Monday, December 28, 2009

Wish I'd Read That Challenge

Dear Friend,
I have found one more challenge that I have decided to participate in. Royal Reviews is hosting Wish I'd Read That Challenge which is challenge for all the books that you wish you had read. I have numerous books that I should have read growing up, but did not. So, I plan to read those for this challenge.

Challenge Guidelines:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
2. There are four levels:
--Curious- Read 3 books.
--Fascinated-Read 6 books.
--Addicted- Read 12 books.
--Obsessed- Read 20 books.

3. Any book format counts.
4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December 2010.

I have chosen to only commit to the "Fascinated" level at this time, but hope to level up during the year. I hope you will choose to participate in this challenge with me! If you choose to participate, head HERE to sign up!

Fascinated by this Challenge,
The Stay-at-Home Mom

Romance Reading Challenge

Dear Friend,
I have found yet another Reading Challenge to participate in! Royal Reviews is hosting a Romance Reading Challenge with four levels of participation!! All sub genres of Romance count.

Challenge Guidelines:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:

--Curious- Read 3 Romance Fiction novels.

--Fascinated- Read 6 Romance Fiction novels.

--Addicted- Read 12 Romance Fiction novels.

--Obsessed- Read 20 Romance Fiction novels.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December 2010.

I have set my goal at "Obsessed." This is another challenge where all books cross over, so these 20 will also go towards my other challenges!! So, head on over to Royal Reviews and sign up!!

Your Book Crazy Friend,

The Stay-at-Home Mom

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Where is my book?

Dear Friend,
I've had another book to review for you for over two weeks, but I have lost my book! I began and finished it while Hubby, Son and I were in Huntsville (Story will be on my personal blog by the end of the day, hopefully!). But, after coming home, closing two Pampered Chef parties, beginning a third Pampered Chef party, washing clothes, having two Thanksgivings, a photo session, editing pictures, decorating for Christmas, shopping for presents, and wrapping presents, I have lost the book.....


I have absolutely.....


Where to start looking!!

So, I promise, once I get all the presents wrapped, the decorations up (yep, there is still more to put up), and my living room cleaned, I WILL find the book and post the review for you! It was a really good book though! I guess I'll just have to leave you wondering.......

Wondering where to start,
The Stay-at-Home Mom

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things I've Learned Thursday

Dear Friend,

My intentions were to do this post last week. Instead of a "Things I've Learned," I'm making this a "Thankful Thursday" in honor of Thanksgiving last week. So, these are the things that I am thankful for this year:

  1. My husband. Jud is the love of my life and my very best friend. I am SO extremely thankful for him. I love you, Juddy Buddy.
  2. My son. Wesley is a happy healthy child and a pure miracle in my life. I love you, my sweet boy.
  3. My family. I have the best family that I could have ever asked for, immediate and in-laws! I love all of you and am so thankful for every one of you.
  4. My health and my family's health.
  5. The love of so many wonderful people.
  6. All of the wonderful friends that I have, real life and bloggy friends! I love every one of you and am more thankful for you than you know.
  7. The wonderful life that God has given me. Everything from the way we live to all that He has given me.
  8. To live in a free country and to the soldiers that fight for our freedom!

I know this is late, but my life has changed so much in just a few short years. I wanted to do a post in honor of Thanksgiving and all I'm thankful for. And, as for the Things I've Learned, to never neglect to tell those that you love and are thankful for that you love them and are thankful for them!


The Stay-at-Home Mom

I found that recipe I promised you!

Dear Friend,

When I was in third grade, our class had a Thanksgiving Feast a couple of days before we got out of school for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had all kinds of delicious goodies, including one of my favorite holiday treats, pumpkin bread.

Our next door neighbor was a very dear friend of my mother’s, and she also adores pumpkin bread, so I snuck out an extra piece to take to her on my way home from school.

She enjoyed her treat and asked me if I happened to have gotten the recipe. Disappointed, I said no and promised to get it for her the very next day.

The next day at school, I made sure to get the recipe from my teacher so that I could take it to Mrs. Paulann. I couldn’t wait to get off the bus that day and give her the recipe, which she was very happy to have and said that she would make sure that she would make both of us some for Thanksgiving.

She made good on her promise, as I had made good on mine and told me that she would make sure she would keep that recipe in a very special place.

Two years ago, during a beautiful fall afternoon, I was opening presents at my bridal shower. When I opened Mrs. Paulann’s gift, I took the top off the box and opened the tissue paper to reveal a note from her. She said that marriage is like a recipe – made up of a lot of different things that come together to make something wonderful. Things like: faith, and trust, and faith, and kindness and love. She said that we had to take care of each other and cherish each other, like she had with that recipe that I had given her so many years before. She said that it was time that it returned to its original owner and now that Darren and I were starting a life together and would soon have a family, we should enjoy the recipe as a family, and so she included the original recipe that I gave her 16 years ago.

