Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday: 2

Happy Halloween everyone!  Here is another dose of what I'm loving Wednesday....

happy yellow mums

my new knitted sweater that my mother-in-law made me

I'm seriously loving this chocolate-chocolate-chip cake that my husband made...I'm actually having a piece right now (while these pictures take forever to upload)

my sweet baby boy in his pumpkin costume

and finally, this jack-o-lantern that I carved today

So, that is all for this Wednesday.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!  : )

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blood Donation....for real this time

OK, after I couldn't donate blood last week, I decided that a few changes were in order.  For a long time I've been a borderline vegetarian.  I can go days without eating any meat and not even think twice about it.  But, with my Iron level being low and being borderline anemic, I've decided to start making more of an effort to eat beef.  You have to admit, it is pretty easy (and tasty) to just run through the local hamburger drive thru to get a burger.  I do say "no" to the shake and fries though, so I'm proud of myself for that.   And, according to my recent research on such things, the calcium in the milk-shake can slow down the Iron absorbtion from the burger.  

Another effort I've made is to start taking Iron pill supplements.  I talked to the local pharmacist, and she suggested a good one.  Well, I took a pill each day for four days in a row, and it turned out that it was about three days too many for my system.  That first day was ok, but after that I just kept feeling worse (as in quesy and tired). 

From my previous blog post about blood donations, we learned that spinach is very important for getting Iron nutrients, so I have been making a good effort to eat more spinach leaves (especially since the Iron pill thing didn't work out so well).  I even ate a few right out of the bag this afternoon before going back up to the blood donation event.  

I got there and the first thing they did was test my Iron level.  It was a 14.6.  I was so happy!  It only has to be a 12.5 in order to donate.  So, I was able to donate, and they sent me on my way.  I couldn't wait to come home and do a blog post about it!  

I hope you all have a good week.  Here is another random wasn't taken today, but I really like it. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blood Donation

Today you all are in for a special treat because you will get a little mini-lesson on Iron and Hemoglobin levels.  No, I did not decide to become a science teacher.  I actually tried to donate blood at the Red Cross and was denied.  Let me explain.  

Before you donate blood to the Red Cross, they have to test your Hemoglobin/Iron level to make sure it is at least a 12.5.  This ensures that the person who will recieve your blood, gets some really good blood that can carry oxygen easily.  So, they pricked my finger and did the test and since mine was a little bit low today I wasn't able to give.  But I'm going to go back next week to try again. 

Ok, here comes the lesson part....In very, very basic terms, the Hemoglobin is the part of the blood that carries the oxygen.  The Iron is in charge of a couple of things.  Mainly, it helps carry carbon dioxide, produces energy from food, and builds proteins of red blood cells.  

Also, the Iron comes in Heme and Non-Heme.  No, I'm not talking about Hemi such as a Hemi-Truck.  I know y'all country folk were thinking that....he, he!  Seriously, the Heme are the meats, and the Non-Heme are the iron found in fruits and veggies.  According to the Red Cross website, Heme is better absorbed by the body but when you eat both meat and veggies, the Non-Heme (or veggies) are better absorbed.   

So.....the Hemoglobin and the Iron are like the super-stars of blood.  They are so like, "You are so not gettin' any of this if I'm not at a 12.5!"  

I know you are probably thinking, "Kelly, I'm so excited about Hemoglobin and Iron levels!  What can I do to give mine a good boost?"

Well, I'm glad you asked that because I have done a little research on the Red Cross website found here, and some of the food ideas they recommend are: 

Iron boost:

Iron Bust:
Fiber Foods
Calcium Foods

Don't worry, there won't be a quiz or anything.  I hope you did learn something though.  I know I'll be munching down on some spinach salad this weekend and possibly eating a steak....yum!  : )

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday: 1

OK, here is my first "What I'm Loving Wednesday."  I have seen a lot of these on Blogger, and it is a really neat way to pack in a lot of different and fun things into one blog post.  So, here is the first one and possibly a series of them...

