Date Night With Doug

Douglas is my 13 year old son. After reading the Happiness Project , by Gretchen Rubin, I got the idea to take my son on a monthly adventure/date night. The two of us would go out to dinner together and shop for a few necessities once a month.

The rules are we have to eat at a different place each time and it has to be a place we haven’t been before.

Our first adventure/date night was last Tuesday and we decided to go to an authentic Polish restaurant in nearby Geneseo but first we stopped by the Goodwill retail store on a hunt for a pair of summer sneakers for Doug.

As soon as we went into the store he headed right to the shoe section and found a pair of black Under Armour sneaks for $9.00. Score! We also picked out 3 shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, a pair of swim trunks for him and I also found a couple of shirts for me. Total $50.

After our good fortune at the Goodwill Store we headed over for dinner.


The Euro Cafe is on Main Street in Geneseo, NY  and is run by two sisters with authentic Polish accents and boy do they know how to cook!

Our soup was borscht. I had never had borscht before. It’s an earthy soup of beets (hence the red color) and veggies like celery, potatoes and carrots in a rich veggie based broth. It was so delicious Doug even drank the broth.


We each had a different main course. Doug had the Hunter’s platter.


Smoked sausage, perogies, hunter’s  stew, mashed potatoes, and a stuffed cabbage roll.

I had the Polish Platter.


Baked sausage, rye bread, sauerkraut, salad, mustard, horseradish and cranberry relish.

Both platters were delicious with such a depth of flavor! Something you can’t get at a fast food/chain restaurant.

We skipped dessert and had ice cream on the way home. It was a perfect night. I so enjoy my son and these date nights give us a chance to catch up with each other.

Next month is Mexican in Medina. Stay tuned….-MM Euro Cafe
Continue reading “Date Night With Doug”

Easter Sunrise Service

20150405_070926_resizedI have to admit that I had never been to an Easter sunrise service. I have been to every 10:00 Easter service, every year, for forty years but I have never gotten out of bed in the early dawn to attend a sunrise service. I regret that now.

A few months ago I told our Pastor that my husband and I would like to host this year’s Easter sunrise service. I wanted to experience it and I figured the only way that might happen was if we hosted it at our home.

Easter week was a tough week at work. I was just coming off of being sick for a week with a stomach virus unlike anything I had ever experienced and I was behind. I had a lot to catch up on and I needed to get all of the specialty items prepped for Easter sales. Bunny cakes, Easter egg bread, St. Joseph’s bread, Easter wreathes, dinner rolls, loaf breads and cookie cakes were on the to-do list.bread5

After being pulled automatically through the tunnel that is holiday baking I came out on the other side tired as usual but excited this time unlike usual. I was excited for Easter morning. All week we watched the weather forecast. It was going to be cold that morning. About 27 degrees to be exact. And snow. About an inch or two. These reports did not discourage us.

In addition to the service we also would be serving breakfast afterwards. On Saturday evening I spent about two hours prepping everything for the morning. I baked the quiche, mixed up the dry mix for the scones, cut up all of the fruit, and had the danish and sweet roll dough rising in the fridge over night. I went to bed excited.


We woke up the next morning at 5:30. Our guests were coming at 7:00. I baked everything I had prepped the night before. My husband set up the chairs outside in the cold side yard. People started arriving. My first Easter sunrise service.

Although it was not a sun filled morning, it was crisp and calm. A calm like no other. Most Easter services are filled with glad rejoicing. With singing of praise to our risen King. What I had experienced at this service was calm knowledge and peace. The cold air outside conveyed a peace that our sins were forgiven and that atonement flowed from our Lord to us. What I had been missing all of these years was a more intimate experience with Christ’s Resurrection. A quieter time to reflect and be thankful for His sacrifice.

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The service lasted about 20 minutes. We sang hymns, read scripture and listened to the sermon. After worship, we gathered in the warm house and sat in fellowship sipping hot coffee and eating our breakfasts. We were a joyous group.


