long and difficult road that I have been traveling. I have lost many along the way of this journey. Friends and family that I thought I would have with me until the end of time, while some have passed away, others have left to go down their own paths. I try not to be bitter about losing everything, and most days I am not. I used to hate the saying "life is good"After the year of sadness, I began to feel that it was being rubbed in our faces. life is good? For whom? When I run into someone who is mean and hateful, I ask God, Why? Why leave this miserable person here when my husband, was a great loving man and didn't make others hurt was taken? Or the countless innocent children? Then I realize, maybe it was because they are getting a chance to be a better person before they die. Or when my daughter and I drive by our old house and see someone else sitting on our porch, it stings. So that is when I stop and take a breath myself. Yes, the tears can be streaming down my face and more than anything I want to kiss my husband again, but, I count my blessings. I am so thankful for the love my parents had for each other and for all of their children. I am thankful that I have the four best brothers in the world and the two best sisters anyone would dream to have. I am thankful that when I gave my son up for adoption that he was truly loved by his parents as much as I loved him. I am thankful for God loving me enough that he gave me my daughter Leah. Without her, my life would be unbearable! I know what true love feels like. I know what it is like to have everything and then have nothing. Through it all, I have clung to hope, hope that my husband will come for me someday, hope that my daughter will become a famous author, hope that someday, I will see my grandchildren again. And hope that someone that feels they are alone in their pain will have someone else do something for them that will give them back their faith and also give them hope.
Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A gluten free diet is not enough for people with Celiac

CeliAct complements the gluten free diet to provide a complete nutritional solution for people with celiac disease. CeliAct provides your body with nutrients and compounds to minimize the risk of the complications that people with celiac disease suffer from the most. Did you know that simply implementing a gluten free diet is not enough for people with Celiac? There have been a number of recent studies that show those of us with Celiac have a significantly higher need for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. CeliAct There are so many people that suffer from Celiac. Donna from Donna's Deals And More had the opportunity to try CeliAct...please see what she has to say about it below and don't forget to sign up for the Giveaway!!
Go to my Giveaway Page for the Rafflecopter
Review done by DonnasDealsAndMore I had the opportunity to try both the CeliAct and the Fish Oil. There are 5 components to CeliAct.
  • Digestive Enzyme Support
  • Multivitamin/Multimineral Complex
  • Intestinal Healing Blend
  • Probiotic Defense Complex
  • Bone Building Formula
Normally when I take my vitamins I get a stomach ache. I had started taking them at night so I could sleep through it. I have been taking CeliAct 3x a day and have had no issues with stomach aches. In fact, I don't feel bloated and "bleh" at all. I have completely removed all glutens from my diet and had no idea that taking a supplement made especially for those of us with CeliAct could have such a positive impact on me. I've also been taking the Fish Oil. My only complaint would be "fish burps". Thankfully it only happens with in the first few hours after taking it.
CeliAct also has an amazing newsletter. It is not spammy at all. I love the information they provide. They have interesting and educational articles that are pertinent to me.
You can purchase CeliAct HERE and if you use coupon code DONNASCELIACT at checkout, you'll save 25%!
CeliAct is giving one lucky reader a prize pack of CeliAct and CeliAct Fish Oil {$57 value}
*Open to US and Canada, must be 18 years or older
*Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. SCHMOOZING WITH BETSY is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

I suppose that not all dreams are meant to come true. But, to be so close that you actually can see it, well, that in itself is wonderful. Today however, I am trying to adjust to my dream having to go on hold. The government decided not to fund me for schooling right now. Since I have been out of work, I have not been able to pay on the student loan I had taken out for Leah. That of course put me in, even though I am not working still, if, I want to reach for my dream again, I have to make 6 monthly payments of more than I can afford right now. What a mess! I tried everything that I could think of, but, they just couldn't help me anymore than they already have. I am trying to get a handle on my emotions right now. It was a huge blow to my inner peace and the excitement I was feeling. This most definitely was not the news that I wanted to hear. In the past, this is what would have sent me over the edge to make me eat, but, for today, I am just going to take my dogs and go into my bedroom, lay my head onto my pillow and dream.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Official

