Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm back...

For a week I've been unable to post to my blogs or to the Ning forums for Small Town Living.. It seems my computer decided to go on the fritz... quite possibly because I use it to store all of our personal photos, and it was getting bogged down.
So here I am plugging away on hubby's laptop, he plans to get me an external hard drive for my computer soon so that I can back up all of our family photos and other photos. We are talking thousands of photos. Onto the external drive, and then I'll be able to free up space on my computer...and hopefully be back to being able to use a computer that I am familiar with.
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During this time we have a few new members join in, as well as new posts on the Small Town Living Ning forums. Hurry on over there and help me to welcome our new members and take a peek at what is being talked about.
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Our family took a quick jaunt down to Ocala this past weekend with the hopes that we had indeed landed ourselves a new home...well... sadly 'twas not to be".
We continue to look for a home in Ocala, and I know it is just a matter of time before we will be calling that area "home"
We have found a new listing agent to help us with the selling of our home here, and wow! all I can say is... she is quite the dynamo and is much more the "go getter" type of personality than the last agent was..I definitely see good things coming our way soon.
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Our visit to Ocala was to be honest, a bit stressful with the house having fallen through, but we all know that it is just a matter of time now, and there is something better in store..but on the flip side of the coin..the trip was also a bit relaxing as well..my in laws have a very nice back yard with huge oak trees and one cannot hear any traffic around at all..peaceful and quiet. We all enjoyed sitting under the huge oak trees in the evening.
Also we all are, or rather I should say were notorious night owls prior to our trip to Ocala where it is a one hour difference in time zones, but the trip helped to reset all of our internal clocks...and we now are back to normal hours.Yay! So, even though the trip didn't produce what we thought it would, we did see a bit of positive result from it.
So...there you have it...a little peek behind the scenes with the folks that bring you Small Town Living.
~Tina

From the Pantry: Product Review


I like peanut butter once in a while... you know... that good old fashioned roasted peanut flavor spread onto nice fresh whole wheat bread with your favorite jelly or jam? Mmm... Mmm good!

Well... I recently discovered a new to me type of peanut butter.
Free from hydrogenated oils, free from high fructose corn syrups, and other unknown ingredients... but rather, this option is full of good, healthy wholesome, and simple ingredients. We are talking peanut butter that is downright good and good for you too!

Made with flax seeds, flax seed oil, honey, roasted peanuts, and cane sugar you wind up with a product that has ingredients that are easy to pronounce, and doesn't leave you scratching your head asking yourself "what is that supposed to be?". You know exactly what your peanut butter contains and can rest assured that you and your family are getting healthy goodness to spread on your bread.

It has now become my favorite type of peanut butter. I encourage you to give it a try.
I like mine with a little raspberry jam. Mmm ...yum.
Checkout the website here to order your own.

~Tina

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Crockpot Apple Butter

Who doesn't like apples?
Fall is the time when the apple orchards are full, but in case you have missed out on gathering apples this year, or don't live in an area where fresh apples are grown, and would like that good old fashioned apple butter taste for your breakfast toast... here's a super easy method for creating it.

Crock Pot Apple Butter

1 gallon can apple sauce

Put applesauce into crock pot and cook on high until the applesauce liquid begins to rise to the top of the crock. You can spoon off the liquid that rises and continue doing this until the liquid stops rising to the top of the crock pot.

Next add in the following ingredients:
9 ozs. honey (use measuring cup)
2 Tsp plus 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1 1/2 Tsp Allspice
1 1/2 Tsp plus 1/8th Tsp Red Hots

Continue cooking until everything blends together. This process takes about 11-12 hours but is worth it.So wake up early to start this one.

Makes 4 1/2 pint jars.

Enjoy!
~Tina

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Check out this nice blog give away

We all like giveaways don't we? Well, here is one that you won't want to miss out on. Hurry and go take a peek...you know you want to.
Have fun!
~Tina

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flying Jewels

Since I mentioned hummingbirds in my last post I thought I'd share a few photos of some of the little "flying jewels" that have graced our yard.

Aren't they pretty?

~Tina

Monday, October 12, 2009

In the Garden: Product Review

I love birds, and love attracting them to our backyard. I have the perfect spot for being able to watch them...from my kitchen window!

Directly outside of my kitchen window is a large drake elm tree that I planted about 6 years ago...the tree has grown tremendously from that tiny 6 ft. tall sapling that I found on clearance at a local hardware store, and now it towers about 14-15 feet tall with a reach of just about as wide on its branches. In this tree is where I like to hang my bird feeders.

We have hummingbirds that are year round residents to our area, we see them a bit more frequently once the bottlebrush flowers start to bloom on our bottlebrush tree. We also like the chance to see them without having to crane our neck to look up into the tree. That's where my cute little hummingbird feeder from "Perky-Pet" comes into play.

For less than $20 I can have a darling hummingbird feeder and nectar kit to attract these little "flying jewels"

Of course having them in a little bit closer is a bit fun too, as I like to try to capture them on camera.

If you too enjoy attracting birds or need a gift this Christmas season for the bird lover on your list check out the "Perky- Pet Hummingbird Feeder"
~Tina

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Come join the crafting swap fun at our forums!

We have quite a few talented folks that are members of our online forums.

Recently we hosted a hand crafted "Pinkeep Swap" (pin cushion)for our members that love to sew and create.
We had a dozen women join in the fun of swapping items with each other.
Here are a few examples of what our members created and swapped with each other.

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We now are getting ready to host another fun swap!/accepting sign ups until October 14th!
So stop by the forums at www.smalltownliving.ning.com and sign up to join the fun!
Our next swap will be for "Hand Crafted Christmas Garlands"
We'd love to have you join in...the more the merrier!

~Tina

Saturday, October 10, 2009

From The Pantry: Product Review

We have been trying to shift our diet over to include more beans, grains,fiber and healthier choices, as well as to make sure we have a stocked pantry of foods that can be found in bulk quantities.
With a family of five to feed this cuts down on our trips to the grocery store as well as provides us with high quality, low cost ,easy to prepare but healthy options for meals.
We have enjoyed products from Bob's Red Mill in the past, but decided that we'd like to utilize what they had to offer on a larger scale and purchase products from their website to help stock our pantry a bit more.
In our shopping choices we decided to try their "Vegi Soup Mix".
Wow! This large package of 1 lb.12 ozs. of dry vegetable soup mix produces quite a lot of soup! I was amazed that out of one package of dry soup mix I can easily have 3 medium sized pots full of soup to feed our family of five.
I simply added a little bit of beef broth(totally optional if you'd like to go all vegetarian with your meal of course) to the pot, and prepared some grilled cheese sandwiches to accompany the soup and we had a very nice "comfort meal."
The soup has a nice blend of ingredients from lentils to split peas, to tiny little pasta alphabets, a healthy hearty blend of goodness in a bowl! And the other great thing is...you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour!
If you are looking for a nice vegetable soup mix to stock your pantry with check out Bob's Red Mill.

~Tina

Hello and Welcome to the Small Town Living blog!


Here I will be sharing with you the latest goings on in regards to our online magazine "Small Town Living", as well as our online network for members.
I also will showcase product reviews that our readers and members might find of use in their day to day activities...and more.
~Tina