My husband and I hope to host Easter sunrise service again. Even though it was cold and a little snowy this year I plan on being there next year. I don’t want to miss it ever again.    -MM

Geraniums, Pop Bottle Garden Update and Food Waste in the Bakery Department



This time of year I am so happy that I dug up my geraniums and brought them in for the winter. A few posts ago I talked about these beauties and now they are in full bloom! What an encouraging lift they are for me every day. I hope to be using these plants as accents this weekend when we host our Church’s Easter Sunrise Service at our home. Stay tuned.


Pop Bottle Garden Update

My pop bottle experiment has gone fabulously! I have replanted all 24 tiny basil seedlings into their own individual space using two biodegradable cardboard egg cartons. Free and easy container space which of course I love.

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The other seeds I tried in the pop bottle soon overtook their spaces blowing off the tops of the bottles within a few weeks. A single tomato plant and zucchini squash were my next experiments. I might have to plant them into another pot instead of waiting until May to set them out. What do you think?

I will definitely be using this method next year for starting my seeds. It worked flawlessly.

Food Waste in the Bakery Department


As you can imagine grocery stores have a lot of food waste every day. To the left is an example of what I pulled off the bakery shelves on a typical Friday morning. Luckily not all of what is pictured in the cart is thrown out. Not yet anyway. We reduce our out of date items and give our customers a chance to purchase them at a lower cost. After that, if items are not sold on the reduced rack then yes, they will end up in the trash. Sad huh?

On a good note though, our store does donate many items that are coming close to their expiration dates to local food pantries and other organizations that will gladly take them.

The bakery and deli departments have another unique way we use items that are damaged or otherwise considered unsellable to the general public. We make stuff with them. What kind of stuff? Yummy stuff!

Every morning the produce man comes around to the bakery and deli departments to see if we can use any of their day’s freshly pulled damaged or undesirable items. Deli usually grabs the tomatoes and peppers and lettuce and re-purposes them using them in salads and the hot foods case for lunch.

Bakery on the other hand can use just about any of the produce. Carrots get ground and used in cakes and muffins, Cranberries get made into coffee cakes, peppers, squash, and asparagus get made into quiche, and of course apples get made into pies. How glorious! This week we got berries. Lots and lots and LOTS of berries. Over ten cases of strawberries in fact. “What the heck do I do with all of these cases of strawberries?” I said to my store manager.


I made lots of things with these strawberries. Scones, fruit breakfast bars, filling for cakes, and finally freezer jam. Yep when you are drowning in berries make jam. I made freezer jam because it was easy and quick. Nine, 16 oz. jars. Yippee! I use the jam in my thumbprint cookies which I bake a lot of. I still have a 5 gallon pail of frozen cut-up strawberries in the freezer to use in the future.


So you might ask why produce had so many bad berries? Many times they arrive that way on the truck. They come in too ripe or too damaged to sell. We get credit from the warehouse on anything that is damaged or not up to par. Instead of throwing them in the dumpster we try to use them. I love turning items that would normally wind up in the trash into something wonderful. What can I say I am a sucker for a freebie! -MM

2015 Goals Update Week 10

I have been working diligently on most of my goals for the year but I need to get back on track for others. Here’s how I am doing so far.

1. Renovate our only bathroom and replace the window in our son’s bedroom.

After having two different contractors come in and look at our bathroom we decided that we were going to have to work on some of it ourselves. One of the contractors gave us a quote on re-glazing the tub and putting in a new surround and fixtures. His quote came in at over $4500 and the tub re-glazing was only guaranteed for five years. The other contractor took a look and didn’t like the window we had in our shower. I didn’t have much confidence in getting a bid from him after that, thinking it was going to come in way higher than the other one.

I decided that I would re-caulk the tub myself, which was one of the biggest things bothering me about our bathroom. I had already done it twice before and it hadn’t worked, so I decided to try once more. I got a better silicone caulk this time and went at it on my day off.

Here are the before and after pics.


Pretty yuck right? After spending a couple of hours scraping off the old caulk, cleaning and drying the tub and surround perfectly, I re-caulked the whole thing as carefully as I could. Taking care not to leave any air bubbles or gaps.  The instructions said that we could use the shower fully after eight hours but I left it for about 36 hours before we took our first shower. So far, so good. Nothing has started to pull away from the walls or bubbled.

Replace our son’s bedroom window. Done!

2. Catch-up on and read my favorite daily blog – “Feed Your Family for $100 a Month” by Mavis Butterfield. Also catch-up on and read a really great e-magazine “From Scratch”.