I love it when my boys help out around the kitchen...

I love that I finally figured out how to do the timer on my camera...

I love it when the boys take a Sunday afternoon nap together...

I love taking silly pictures with Lance...

I love baking chocolate chip cookies...especially now that the cooler weather is here...

I love it when Lance insists on sitting on daddy's lap to eat dinner...

I love wearing my husband's new comfy...

And lastly, I love the new "body shots" that everyone seems to be doing now...of course I was just wearing my PJs...

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!  Hope to hear from you soon!  : )

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Halloween Treat...Cake Balls

Happy Halloween everyone!  I know there is a new machine that actually makes Cake Balls, but for this recipe there is no machine necessary.  A few months ago I did a little research and found that you can just mix together cut up pieces of cake with some frosting and form them into balls.  So, let's get started...

First you will need to bake a regular box cake, and then after it cools, cut it up into pieces...
Then, in a large bowl, stir together the cake and a can of frosting

After that, make sure you refrigerate the mixture for about a half an hour.  Then you can form the mixture into balls and place them on wax paper.  

You will then have to refrigerate them a little longer.  Believe me, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to these Cake Balls, and the more you refrigerate them, the easier they will be to work with.  Go ahead and grab a glass of milk and eat some of the batter if you need to...he, he  : )
Now is the fun part when you get to decorate the Cake Balls.  On mine, I used some orange gel, Candy Corn, and crushed up Gold Fish.  My husband said he would not have thought of the Gold Fish, but they turned out pretty good....
 So, I hope you enjoyed the post, and as always please let me know if you try it or have already done something similar. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horseradish Carrots

When I think of eating healthy food, the first thing that comes to my mind is carrots.  They have lots of Vitamin A & C, and they taste great too (if prepared properly).  My mother in law makes this dish, and it is so good!  Here is the recipe....

Horseradish Carrots

bag of carrots - peeled, chopped, & cooked
chopped onion
bread crumbs or crackers

Cook the carrots in hot water and then drain,
 add the chopped onion - put all this in a greased glass pan

Add the mayo, horseradish, and Paprika to the mixture
(I usually use two tablespoons of Horseradish, and a 1/2 cup of Mayo)
 (I'm so glad I figured out how to use the timer on my camera)

For the crumbs, I mashed up gold fish crackers and bran flakes cereal
Then, add the cracker mixture and bake at 325F for about 15 minutes
This is such a delicious side dish, or if you are like me, you can just make it your meal....
 Of course you can change things around as much as you like.  You can add more or less of anything.  Hope you enjoy it if you try it.  Have a great one!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweet Tooth & Lesson in Photography

This week I've sort of had a sweet tooth....ok, maybe there's no "sort of" to it, they might know me by name at the local bakery now.  He, he  

So, I thought it would be fun to take some great photographs and do a blog post about these chocolate vices...

This is a a chocolate cup cake that I bought at Sweet Treats.  You can view their website here.  

 It was a lot of fun to set up the photo.  I made sure to put some color in there, and I also adjusted my camera to the  "flower" setting.  To add more lighting, I put a lamp on the counter also.  Here is a picture of how I set it up...

Then, I also made a little chocolate treat myself.  I made a two layer cake, dyed some chocolate a little darker, and piped it on with a sandwich bag.  I know it's not all that fancy, but it's about as good at you can get around this Cramer household.  : )

To set up this photo, I used a pink jacket to put a touch of color in the background.  

 So, it was a lot of fun to photograph these sweet treats and even more fun to eat them.  Let me know what you think...of the photographs at least....he, he.  : )

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Hey y'all!  Today Lance and I went to a church just off the Covington Square that sells pumpkins each year.  Here are the photos of last year and this year. 

