Shutterfly Photobook!

I won a free hardcover Shutterfly Photobook from Shannon at Misguided Mommy last month! I just got around to organizing the photos I wanted and it arrived the other day. It's really nice! I decided to put together a small wedding album for my prize.

These are just some of the photos:

 Thanks Shannon!


Hot Day in the City!

It's my 3 day Memorial Day weekend! F.B. & I headed down to Center City Philadelphia today so we could visit the Mutter Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences! We got off at 30th Street Station and walked to the Mutter Museum first, we went early because it's such a hot weekend. It was around 84 degrees (It will be in the upper 90's on Memorial Day, yuck!) I had to put sunscreen on because it was so sunny and hot today.
30th Street Station

After the Mutter we walked down Market Street to 19th Street and headed straight down to the Academy of Natural Sciences. We got to see Logan Square and the big fountain they have there. There's also a great view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. I've never actually gotten to stop here, so it was nice to be a tourist in my own city and take pictures!

Afterwards we went to the Academy of Natural Sciences, which I've been too many many times on class trips and family trips. It's one of my favorite museums.

F.B. with a dinosaur skull!
We were planning on going to The Gallery and Reading Terminal Market but because it was so hot and I had a bad headache we decided to make that another day trip sometime soon. We took the train back home and headed to Friendly's for lunch. We shared a Reece's Pieces sundae for dessert.

Heading home on the train

I also won this psychedelic shark from the crane machine at Friendly's on the first try! Whoo hoo! My Dad has always been really good at winning stuffed animals from those machines and I've won quite a few times as well, though it's been awhile since I last played!


Wanda E. Brunstetter Books

I was Walmart one day and stumbled upon Wanda E. Brunstetter's books. I like that there's more than one story in every book. So it's like having 3-4 books in one. She writes about young Amish woman. If you like historical fiction books, you will probably like these books as well. Some are drama, some are romance, etc.

These are the ones I own:

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a book or music when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend for their low prices. That or Ebay!)


Let baking cakes be...

I made a lemon layer cake today, but sadly I peeked in the oven before it was done and as I was looking the air went out of each cake like a balloon. So my poor cakes had a flat middle on each layer... My Mom made up a saying, "Let baking cakes be..." and it's true, lol!

I never saw such a sad pitiful looking cake!!! As soon as we cut it, it collapsed in on itself! :-(

I had a hard time finding a recipe for a lemon cake, all of them had 3 layers or more. So I decided to take the cake recipe from The Pioneer Woman's coffee cake- literally, and replace the coffee in the cake and icing with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. It tasted amazing, it just didn't look too pretty!

Replace the coffee in the cake and icing recipe with:
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Hopefully your lemon cake will look better than mine!

F.B. also got me a really nice heavy duty metal meat tenderizer from Walmart. It's awesome! (It's great for taking out stress/life frustrations when cooking too, lol!) I'm making beef with onion and mushrooms fried up in a pan tonight and served with mashed potatoes and peas. (Last time we tried it with steak strips).

I tenderized the beef, cut it in small pieces and then I'm letting it soak in a marinade I make myself. I don't have exact measurements. I think less than 1/4 cup for everything, I just add as I go along. My steak marinade has:
  • Little bit of water 
  • Olive oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Teaspoon fresh garlic 
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

Then after tenderizing your steak, let it marinate several hours or overnight before cooking.


Moving on...

I had been a part of the Rat Chatter forums for almost 4 years. I joined back in October 2007 when I got my first two pet rats Sugar & Spice. Eventually, I became a moderator and got to work with a lot of amazing people, like Brittney from Star's Rat Rescue.

Sadly and unexpectedly the Rat Chatter Forums closed on May 5th, 2011. We have still not heard from our good friends that ran and owned the forums and we hope they are alright.

I mentioned to Brittney it would be a good idea to start a forum for her rat rescue, somewhere to connect with adopters and our friends from the RC forums who we had gotten to know over the past 4 years. It took a few days, but the Star's Rat Rescue forum is now up and running. So rattie lovers and SRR Adopters are welcome to join us over at the new forum!


Settling in!

It's been exactly 1 week since my SRR rescue ratties arrived from South Dakota.

Aspen & Curry were introduced to my boys last Monday evening. There was some "wrestling" but no really bad fighting. My boy Fennel is still a bit pouty that he has to share his cage with 2 more ratties, he's such a spoiled boy. My nakkie rat Barley is always pretty laid back so he wasn't too bothered by new brothers. The boys were all living together within 2 days with no issues.
Curry & Aspen
It took about 4 days to introduce my 2 new girls Olive & Fern to the group I have them living with in the bottom half of the Ferret Nation cage. I had to do a few nights of supervised play times with all of them. My girl Iris is territorial and so is Olive so there was some fighting for a few days. As of last night, Olive & Fern are now living with Ivy, Iris, Jasmine & Daisy.

Olive & Fern
For intro's there are a few tricks I do. First off I introduce the new & old ratties in a neutral place, a bathtub, table, chair. I will rub vanilla extract on all of the ratties. I will take bedding and swap it around so the ratties get used to each other's new scents. When I do supervised play time in the cage, I will take out all igloo's, boxes, etc where a rat can be cornered. If I need to, I will also give the most territorial rats a quick bath because it will distract them. Sometime's intro's will be very quick and other times it can take up to a week before you get your new rats living with your current ratties.

Curry in a cardboard tube.

(I've updated My Pet Rat page).

Our Easter was a bit uneventful. My whole family has a really nasty bug going around so F.B. & I had to cook our own little Easter Dinner. We had Tofurky & gravy, corn, green bean casserole, cheesey garlic mashed potatoes & cranberry sauce.