I still am not caught up on “How to Feed your Family for $100 a Month.” I read through about 30 blog posts but I am still behind by about 60. Sigh…

From Scratch is a bi-monthly e-magazine. I did read one of the issues but after reading it I was so frustrated with the poor editing that I have put it on the back burner. I love the information in this magazine and the photos are beautiful, however, if you can’t edit your spelling I tend to not to want to take you seriously. I even wrote an email to the editor but as you can imagine I didn’t get a response.

3. Journal Daily

I have kept up on my journal writing but sometimes I am a week or so behind and by the time I get a moment to write I have forgotten the details of those days. I have resorted to using my Facebook posts and texts to fill in the blanks. My goal is to write daily so I won’t forget anything. I am happy that I have written something for each day no matter how small the post may be.

4. Pay off one of our two credit cards

Here is my major focus this year. I have to say I am completely and utterly frustrated and stressed out about these two credit cards. Almost two years ago all of our credit cards were paid off and I was very proud of that fact. But life happens and yet again we are back in the vicious credit card cycle. When I had my bakery we had to put everything on hold including house repairs and waiting to buy new furniture and many other necessities. After I got my full time job as a bakery manager with a steady paycheck we faced the task of catching up on four years of back repairs and aging vehicles and household items. We needed so many things. Our couch was falling apart, my car died after ten years of faithful service, my husband got into an accident and the deductible was $1000. All of that went on a credit card because I knew now that I had a job along with my husband’s full time job we could afford payments.

Now we have the huge task of yet again paying these things off. I think about them almost every day. We will do it. I don’t know how. But we will. Stay tuned.

5. Organize our attic

Still nothing yet

6. Exercise three times a week

I haven’t done very well with this. I did work out twice two weeks ago. Does that count?

7. Read one book a month

I finally finished Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett. It only took me nine weeks to listen to it. I did also read and finish Takedown Twenty, by Janet Evanovich. I use Evanovich books as a kind of palate cleanser in between heavy novels like Follett’s, Giants. How can you not laugh at Lula and Grandma Mazur?

takedown twenty

8. Send out birthday and anniversary cards each month

All set with March’s birthdays!

9. Make copies of my Granny’s recipes and give a copy to each of our family members.

Nope. Not a thing yet.

10. Digitize my Dad’s family’s photos and make photo books and give CD copies to each of our family members

So far I have about 100 photos scanned and put on disc. It really is fun.

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11. Blog at least once a week

So far, so good!

12. Read the Bible from cover to cover with my husband

I have to admit we are behind in reading our Bible daily. We may not finish it in a year but my husband and I are still reading and growing in the Lord’s Word.

I feel good about my progress on my 2015 goals. Do you have goals? What are they and how are you doing on them? – MMR

Basic Cake Decorating Class

On Monday night I taught a class at a local high school on basic cake decorating. I love doing these classes because I get to meet new people and everyone has a smile on their face by the end of the class. Learning something new is always exciting!

In my basic class I give each new student a goody bag with a writing tip, a border tip, a coupler and a few disposable pastry bags. There is a misconception that cakes have to be fancy to be beautiful. With just these two pastry tips you can do a lot to make your cakes look professional without having to learn advanced skills.

I had 10 students, all women, ranging in age from early college to mid 60s. I started them off with the border tip and we practiced how to hold the bag. What I recommend to everyone is that they practice their piping skills on their kitchen counters or tables so that they can wipe the surface clean and keep practicing over and over. In fact if I have a new design that I am working on I practice piping it first on the counter. It’s a lot easier to scrape off my attempt on my counter than it is to have to scrape it off the cake and potentially ruin it.

After we practiced borders we then switched the border tip out for the writing tip using the same pastry bag. The writing tip is really the most versatile of all pastry tips in my opinion. Not only are you using it to write names on a cake but it truly can be like a pencil in your hand. Below is an example of an Iron Man cake I did with just the writing tip and the border tip.

iron man iron man 2

As you can see in the first photo, I outlined Iron Man’s head first then filled it in. Then in the second photo the details of his face pop after I outline them with the black. Now some people might want to smooth the lines to even out the texture but I liked the texture so I left it alone.