I am all signed up! My chair is reserved and my kit is on order! I am going to start Cosmetology on July 16th I am so excited I can barely contain it! The possibilities are endless! I can have my own salon in 2 years!! 2 YEARS! Not bad! I was able to get funding for all but 2000. of it. I was hoping to get it all so that it wouldn't be a bill every month added on to what we already have. So, I have to get a job too. I was so hoping to devote all of my time to school and studying but, I want this so badly that I will manage. UGH... to be so close, I just can't not go! There has been way too much sadness in my little life, I NEED this more than ever! I was so heart broken when i was told that I will have to pay $165 a month starting on the first day of school. It'll be okay, somehow, it will be, it has to be. I am looking for some scholarships to see if there is anything out there to help with this. This is not one of the careers that will allow me to get paid unemployment and as for state aide, I hear that you still have to be available to work and since I will be in school, they don't consider that as available! It'll probably be easier finding a job part time nights, because it isn't a career job that I will be looking for. I will hit all the places close to my campus and I'm sure it'll end up being (gulp) retail. It'll only be for a year, I can do it! Right now, though, it is official and I am so very excited! Brandon, the college director told me he was also hoping for me to get more of a pell grant, but, I made too much last year. I made too much? Wow! I made 21,000! That sure is a lot! The good thing is, I can apply again for next term so, if they go by this year, I should get a little more so maybe all of next term will be covered. I am not going to worry about that now. Because of the hours required in NH, if I want to get my license in any other state, I will just have to go to the state boards and get my license! Wish me luck and say a prayer! I will soon be on my way to a new career!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Excited and Nervous but Ready

I am so excited and just can't wait to share it! I have some wonderful news! Well, wonderful for me. I was accepted into Cosmetology School , and I start on July 16th! I really think it is what I want to be when I grow up! I thought I wanted to be a nurse, well, I did, but, man oh man, I kept hitting roadblocks! I know it is a rewarding profession but, my daughter was worried about the sadness that I would encounter. I didn't stop to think about that. The other night, Leah came into my room and said Mom have you thought about applying to Empire? Wow! I don't know why I wasn't thinking because, ever since I was in 2nd grade, I wanted to follow in my big sister Teri's footsteps!! She was a hairdresser and I thought what a cool job that is! I always played with Barbie doll hair and wanted a mannequin head to play with the hair and make-up. I have always loved the smell of perms, strange as it seems, but, I really have. When I was in high school, I was very disappointed that my school did not offer the course but the next town over did. My school would let us go for classes over to Dover, but, by the time I found out about it, I was a sophomore and you had to be a freshman. Ughhh! So, here it is, many many years later, but, I went to the web site and decided to ask for more information. The next morning Brandon from HR/ admin called me to set up a time to sit and talk about things. I decided on the school in Portsmouth because I figured that if I was accepted, it would be more convenient to be closer to my daughter's work. I was a nervous pile of jiggly jello when I walked through the doors to meet with Brandon. ( I always worry about how people will feel towards me.) I filled out a questionnaire, and Brandon came around the corner. Right away, I felt at ease. He was charming and we clicked right away. During the information gathering, we found out that he was also from Somersworth and we knew a lot of the same people. In fact, his uncle is one of my little brother's best friends! Small world. I was there for about an hour as we chatted it up. He then said that he will highly recommend me to attend and he will get all the money needed through grants and loans for me to attend!! I actually teared up! Okay, I know, that's nothing new. He took me for a tour around the campus and showed me all the things that I am going to get as soon as classes start! It'll feel like Christmas! Oh my gosh, I am going to get so much and a suitcase with wheels to keep it all in! (I couldn't wait to get to my daughter's work to tell her.) After the tour, we went and sat back down in Brandon's office so that he could tell me some more about what was offered there and where I could go with it. There is a 98% pass rate on the first time around at taking the State Boards!! And he also told me the unemployment rate for a cosmetologist in NH is 0%!! I will graduate in 1 year and then I have to work for someone for a year but, in 2 years, I can own my own salon, or booth rent!! He told me that there are so many avenues I can go down, ike the entertainment field, so, I told him of our friend Lindsay that went to Paul Mitchell Design School and actually worked on a music video shoot! How cool is that!! On Wednesday, I will be going back with my license and transcripts and $50.00, and then I am IN!!I can barely believe it! Yay! I was so filled with joy and excitement that as I was driving to Leah's work to tell her, I called my niece Anji! Who was sick and I think I woke her up. Sorry Anj! I was just beside myself with excitement and she and I had talked about going. I arrived at Leah's work and she came down to have lunch with me. She looked concerned and asked how it went! I no longer could contain my excitement when I told her that I was accepted and start next month! She was just as excited as me!! I showed her my welcome package and she realized that she actually knows Brandon! Talk about a small world! She and Lindsay both graduated from high school together and know each other! I can't wait until I see him on Wednesday and tell him how much smaller the world actually got! You know how I am always looking for signs that I am doing the right thing and heading the right way? Well, this is one of those signs that makes me think that I am taking the right path and will be happy again. Thank You God!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Laughter heals the soul