It is so special to me and it just truly makes the holidays something magical, so I wanted to share it with you (as I wrote it).

Pampkin Bread
  • 3 1/4 cups purpos flour
  • 2 tea spoons bacon soda
  • 1 tea spoons nutmeg
  • 2 cups pampkin
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1 1/2 tea spoons salt
  • 1 tea spoons cinamon
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  1. Grease 3 loaf pans.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degres.
  3. Add flour, sugar, bacon soda, salt, and spices into a large bowl. Stir to blend.
  4. Add pampkin, water, oil, eggs, and nuts.
  5. Beat and pour in to pans.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.

I hope you and your family it enjoy it as much as we do!

With a happy heart,

A Working Wife

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pages Read Challenge

Dear Friend,

As you probably guessed, I have found one more reading challenge to take part in! Kathrin at Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic is hosting a second year of Pages Read Challenge.

The rules are:

  1. Pick a number of pages you'll be attempting to read in 2010. It doesn't matter whether your goal is 10,000 or 100,000. You can always up your number as we go along, so you don't need to go all up high with your page count.
  2. Write a blog post about it in which you will keep track of your page count.
  3. Comment here with your goal number and a link to you blog post (if you have a blog - otherwise, just leave a comment with your name and the goal number). I'll then add you to the list of participants below.
  4. The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010. Only pages read after the New Year has begun count for the challenge.

This challenge sounded easy enough to do with the other two challenges that I have chosen. I plan to set a goal of 40,000 pages to begin with and hope to up it later. I hope this one might be one that you join with me on, for the fact that you get to choose your own goal!

Goal minded,

The Stay-at-Home Mom

Monday, November 30, 2009


Dear Friend,

I wish we would have been able to catch up over the holiday. I have a wonderful recipe I meant to send you and can't seem to find it at the moment. Always my luck! I will keep looking for it and will send it your way in time for Christmas!

Hope you and your family had a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoying all the leftovers,
A Working Wife

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

100+ Reading Challenge

Dear Friend,

I have decided to participate in another Reading Challenge that I hope you will join me on this one too! J. Kaye's Book Blog is hosting her 100+ Reading Challenge again this year.

Her guidelines:

  1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. --Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.
  2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Library books, Young Reader, Nonfiction- as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.
  3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
  4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.
  5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.
  6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you'd prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, pleas leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.

I found this challenge too late in the year to participate for 2009, so I am really glad that J. Kaye chose to do it again!! I hope you decide to do this with me!

Challenging Myself,

The Stay-at-Home Mom

Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking Forward to Your Reviews

Dear Friend,

What a challenge! Sounds like a lot of fun. I look forward to following you on your book challenge and to reading your reviews of the books.

Who knows, you might even convince me to try a new genre!

Eager to read,
The Working Wife

Lynsay Sands/Argeneau Family Reading Challenge

Dear Friend,

I have found a wonderful Reading Challenge that I have chosen to take part in and I hope that you might join me! Amy at My Overstuffed Bookshelf is hosting the Lynsay Sands/Argeneau Family Reading Challenge.

Here are her guidelines:

1. This challenge is just for the first 9 books in the series. We aren't going to include the Hunter series.

2. Sign up anytime for the challenge, but your challenge is to be completed by Dec. 30, 2010.

3. If you decide to participate in the challenge, post this on your blog with a link back to this blog so that other people can find their way here to sign up.

4. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your challenge is posted. If you list just your blog's general URL, it will be removed.

5. When you are all done with the challenge, email her the links to your reviews.

Here are the titles in the challenge:

1. A Quick Bite

2. Love Bites

3. Single White Vampire

4. Tall, Dark and Hungry

5. A Bite to Remember

6. Bite Me

7. Accidental Vampire

8. Vampires are Forever

9. Vampire Interrupted

You can read about this challenge here and ask Amy any questions that you may have! I hope that you will decide to join me on this!
Looking forward to this challenge,
The Stay-at-Home Mom

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things I've Learned Thursday!

Dear Friend,

Like I said before, I was hoping to make this an ongoing thing. So, here is my second installment! I've decided to do another round of "Things I've Learned As a Mom!" Becoming a Mom was a HUGE step in my life and I love every step of this journey! So, here goes round two!!