THE best ballet flats EVER!

I've been looking for a pair of plain comfortable ballet flats for 2 years now. I've gotten a few pairs that were very stiff and gave me blisters. I saw these ones featured on The Pioneer Woman's blog and decided to take a chance on them. 

They are called The City Flat, by Gap. I first ordered a pair of plain black ones. I do a lot of walking now that I'm commuting on the train to work every day. I didn't get one blister the whole day I wore these. They are very light and flexible, perfect for warmer weather. They are also 100% leather.

The only thing you will need is a pair of very slim gel inserts by Dr. Scholl's, etc. (I have Dr. Scholl's for her); because you will feel the pavement on your heels every step you take. With the gel inserts it gave me better impact support. I loved the shoe so much, I ordered it in pewter too. (Still waiting for it to arrive!) Gap sells the shoe in a bunch of different colors.



I also ordered this plum metallic purse that was on clearance at Gap. Excited for it to arrive!

(Nope, not getting paid to recommend these products! I just wanted to share them, because I love them!)


Our new ratties have arrived!

Tonight we picked up my 2 boys and 2 girls from our rat train driver in Philadelphia. Our Star's Rat Rescue rats traveled 1,500 miles from South Dakota to Philadelphia. Brittney the owner of SRR along with 4 other drivers helped get them here! 

My husband and I were out doing errands waiting for our rat drivers call to say when he would be at the Petco to meet us near our house. We just happened to be at the dollar store in that same shopping center when our driver called to say he had arrived.

We picked up my two boys Aspen & Curry. They both look like tan berkshires. They have small circles of white on their bellies. Curry has a broken toe from an injury he got before he was adopted.

My two girls are Olive & Fern. Fern is black capped and Olive is a hooded agouti.

We also picked up another adopters rats for her, we are meeting her tomorrow evening at a Petco in Philadelphia to drop her two girls off to her and finish the SRR Rat Train.

After we got everyone home, we cleaned out their cages, gave them new baby blankets and food and some yogurt peanuts. In a few days we will try moving the boys in with my two boys and my new girls in with my other girls.

Thank you to all the drivers who helped!!!


Coffee Cake! (And other news).

I tried baking the Pioneer Woman's Coffee Cake- (Literally). It turned out great, it's really moist and very sweet & rich. The coffee flavor isn't overpowering, my Mom hates drinking coffee, but even she liked this cake. Yummy!

I may be getting my 4 ratties from Star's Rat Rescue this weekend! Really hoping all the drivers are able to make this work! Our Philadelphia driver from last year will be going up to meet one of the other drivers in Ohio and then bring the Philadelphia ratties back! Very Excited!

And here's a cute picture of Hazelnut, Honey, Rosie & Clover from the other evening. I'm always finding this gang sleeping in funny positions! (Lily is in the background.)

F.B. is still searching for a job everywhere and anywhere! Offices, Stores, Restaurants, etc. We mailed my sister in law some baby gifts, she & her husband are expecting in Sept. And also my cousin Chrissy & my cousin Heather. (Lot's of September babies.) Tomorrow evening we'll be going out with my cousin Jessica to take her out for a birthday dinner.


World Rat Dat 2011!

Happy World Rat Day! Just a few photos of some of my gang! (Click photo's for larger image.) <:3 )~~~

Why pet rats!?! Click here for the answer! <:3 )~~~ 


7 Years! ♥

Yesterday, Yes; April Fools Day... was our 7 year anniversary! It's been seven years since we defined our relationship. (See our time line!)

This is the first April 1st, anniversary that we've actually gotten to share in person together, since we started our long distance relationship! 

We decided to go to The Cheesecake Factory up at Willow Grove Mall for our anniversary. We drove up there right after I got back from work on the train, so we missed the evening rush and were seated right away.

(Yes I know I'm wearing the same shirt as our last picture together, but at least I've got different jewelry on and a different hat. I'm growing out "bangs" so you'll be seeing me in hats until the end of this year, lol!)

I got a long island iced tea and F.B. got strawberry lemonade. We were going to order 1 appetizer and 1 of their "small snacks", who knew their small snacks were pretty much a huge appetizer as well, lol! We got onion rings and Spicy Ahi Tempura Roll.

Don't mind F's fingers, lol.

I also got a bowl of clam chowder but no pictures, their "cup" of soup is quite big so I didn't finish it, but it was amazing. F.B. got Hibachi Steak with mushrooms and wasabi mashed potatoes and I finally tried a Portabella "burger", which was sooo amazing! Still have half left for lunch later.

And of course you have to get cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory! When I went to Florida with my cousins in 2007, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch but we didn't get cheesecake, (big mistake, lol!)

F.B. got classic Cherry Cheesecake and I ordered Red Velvet Cheesecake. Mmmmm.

We had a great time, but it's definitely an anniversary type restaurant. ;-) We were so full we walked around the mall for a few hours afterward. F.B. got me Charlotte Brontë's, Villette. I own Jane Eyre one of my favorite books, but I've never read any of Charlotte's other books, this one looked interesting.

Last weekend F.B. and I went to King of Prussia Mall, the largest mall on the East Coast. We walked the entire mall. (Tiring!) I got to get a few things from L'Occitane!

At Macy's I picked out these gorgeous dishes that were on sale, we only got enough for two place settings, but I love them!

F.B. got me this cute purple Chinese Zodiac Rat from a little Chinese Shop at King of Prussia.

P.S. I missed my blogging anniversary on March 17th! But it's been 3 years since I started this blog! :-)


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