Last year 2011

and this year 2012

He is getting so big...I know the photo positions are a little different, but he is still just so much bigger.  So cute!  I'm looking forward to making this a Fall tradition for us.  Hope you all have a great day.  : )

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: The Road

The Road
Cormac McCarthy
287 pages

I am having a hard time getting through this book and I thought it would help if I  just start doing a book review on it a little at a time.

The overall  plot is that something has recently happened that destroyed America.  A man and his young son (not sure of his age), are two survivors of only a few, and are trying to make their way to the coast.  They push along a small cart with their only belongings.  The things that they see along The Road are enough to give the hardest of hearts a little trouble sleeping at night.  

Let me just tell you all that this is the same author who wrote the book, No Country of Old Men.  I didn't read that book, but I did see the movie and it was really scary.  Whenever I see a tall, long haired man walking down the sidewalk now, it really gives me the creeps.  OK, maybe that doesn't happen too often, but you know what I mean.....well, if you have seen the movie then you know what I mean. 

I'll  share some excerpts from the book that really drew me in...

"The boy's shadow crossed over him.  Carrying an armload of wood.  He watched him stoke the flames.  God's own firedrake.  The sparks rushed upward and died in the starless dark.  Not all dying words are true and this blessing is no less real for being shorn of its ground." ~ pg 31

"No lists of things to be done.  The day providential to itself.  The hour.  There is no later.  This is later.  All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain.  Their birth in grief and ashes.  So, he whispered to the sleeping boy.  I have you." ~ pg 54

"My job is to take care of you.  I was appointed to do that by God.  I will kill anyone who touches you.  Do you understand?" ~ pg 77

If you can get past the sentence fragments, loss of apostrophes and quotations marks, and have a strong stomach....then this is the book for you!  he, he : )  Just trying to lighten things up.  This is the sort of book that you start reading for the first hundred pages, and then when its time to pick it up again, you suddenly remember that you need to vacuum the house, dust the curtains, or trim the hedges.  I'm going to get through it....somehow. 


(a few days later)
OK, I finally finished the book.  It is just the kind of book that is hard to put down, and even harder to pick back up again.  I kept finding myself working on chores around the house to avoid having to go back to it.  But, now that I have finished the book, I am really glad that I read it.  It was very intense and very moving.  Let me know if you try it out.  


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Helpful Hints for Job Hunting

Hey there everyone, hope you are having a good day and if not, maybe I can help make it better.  : )

I've recently made the decision to put my toddler in full time daycare while I look for a job.  I used to volunteer at church two days a week, and I have stopped that in order to get paid in money instead of being paid in Ravioli....ha!

I am taking this pretty seriously.  I am making it my full-time job to find a full-time job (or part-time).  Actually, part-time work does seem more appealing because I can still have a little extra time for my running schedule, and I can pick up Lance from daycare earlier.  

So, during the very first week of my new adventure I went to my county's Chamber of Commerce.  They told me about a Job Fair Boot Camp that was being held the next day....THE NEXT DAY!  I was just so excited!  I attended the four hour Boot Camp and also attended the Job Fair two days later.  The actual Job Fair wasn't that great.  It only had a few college recruiters (Can't find a job?  Go back to school and get your degree), a military recruiter, and a few staffing agencies that mostly offered warehouse jobs.

However, the Job Fair Boot Camp was fabulous!  I learned so many new things, and got a good refresher course on some of the many things I had forgotten.  So, here is a list of some of my favorites:

  • Wear a black or navy blue dress or suit to a job interview.  Also, no big earrings or big jewelry, and leave the bright scarves at home.  You want to look clean and crisp....classy!
  •  Ladies, don't bring a purse in with you on the interview.  Most purses are large, and they also probably have a cell phone in them that will inevitably go off during the interview.  Only bring a notebook and pen along with your car keys.  

  •  Have a list of questions that you would like to ask at the end of the interview.  Some of these can be:
    • Is there a waiting period on the 401K program?
    • How long is the training period?
    • What are the weekly or monthly goals?
    • What do you like about working here?

