Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Mother-Daughter Trip to Chicago

My family lives in Texas and Wyoming, so when anyone comes to Illinois to see me, it's an event.  This past Thursday, my sister Lisa and her daughter Katie arrived from Texas for a visit.  The main object: a mother-daughter trip to Chicago, including my daughter Elizabeth.  

Chicago is one of my very favorite cities. It has its very own flavor and personality, and just being there is fun!

Hope you enjoy some pictures of our Chicago visit!

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Katie and Elizabeth at Rosebud, a wonderful Italian restaurant where we had (among other things) the best chocolate cake any of us had ever eaten!

We loved how our hotel room overlooked the Chicago Theater 

We had such a wonderful time, making memories that we'll cherish for years to come!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting: Enjoy a Grin on Me

With a particular contentious election season among other sobering things, I thought it was about time to get a good grin on. Here are some funny things I've seen on Pinterest lately.

Source: google.com via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: imgfave.com via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Cindy on Pinterest

I'm participating today in Oh, How Pinteresting! hosted by The Vintage Apple. Click the icon for more info!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Delicious, Healthy Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

It's that time of year again...time to whip up a batch of delicious, diabetic-friendly Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Muffins!

Ssh...don't tell anyone they're healthy, and they'll never know. Although they're not as richly sweet as other pumpkin muffins, they ARE very tasty--and a dollop of cool whip (sugar-free for me) on a warm one makes you feel like you're having a decadent treat.

I got this recipe out of a Prevention "Outsmart Diabetes" magazine a few years ago, when I first found out I was Type 2 Diabetic. Having some pumpkin treats that I could indulge in made me feel a lot better about going through pumpkin season as a diabetic!

My mom also loves this recipe, and usually adds nuts to the mix. They're delicious that way as well. (She makes them all year round.)

Of course, they're best straight out of the oven, but a few seconds in the microwave will bring them back to yummy warmth in no time. I've been know to freeze them to enjoy later.

Here you go!

Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or use liners.

Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Beat egg in a small bowl 30 seconds, until foamy. Add milk, pumpkin, oil and orange zest. Beat well. Add to flour mixture and stir until moistened.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until tops spring back when touched with finger. Turn muffins out onto a rack to cool.

PER MUFFIN: 146 calories, 3 g protein, 22 g carb, 5 g fat, 0.5 sat fat, 18 mg chol, 2 g fiber, 189 g sodium

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm taking part in a bloghop I've never done before...it's called "What I'm Loving Wednesday," and it's hosted by Jamie at This Kind of Love.  Looks like fun!

Here are some of the things I'm loving lately:

1) The amazing fall colors here in Northern Illinois.  Sadly, many of the leaves have already departed, but there are still some to enjoy, and I've been madly snapping pictures to try to preserve the beauty.  Above is a collage of some of the favorites I took.

Here's a larger view of one of my favorites, taken on Calvin Park Boulevard in Rockford, IL.

2) Autumn decorating.  Below is an idea I got from Pinterest...I think it turned out pretty well!

3) The Nexus 7 mini-tablet that I won!

It's like a small iPad, basically.  One of the things I'm loving most about it is that I've loaded the Kindle app on it, so I can use it as an e-reader.  Yay!

I didn't even know I was "entered" to win this.  I won it from our local newspaper, the Rockford Register Star, just because I followed them and re-tweeted them in September.  What a happy surprise when I got an e-mail saying I had won it!

4) Modern Technology.  Thanks to that, while my husband has been away on a trip that took him to see our children and granchildren in Texas, I immediately got to enjoy images like this:

and this...

5) MyFitnessPal.com Thanks to this wonderful site, I've been rejuvenated in my health and fitness efforts!  It's keeping me accountable in a way I haven't been for a long time.  I'm excited about my progress.

Go here to participate in What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Beautiful Autumn Wedding

This past weekend, my daughter Elizabeth and I attended the wedding of the daughter of dear friends of mine and my husband's.

 I've known Ashley since she was born, and I was so happy that she has found the love of her life, Brent. Of course, Elizabeth and Ashley have known each other all their lives, and Elizabeth was a bridesmaid.

The wedding was at a wonderful place called The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms.  This was the first time I had ever been to a wedding where we sat at tables to observe the ceremony.  It was different, but I liked it fine.

After the ceremony, while the bridal party was off on the lovely grounds getting pictures taken, appetizers were served, and later a wonderful dinner of roast beef and baked chicken.

Hope you enjoy some pictures I took of this beautiful, memorable event.

Outside the Pavilion

Before the ceremony


Place settings

A welcoming table

Bridesmaids (my daughter Elizabeth is second from left.) This was actually taken in the beautiful ladies' room


My daughter Elizabeth
With my sister-in-law Beth on your left and beautiful Mother of the Bride Tess on your  right
The happy couple

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Visible Monday: The 5-Dollar Old Navy Dress

Sometimes patiently scouring the clearance racks really pays off!  I was at Old Navy with my daughter on Saturday, and I found a simple blue dress for 5 dollars and some-odd cents.  It's sleeveless, but I knew it would fine with a cardigan.

So naturally I bought it, and wore it to church today with the Chinese Laundry hat I got at Ross Dress for Less for around 10 bucks at Easter earlier this year.

This picture above was taken on my back deck, which is being invaded by a gorgeous red maple tree.  Sadly, these leaves will be gone all too soon.

This dress is made of soft, comfy material.  I wore in with a black tank underneath, and a black Merona cardigan I got at Target a couple of months ago.

I REALLY need to get a full-length mirror... but just to let you know, the dress falls just below my knees.

A closer look.  As you can see, the cardigan has some pretty detailing.  I think I got the necklace at Cato a while back.

I'll leave you with a parting shot of our maple-gloried back deck.  It's been a breathtakingly gorgeous autumn, and I'll be sad to see these leaves go!

I'm participating in Visible Monday, hosted by Not Dead Yet Style...click on the icon to find out more!
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