  1. It is amazing what a Mom finds to cheer over when we have kids! The first smile, the first time our child crawls, the first time clapping, the first step, and the first time potty in the toilet (though we haven't reached this one yet), to name a few!
  2. The first time your child hugs you and/or gives you a kiss will completely melt your heart in a way that is impossible to describe.
  3. A mother's love surpasses her love for anything or anyone else!!
  4. Your pets (that were once your "baby") becomes a pet. Trust me, even the most loved and spoiled of pets!
  5. How quickly our lives become centered around our kids!
  6. How hard it is to be away from our children for any length of time. (Trust me, I learned this when Hubby and I went to Las Vegas this past July and 10 month old son stayed with his Grandparents!)
  7. How amazing the small stuff seems when you are looking at it for the first time as a parent!
  8. Children are tons of fun when you take the time to stop and enjoy them!
  9. When they begin walking, they really begin to be a wonderful source of exercise!!
  10. You really begin to see a whole new side of yourself that you never realized was there!!

These are just a few more things that I've learned since becoming a parent!! Stay tuned for next week's "Things I've Learned." I haven't decided on next weeks topic yet, though!

Learning as I go,

The Stay-at-Home Mom

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Branded by the Sheriff by Delores Fossen

Dear Friend,

I have read a book that I believe to be right up your alley!! I won this book through a giveaway of Amy's over at My Overstuffed Bookshelf. It is a romantic suspense. (You know how I love my romance books!!)

Title: Branded By the Sheriff
Author: Delores Fossen
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
ISBN-10: 037369377X
ISBN-13: 978-0373693771

Back Book Cover:
Years ago, Sheriff Beck Tanner had believed the worst about Faith Matthews. Now she was back in their small Texas town, forcing him to question everything he thought he knew about her. And when the killer who'd murdered her family set his sights on Faith-and her innocent baby girl-Beck's protective instincts kicked into high gear.

As dangerous pranks turned into deadly games, and with a sadistic killer circling closer, all of Beck's attention had to be on keeping Faith's baby safe...and ignoring his inconvenient attraction to the beautiful mother....

I loved this book! Granted, I didn't love Faith's character, but I liked her. And, I couldn't help but love Beck. The turn-around in feelings between the two kind of bothered me, but I could feel the attraction between the two. So, I got past that pretty quick. And, the bends in the road while figuring out who the killer was, was amazing. I honestly never suspected the person that turned out to be the killer!!

All in all, this book was a wonderful, but quick read! I hope you will take the time to read it and that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Your Fellow Book-lover,
The Stay-at-Home Mom

P.S. Again, this book was won through a giveaway at My Overstuffed Bookshelf!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ricochet by Sandra Brown

Dear Friend,

I just had to tell you about this new book that I read! It falls in the Suspense Genre.

Title: Ricochet
Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date: July 2007
ISBN-10: 1-4165-2332-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-2332-1

Back Cover of the Book:
When Savannah detective Duncan Hatcher is summoned to an unusual crime scene, he knows discretion is key. Influential Judge Cato Laird's beloved trophy wife, Elise, has fatally shot a burglar. She claims self-defense, but Duncan suspects she's lying, and puts his career in jeopardy by investigating further. Then, in secret, Elise makes an incredible allegation, which he dismisses as the lie of a cunning woman trying to exploit his intense attraction to her. But when Elise goes missing, Duncan finds that trusting the wrong person could mean the difference between life and death for both of them.

Friend, this book was a good read. I only say good because I had read Sandra Brown's Smokescreen just before this one and expected something more like that. And, Ricochet fell slightly short of that expectation. The characters were not very engaging. I had a hard time sticking with the first half the book, but the last half made up for that. There were numerous twists and turns and many times when I wasn't sure whether Duncan should or should not trust Elise. It took me longer to finish it than planned, but the last half of the book was worth the extra time.

So, in short, this was a good book that I plan to read again. I hope that you will read it also!

Your Reading Pal,
The Stay-at-Home Mom

P.S. This book was bought for me by a family member.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cost of Children

Dear Friend,

You're right, I don't have children yet and I don't know what its like to be a parent. I don't know how tiring and exhausting it is or the overwhelming love you feel when you hold your child. The excitement when they take their first step or say their first word. Those are things I have only dreamed about and I hope to experience one day.

Common sense tells me that motherhood/parenthood will be full of sacrifices, expense and heartache but my heart tells me to jump in with both feet. Again, I don't have children so I don't know all of the worries, fears and joys you experience, but an e-mail I once received titled "The Cost of Children" sheds some light on the subject. Thought you might enjoy it since you have been reflecting on motherhood lately.

The Cost of Children

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 to be $160,140 for a middle income family.

Talk about sticker shock!

That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into: $8,896.66 a year, or $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week.

That's a mere $24.24 a day!

Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is "if you want to be 'rich', don't have children.

Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140?

Naming rights – First, middle, and last!
Glimpses of God every day.
Giggles under the covers every night.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
A hand to hold - usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said, or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to: finger-paint,carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, and catch lightning bugs.

You have an excuse to: keep reading "The Adventures of Piglet and Pooh", watch Saturday morning cartoons, go to Disney movies, and wish upon a star.

You also get to: frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets, and collect: spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay or Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no bigger bang for your buck.