  •  Be sure to write down the name or names of those interviewing you, and when you get home, send them a quick thank you note.  Everyone likes getting cards in the mail right?  It projects thoughtfulness and sincerity.  If time is of the essence, you can send a nice e-mail instead.  

  • Make sure that your cell phone and/or home answering machine have a "normal" greeting.  You don't want your cell phone to have a setting such as, "please enjoy the music while your party is reached."  The interviewers don't really care if you get your groove on to the latest version of Gotye or Two Chains.  

  • Lastly, make sure you have a "normal" e-mail address.  People don't want to e-mail you at  You have to start thinking in terms of being a professional, and temporarily shelv your groove least while you're job hunting.  

OK, are y'all laughing yet?  I told you that I might be able to make your day better.  And seriously, these are some really helpful hints for job hunting that did not include sitting through a four hour class.   YOU ARE WELCOME!  ; )

(those are pictures of me when I was little)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Faith Friday: 10

Happy Friday everyone!  A slight chill is in the air, and we have the faith to make it through one more more more season.  

Over the past few years, I have come to view the Fall season not just as a fun time of pumpkins and candy and scary stories, but also as a time for reflection.  The leaves fall to the ground in a sort of death, and many plants and crops come to meet their end.  

It is during this time that we can stop and reflect on the things in life that really matter.  In this time of reflection, we can ask ourselves some questions that sort of "bring home to roost" where our hearts really are at...

When is the last time you hugged someone...really tight?

When is the last time you looked someone directly in the eyes?

Do you stop yourself from talking, and just give others a chance to express themselves?  (sometimes a few moments of silence can lead a conversation into a deeper level)

Do you ever just turn off the car radio and just try to think clearly for a moment?

Where is your heart on matters like these?  I know that I can always try to do better in forming strong friendships and relationships.  I can try to talk less and listen more.  And lastly, I can just try to let the silence be my guide and give my brain a break for a few minutes each day.  

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  God bless you!  xoxo

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Favorite Fall Things

Well, Fall is here and I am just so thankful.  The cooler weather is welcome in my book!
I thought I'd share a few of my Favorite Fall Things with you all....

Checking out Children's Halloween books at the library...

Decorating the "Front Porch" with a pumpkin...

Eating lots of Candy Corn...

And watching my two year old (who can certainly walk by now) be silly and crawl around the kitchen...

Lance always has to make his way into the blog posts somehow...he, he : )  I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed week!  There's more "Favorite Fall Things" to come soon!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Atlanta's Greek Festival

This weekend Matt and I went to the Atlanta's Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation.  It was so much fun, and the event is so big that you have to park your car a few miles down the road and have a shuttle bus take you to the site.  It is only five dollars to get in, plus whatever money you want to spend on food and drink.  They also sell lots of jewelry, clothing, and special Orthodox Icons.  

 It was a lot of fun to watch the dancing...

And the food was really amazing...

 We had a lot of fun just walking around and taking it all in.  I guess I'm easily amused and I got a good chuckle out of this sign...
 Then we went over to the sanctuary.  This is me trying to look serious in front of the prayer candles...
 In the sanctuary, we got to learn all about the Icons, the Orthodox history, and Matt even talked to the Priest....

 I come from a Baptist background, and I am now a Lutheran, so I don't really know much about the Orthodox faith, but it was interesting to learn a few things about it.  One of the things that I found really interesting was when the Q&A session began, the subject of women Priests came up.  The director pointed out that the world is changing all around us, but that doesn't mean that the church has to change.  He said that the Orthodox church does not believe in women Priests, and that it will always be that way.   

I guess I just thought it was really cool that in an ever-changing world, that the Orthodox church is not going to back down or change just because the world thinks it should.  I can learn a lot from that.  It was very encouraging to see such faith.  Hope you all have a great day!

our trip to Athens...Georgia part 2

As the previous post stated, we were having lots of fun exploring Athens, Georgia.  Although we had quite a ways to walk, we finally made ...