The idea of using the counter to practice my writing skills was given to me by my first and only cake decorating boss. She stressed how important it was to practice first before having a go at the real thing.

The class lasted about 2 hours and everyone had a blast. Lots of questions were asked and lots of answers were given. Some of the ladies had experience in cake decorating but enjoyed the advice they were given and some of the ladies were completely inexperienced and loved learning something new.

cake deco class

I think they did a darn fine job! What do you think?

I also like to print this example of some of the most popular decorating tips and what they are used for. I give it to all of my students to keep as a reference.

I also want to mention that this would be a very creative and fun way to spend some time with your kiddos on a weekend afternoon. Give them some disposable pastry bags and a few tips and let them loose on your kitchen counters. I promise they will love it! -MM

decorating tips4

DIY Project Finished

I finally finished my DIY project that I was working on a couple of weeks ago. My kitchen shelves.


All are painted now and dried thoroughly. I put down my favorite shelf liner which is non-sticky and plastic so it wipes clean.


I also brought down from my attic a box with beautiful crystal and milk glass pieces that have been stored up there for about a decade. They were my Granny’s and she had them on the very same shelves. They were packed away after she died and I decided to bring them out and showcase them again.


Aren’t they beautiful? I am very please with how everything turned out. Now to make a curtain to hide the containers on the top shelf. Or maybe I could get new containers. Hmmm…  -MM

A Garden in a Pop Bottle, a 30 Day Challenge and Getting the Word out About my Work

Pop Bottle Greenhouse

Last Sunday I started a few basil seeds in my new mini ecosystem thingy which I mentioned in my last blog post. The idea is to use two 2-liter pop bottles to make an enclosed mini greenhouse. I planted and watered the seeds in on Sunday and placed the bottle on a warm radiator and by Wednesday tiny seedlings were popping up. Cool! So far this system is working great. I will continue to give updates and experiment with other seeds to see how they fare in this kind of environment.


30 Day Challenge

A few months ago I challenged myself, my husband and my son to a 30 day challenge. We would not eat out, get take-out or go through the drive-thru for an entire month. Yeah. This was tough for us. I love to cook but by the time I get home some nights I have seen too much food and too many dishes and I would rather just order a pizza for dinner. This kind of eat out lifestyle had left me feeling very mediocre. I used to be the wife that would have a great meal on the table every night for my family. It was always balanced with a protein, a carb and two veggies.

After opening my bakery in 2010 and leaving my desk job as a legal secretary our home meals were rushed, quick and downright, yes, mediocre at best. After working a 12 hour day standing on my feet, I had no desire to stand even a second longer making dinner. My husband doesn’t cook but he is the best at ordering take-out.

Now that my self-employed career was done and I had a full time job again I was itching to get my mojo back when it came to cooking. We were spending a ton of money eating out and why should we eat out when my husband would say my cooking was better! What really got me into this challenge was having dinner at a local BBQ joint and it cost me over $85 for three of us to eat! Not cool! I knew I could do better and I knew it would be a lot cheaper if I cooked for us at home.

Now this was a self-imposed 30 day challenge. I came up with the idea myself so I made my own rules.

Here were my rules:

1. No eating out at a restaurant, ordering take-out from a restaurant or going through the fast food drive-thru.

2. No eating out at all including not just dinner but breakfast and lunch too.

3. No coffee out or fancy drinks like Lattes, Mochas or Frappes. Yes that meant no Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons or local coffee shops. We own three coffee machines so we would make our coffee from home.

4. Meals had to be made at home. They don’t have to be made from scratch either. I don’t care if you want to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner, just make it at home.

5. Farmers markets and grocery stores are your friends and should be your daily inspiration. If you have room to grow a veggie garden than all the better. Can’t get much healthier or more inexpensive than growing it yourself.

6. The only exceptions would be school lunches. (At only $1.40 a lunch I couldn’t pack a lunch less expensive than that) and if we had already planned a dinner out a month in advance we could still honor our previous commitment and go out that night.

I have to say we really enjoyed our month cooking at home. My son enjoying cooking with me. Our garden was still alive so we could harvest lettuce, carrots, swiss chard, cabbage and herbs. Working at the store was helpful because I was already there and I made myself stay and shop so there was no excuse for not wanted to go to the store. I also got my love for cooking back. I really missed it.