I was blessed with a great laugh. I love my laugh. It is from the heart and loud and makes others smile. We all need to hear laughter, it is truly healing. It is a great release of tension. Have you ever noticed at a wake there is usually laughter? I believe laughter binds us to one another. Don't you think that laughter, true laughter, can make enemies maybe even like each other. I grew up in a house that was always laughing. We learned to laugh with each other, at each other and at ourselves probably since birth. My dad was full of jokes and truly loved to tell them. My mom, could never remember the punch line or she would remember just the punch line. My dad would change his accent to tell the jokes and would have us roaring. Some of my most cherished memories are of when my dad got together with my uncles Dave, Frank,Joe and Skip; they almost competed with each other and had us laughing so hard that tears would roll down our faces. Our sense of humor came from both sides of our family. My parents would visit my Uncle Larry and Aunty Peggy and we kids would hide under the table and listen as they played cards. My uncle was very quiet but so funny and my Aunt was so full of love. We were truly blessed with a great family all around! My dad was the baby of 12 and my mom was the oldest of 6. So, needless to say, we have tons of cousins! I don't think you can ever have too many relatives. Even though we are all different, we all have a great sense of humor. Oh yes, there are days that I find very difficult to laugh, and even as much as I miss my husband and parents, if you were to bump into me, just having met me, you would never know that my heart was actually shattered. I have a gift. It was passed to me from my mom and I passed it on to my daughter; I am sure some of my family shares in this same gift, but, I have never asked. To me this gift is a blessing. People tend to connect to us. There is something about us that makes people comfortable right away and share things with us. Usually they will even say, they aren't even sure why they just told us what they did, because they either don't know us or haven't ever told anyone or sometimes both. Even though I can be a little shy at first, if I see someone who is uncomfortable or shy, I reach right out for them and try to make them feel at ease. I hope that they are not thinking who is this crazy lady talking to me? I have the gift of gab as my dad called it. I used to tease my mom who would just talk with anyone, and any where, grocery stores, church, bathrooms, you name it. Come to find out, I am just like her. Another gift I got from my mom was eavesdropping. Oh yes, sitting in a restaurant is the best place. We would go out to eat and she'd say did you hear what they just said, and proceed to tell us. Quite awhile ago, while she was still alive, I found that I do the same thing! Oh yes, I still do it to this day, so, if you are in any way close enough for me to hear your conversation, I am listening. I can't help it, I just can't, so please, if you are ever discussing your bank robbery or plans to do so, or where you hid the dead body, wait until you are sure no one can hear you. It truly would be accidental if I heard it so please don't come and torture me into telling. Your secret is safe, really! Sometimes, laughter just bursts out at the wrong times, like when someone falls down, when in church, or at bodily functions... After my husband died, it was hard to find laughter again. It slowly came back to me. I asked for a sign, seems as if I tend to need that reassurance quite a bit...I never know what kind of sign I will get, but, I always get one. just look at that pepper that I cut open, have you ever seen such a happy pepper before? Not me, I have tried to duplicate it, but it never looks like that. That was my sign.
I don't want to be one of the bitter people, I want to laugh. I want to always find wonderment in the little things in life, like the way the raindrops sound on our metal roof, or watching a baby learn to walk, the way a bumblebee is actually able to fly. I want to still see the beauty in dandelions, and slugs and spider webs. The way the sun shines through the clouds, the way the ocean glistens, the sounds of new life in the woods during spring, the scent of grass that has just been cut, the smell of leaves in the fall, and the designs that frost makes in the winter. My wish is that even though your life may be hectic and things may not be going very well, or just the opposite and you are very well off, please go enjoy something small and find your wonderment again.