You get to be a hero just for: retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to witness history: her first step, his first word, and their first time behind the wheel.

You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs called grandchildren and great grandchildren in your obituary.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, and communications.In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God.

You have the power to: heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits...

So that one day they, like you, they will love without counting the cost.

It brings a smile to my face and my heart, every time that I read that. I hope you enjoyed it.

With a Happy Heart,
A Working Wife

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Joys of Motherhood

Dear Friend,

I realize that you aren't a parent yet. But, in light of some recent comments from a "friend" that I had growing up, I wanted to give you a view of parenthood from a Stay-at-Home Mom (SAHM). I've learned more from being a Mom for the past (almost) 15 months than I did in 13 years of school, plus 3½ years of college! So, in honor of my ongoing schooling as a Mom, I thought I would share with you what I have learned and what I continue to learn!

Things I've Learned Since Becoming a Mom:
  1. Being a TRUE parent means putting your child's needs and wants before your own. Something as small as my dinner being cold or having to be reheated due to feeding him first. Or, not getting to do something you want because your child is sick! They NEED to come first in your life!

  2. Babies do not come with instruction manuals! Some think that the baby books are like instruction manuals, but they don't have solutions to every problem for every baby! And, you DO NOT have to do everything by a book. (I was guilty of believing this when my son was first born!!) Sometimes, a parent's intuition is the best answer! Even, first time parents.

  3. All babies are different! Do not get upset because your child isn't learning something at the same speed as another. One baby may walk at a year old and the next may not walk until 18 months. It doesn't mean there is something with the one that it takes longer for. They may learn something else quicker!

  4. Kids learn things quicker than you would think!! Work with your child and you will be amazed with how much they learn!

  5. And, going along with that, children learn to undress themselves far earlier than they learn to dress themselves!!

  6. All other conversation topics lose significance in comparison to our child (or children)! What DID we talk about before we had kids??

  7. Children are a HUGE responsibility.

  8. But, they are also a mother's greatest joy!

  9. Just as adults are not perfect, neither are children. They cry and you don't know what's wrong. They don't always want to do what you want them too. But, that' s OKAY!!

  10. Parents should not be judged on topics like breast-feeding, baby-wearing, vaccinations, and the like. Just because I feel strongly one way or the other, I don't want to be judged on those beliefs. My decisions (and your's) are based on what we feel is right for our children.

  11. That some parents get mad, fuss and everything else due to their child not taking a nap on schedule or eating what they want them to eat. And, I don't agree with that. Maybe there is a reason for the child not doing the above, and it's the parent's job to figure out why instead of complaining!

  12. Your child's smile and laughter will make everything right in the world!

This is just a start to what I have learned from becoming a Mom!

With Love,
A Stay-at-Home Mom

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roasted Apples 'N Cream Caramel Topped Brownies

Dear Friend,

With fall upon us and the air cool and crisp - I have put my apron on and started baking. Oh, how I love the smells of Fall, especially from my kitchen.

When going through my cookbook, I came across a recipe that I thought you would love. I have included it.

Roasted Apples & Cream Caramel Topped Brownies

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 small-medium baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ Cup chopped walnuts (or other nut of choice)
  • Prepared Caramel sauce, warmed in microwave


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.
  3. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  4. Place softened cream cheese and sugar into a mixing bowl, mix until smooth.
  5. Place dollops of cheese over brownie batter.
  6. Use a butter knife to carefully swirl without dragging against the bottom of dish.
  7. Place butter into a large skillet over medium heat to melt.
  8. Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
  9. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and pour evenly over brownies.
  11. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center of brownies are cooked through.
  12. Remove and let cool completely before cutting into squares.
  13. Just before serving, drizzle with caramel sauce.
I hope you enjoy them!

With Love,
A Working Wife

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hello, I'm Amanda. I'm in my mid-twenties, married to a wonderful husband, and mom to a wonderful one-year-old son. I'm a Stay-at-Home Mom, a substitute some days, and just starting out as an Independent Pampered Chef Consultant. I spend my days raising our wonderful son, while trying to keep a clean house, clothes clean, and not to spend to much time on the computer! In the middle of this, we're working on our old house that belonged to my husband's grandmother. I love photography, learning to love cooking, movies and reading!! I'm just your typical Stay-at-Home Mom!

Hi, I’m Morgan. I’m a late twenty-something that is in a post-Newlywed, pre-baby time in my life. I work full time as an Administrative Assistant, part-time as an Senior Independent Pampered Chef Consultant and overtime juggling an unending string of social engagements, all while trying to remodel our house and maintain some semblance of normal family life by creating a warm and cozy home and delicious meals for my husband. I love to cook, read, and shop but struggle with finding time to do it all. I’m just your everyday Working Wife!

We hope you will join us as we share recipes, review books and compare points of view on life, love and everything in between!