I did slip a couple of times. I was summoned to jury duty that month and it was pretty tough to bring a bag lunch even though I did stash some fruit and granola bars in my purse. Also once, we went to Subway on a night where I was completely wiped out and we figured that was the cheapest, healthiest way to enjoy a night out.

I might have to do the challenge again. I really didn’t like paying $30 for a small pizza and 12 wings yesterday. Would you try a 30 day challenge like this?

doug food
A meal our 13 year old made us
Naan flatbread pizza

My Work

Work at the store gets very slow this time of year. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays people tend to hibernate after December. Here in Western, NY we have been plagued by many snow storms including our November super-storm which brought national attention to southern Buffalo.

After such a slow week last week I decided to jump-start people and get them in the spring and summer event planning mood with a few pictures on my Facebook page. I posted 5 different categories of goods that would be perfect for baby and wedding showers, custom cut-outs, character cakes and small weddings.

If you have an event coming up in the spring or summer of this year it is best to start getting your thoughts together now while it’s quiet. Bakeries love to hear from people well in-advance of an upcoming event. This gives them enough time to order or hand make special decorations for a cake if needed and gives the person hosting the event the peace of mind that their wishes will be met correctly and their event will be perfect. What kind of event are you planning for the summer? -MM

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50th Wedding Anniversary Cake

I Needed a Little “Garden Time”


I was in a winter blues kind of mood yesterday. I was looking through my order book from 2014, before I took my job at the grocery store. Taxes have to be done to finish up closing my business books and I saw all of the people I had baked something for in March and I was kind of sad it was over. I needed something to get me out of my mood so I turned off the computer and got my grungies on and went in my basement to tackle cleaning off my potting workbench. 

I love gardening. It isn’t work for me. It is relaxation and creativity and a way for me to connect with myself and my surroundings. I feel at peace even if I am shoveling 50 lbs of topsoil or turning my compost pile.workbench2

In the winter I like to plan and dream of my spring garden. I get my seed catalogs out as soon as the new year arrives. I pour over them looking at what’s new for the season. Sometimes I order and other times I have seeds left over from last year.

This year I have a ton of seeds left over from 2014. Working at a grocery store has it’s perks and one day this last fall, I went to sit at the break table for lunch and there were two big boxes of seeds for us employees to take for FREE!

Apparently the grower didn’t want the packets back because they were last year’s seeds and it wasn’t worth it for them to pick them up. So management left a note on the boxes to take any that we wanted. SCORE!workbench3

I grabbed the carrots, beets and lettuce and let me tell you those lettuce packs were gigantic! We are going to be eating a lot of salads this summer and so is the rest of my family for that matter. Ha!


So I cleaned the heck out of my workbench which I love dearly. My grandfather built the workbench into the basement room with the most windows in it so he could start his seedlings in the sunniest spot in the house. It always makes me feel better when I work on it. Today was just cleaning, but I did plant a bit of basil in my new homemade ecosystem thingy that I will show you in another post if it works properly.

Iworkbench4 also got a nice chat in with my geraniums that I re-potted and brought in before our famous November snow storm. One day it was 50 and the next we had three feet of snow. Screwy NY weather. I re-potted 9 geraniums at the last possible second before they got hit with frost and brought them inside. They love it when there is a sunny day and the light streams in warming them.

I had a wonderful afternoon with my plants and fresh dirt and sunshine. Even on a cold wintery day it definitely chased my winter blues away. – MM

A New DIY Project and 12 Goals for 2015 Update

A New DIY Project


We have a 1950s style house with LOTS of paneling. Little by little I have been painting the entire house as opposed to ripping out all of the paneling which can get messy.

I was itching to do a small project yesterday. I have been slowly working on my kitchen for the past three years, painting a section of it at a time. I decided that the shelves above my kitchen desk needed a makeover.


We had some leftover paint from our living room project so I decided to use the same paint we used on the bookcases in that room. I choose a medium gray color for the living room bookcases because not only is it soft and comforting but it hides the dust!

After spending an hour or so scraping the old blue painters tape off that I had left on there since the last project (Note to self: don’t do that again!) and clearing the shelves of all of the junk on them and cleaning them and removing any of the screws and hooks attached to them, I got down to business.


With three shelves, sides, tops and bottoms I got a first coat on everything. Then my shoulder ached so I figured that was enough for one day.

I plan on digging a few pieces of my Granny’s Milk Glass  out of the attic to display them on one of the shelves. Hopefully that will give me incentive to keep the shelves clean and organized.

I will post pics when the project is finished. What kind of projects are you working on right now?

12 Goals for 2015 Update

 Week Three

1. Renovate our only bathroom and replace the window in our son’s bedroom.

I am still in the “finding a contractor and getting a good quote” stage of my bathroom reno but rest assured we will have a new bathroom by the end of the year come heck or high water!

I did get our son’s window replaced in his bedroom last week though. Yippee! It was an old single paned window with a storm that was not pretty, especially with the big hole in it from a roll of quarters flying into it one day. (Gee I wonder how that happened?) It took all of an hour and a half to get the old window out and the new one in and at a cost of $396.00 including labor and tax I say that was pretty good!

2. Catch-up on and read my favorite daily blog – “Feed Your Family for $100 a Month” by Mavis Butterfield. Also catch-up on and read a really great e-magazine “From Scratch”.

Mavis Butterfield’s blog is a daily blog and if I don’t read it at least once a week to catch-up I tend to get way behind. I am so behind in fact that I am currently reading October blog posts from her. So I have a little catching up to do. I have gotten about 15 read this last week so I might get caught up by March. Maybe.

From Scratch is a bi-monthly e-magazine and currently I am 3 months behind. I guess I have some reading to do there too.

I could just delete all of the emails and start from scratch (no pun intended) but I would really miss out on some great information as well as deals that both publications offer.

3. Journal Daily

So far I am only one day behind and that is amazing for a person who has never consistently written in a journal. I will keep you updated.

4. Pay off one of our two credit cards

At first my goal was to pay off both of our credit cards but after thinking about it I knew I would struggle to pay off one much less two. I called the credit card company for my Old Navy Card (the one with the highest interest) and they would not budge on the interest rate. So I have a different plan and we will see how that goes in the coming months.

5. Organize our attic

I haven’t done anything yet

6. Exercise 3 times a week

So far I haven’t exercised yet this week but after painting yesterday I might just count that!

7. Read one book a month

ken follett

The book I am reading right now is Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett. It is an epic novel set during WWI. It sweeps over Russia, Germany, England and the US with a set of characters in each country. I have been listening to it on CD because it is such a long novel. With my schedule there are some books I would never get read if it weren’t recorded on CD. This book is a whopping 24 CDs long which is exactly why I chose it. I am on CD 15 and I have had it since before Christmas. I hope the library will let me renew it for a third time! What are you reading at the moment?

8. Send out birthday and anniversary cards each month

I have always wanted to be like my mom and mother-in-law in the way they have always been so good about sending cards out to everyone on their birthdays. So far in my life have failed miserably at it. I decided that this year would be different. I would get organized!

I have taken two different steps to make sure I get birthday and anniversary cards out to people in a timely manner.

One: I subscribed to Hallmark E-Cards. I set up an account online and for a small yearly fee you can input all of the recipients’ names with birth dates and when you would like the e-cards to be delivered. You can choose from many different styles and gender specific cards. The recipients receive a notification via email that they have a card to open. It was easy and affordable! Here is a link to their site 

Two: I ordered a mess of paper cards from CURRENT Catalog. Our church used to use Current as a fundraiser when we were young and it has been years since I have ordered from them. I found them again on-line and I ordered a variety of cards. Some I ordered were for kids, some were for men, some for women, some for old and some for young. I purchased 48 cards for less than $35 including shipping and tax. Not bad! Current also carries wrapping paper and stationary and all kinds of other  fun stuff. Check out for more info.current catalog

I have January birthdays ready to go now I need to work on February’s.

9. Make copies of my Granny’s recipes and give a copy to each of our family members.

So far I have done nothing towards this goal but the year is young.

10. Digitize my Dad’s family’s photos and make photo books and give CD copies to each of our family members

I own and live in my dad’s parents’ house. In the attic are the family photos from my dad’s side of the family packed neatly away by his mother, my grandmother. Both sets of my grandparents have been gone for quite a long time now. I have really wanted to go through all of my family’s photos from both sides to digitize them. Since my dad’s family photos are in my attic I decided I would start on his side first. So far the photos I have found have started with photos from the 1940s during WWII.

On my day off which is Wednesday I have been taking batches of photos down to my local Walgreens to scan them and put them on a CD. I have to admit I had never done this before but it only took once to have someone guide me through the process and now I am a pro at it.

Last week I spent an hour and a half scanning in 36 photos and cropping and saving them.

Here are a couple of the photos I scanned.


My dad is the one with the puss on his face in the photo on the left. He is turning 70 this year.

The CD has a 36 photo capacity and costs $5.99. After I scan in my photos and input my payment info the CD is ready to be picked up in less than two hours. You can also make prints of these photos and there are lots of other options. It’s a great gift idea at an affordable price.

It is so much fun to work on this project. I will show you some more photos as I progress with my project.

11. YouTube/Blog at least once a week

Originally I wanted to create YouTube videos of baking and cooking and canning but I am a little scared after my one and only attempt to make a video. For now I think I will just stick with getting the hang of blogging. I hope to post on Wednesday and Sundays but will have to see how that goes.

12. Read the Bible from cover to cover with my husband

I have never read the Bible from cover to cover. There are quite a few of my church family that have read it more than once so I figured this was the year I was finally ready to receive the words of the Bible and I wanted to do it with my husband.

I downloaded a book to my Kindle to help guide us in achieving this goal.

The Bible Challenge, Read the Bible in a Year, gives you a daily schedule of readings along with a short devotional and questions pertaining to the text you have read.

We really like our nightly readings. Instead of waiting until bedtime, we read right after dinner, at the dining room table, otherwise we get sleepy and tend to want to stop. My husband and I read aloud to each other sharing the reading. It has sparked some interesting conversations between us!

I feel good about my progress on my 2015 goals. Do you have goals? What are they and how are you doing on them? – MMR

Progressive Dinner

progressive dinner 2012too

Have you ever been part of a progressive dinner with a group of friends or family? I remember my parents having progressive dinners with their friends and as I have gotten older I have realized that these types of dinners are not just for our parents.

Progressive dinners are done exactly how their name suggests. A group of friends start out with hors d’oeuvres at one couple’s home, next they all progress to another friend’s home for the main course and finally they progress to another home for dessert.

Last night we entertained 12 friends, including my husband and I, at  our home for hors d’oeuvres and wine. I do have to say though I was not as organized as I usually am when it comes to entertaining. I had to work yesterday until 2:30pm and we were expecting guests at 5:00. My husband and son cleaned the house while I was at work but I had not planned a thing for the food and I had not shopped for any of it.

One of the many good things about working at a grocery store is that I can shop as soon as I clock out. I had in mind that I wanted four types of hors d’oeuvres. Over the summer I had experimented with making my own egg rolls as a way of using the beautiful purple cabbage I had grown in my garden. They turned out excellent and were so easy to make! I decided to make mini egg rolls for the party. I selected the ingredients and put them in my cart. Good that was one down. Three more to go. This group loves guacamole so that was an easy hors d’oeuvre to make. I selected those ingredients. Two down. Next I picked up some Kalamata olives from the deli and swung around to the meat department and grabbed a bag of frozen pre-cooked shrimp for shrimp cocktail. Three and four down.

By the time I checked out with my groceries it was 3:15 pm. Yikes!

I finally got home at 3:45 pm. I had an hour and 15 minutes to make the food and hop in the shower before guests started showing up.

Luckily the first guests didn’t arrive until about 10 minutes past 5 so that gave us the extra time we needed to get everything ready. What was even better was that my first course buddy brought the wine and added mini bite sized spanakopita to the mix of hors d’oeuvres. Perfect!

progressive dinner 2012also

We all had a fabulous time at each home. Progressive dinners are a wonderful excuse to get together. They are also economical because not just one couple is paying for the entire meal as well as preparing all of the food.

Good food, good wine, good friends, what could be better!

progressive dinner 2012

Photos Courtesy of our friend Steve Mayer

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