Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday's Deals in my Shops!


{Use Code: BLACKFRISALE at checkout 
for the discounts shown below on the following items in my shops at}

60% off posters & prints featuring the photography of M. Hamilton

50% off  Christmas cards

50% off cards, invitations, photocards and postcards at our Noteworthy shop!

Celebrating a first Christmas? A new baby? Just got married? New pet?  
First Christmas Ornaments are 50% off today only! 

All our Smartphone Covers/Cases $10 off today only!

$10 off  iPhone 5 cases

$10 off  iPod Touch covers

Laptop Sleeves with Popular Bible Verses - $10 off today!

$10 off sleeves for MacBooks today only! 

$10 off sleeves for iPads today only!

30% off  Mugs

20% off all Tote Bags!

15% off  T-Shirts!

15% off  Kids' Clocks!

15% off  Personalized Notebooks for Kids & Teenagers! 

15% off  Doodle by OrigAudio™ Speakers!

15% off  Silver Pendant Necklaces!


Here are the Black Friday sales in my shop at, 
discounts are red on the linked page and reflect the sale price!

 Up to 65% off all t-shirts

Up to 25% off all sweatshirts and hoodies!

Up to 30% off all baby clothing!

$5 off  iPhone cases!

Up to 20% off aprons!

Up to 30% off coasters!

Up to 35% off all keepsake boxes/jewelry boxes!


Here are links to all my shops: 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Roasted Broccoli and Apples

This is my new favorite side dish! Easy to make, not too many calories and so delicious...what's not to love?

:: Ingredients ::

10 oz. Broccoli florets
1 large red delicious apple
2 tbsp French Fried onions
Pam butter spray

:: Directions ::

Cut your broccoli and apples into bite size pieces and spread them evenly onto baking sheet lined with tinfoil. Sprinkle French Fried onions on top, then spray evenly with Pam butter spray. Bake at 375 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes. 


Makes 2 servings, 244 calories total --122 per person

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond!

I love the infinity scarf craze and it's especially awesome for winter time. I came across a pin on Pinterest late last night when I couldn't sleep and I thought I can do that, so super easy!

Here's a link to the awesome blogger who inspired my craft and her tutorial, 
a special thanks to Melissa or Missy as I think she likes to be called @ Pink Pistachio 

 The picture on the left is actually two scarves, the blue is doubled up and the white one just hangs. 
I used scraps I had from another project, so mine are a little different from hers, but I still love them. 
And as you can see, I made two navy and white and one in slate blue! 
The possibilities are truly endless especially if you've got t-shirts you no longer wear, upcycle them and voila you've got something super cute and trendy instead of just tossing them or donating to Goodwill.

Monday, October 22, 2012

10 Yummy Pumpkin Goodies

YAY, it's Fall! 
Fall reminds me of pumpkins and makes me want to cook pumpkiny things! 
Here are some delights I've found, mostly on Pinterest, and thought I would share them with you.

Pumpkin Dip by Green Acres Hobby Farm

  Pumpkin Dream Cake by The Novice Chef

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk Muffins
 Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Muffins by Table For Two

Pumpkin Krispie Treats by Shugary Sweets 

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Shortbread Crust at The Hungry Mouse
Brown-Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake by The Hungry Mouse

 Pumpkin Maple Doughnuts by Food Plus Words

 Mascarpone Pumpkin Mousse Cups
 Mascarpone Pumpkin Mousse Cups by Foodie Crush

Pumpkin and Chocolate Mousse Trifle by Yummy Mummy Kitchen

 Post image for Mini Pumpkin Tiramisu
Mini Pumpkin Tiramisu by My Baking Addiction

 Pumpkin Whoopie Pies by The Kitchen of Oz

 Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers for these amazing recipes!
Ready, set, create! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Educate Yourself, It May Save Your Life - "THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES"

The article below is something I found on Pinterest. I decided to re-post on my blog because I thought it was important to share with you and hopefully YOU will share it with the women you care about in your life.

Women NEED to empower other women! We need to be educated so this kind of thing doesn't happen to us! Don't let anyone else be a victim.

Be strong, be courageous, be safe.
XOXO, Melissa


 Reblog this, it may save someone else's life.
It seems that a lot of attackers use some tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone should read this especially each and every girl in this world. Educate yourself, don't think it will "never happen to me."

FYI - Through a rapist’s eyes! A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.
They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets. 

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas,or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.



1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk:
can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would 
not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and
armpit or in the upper inner thigh - HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using
much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel
little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.



I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go “hmm I must remember that.” After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS, LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side, peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. ( DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB) .
b. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers or rapists attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it’s better safe than sorry.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Spice

I found this recipe on My Baking Addiction and changed it ever so slightly 
BUT it makes a world of difference. 

You will need:
  • A coffee grinder
  • A small container to store the spice, I used an old Harry and David jelly jar.
  • Whole cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves  
  • Other ingredients below

:: Recipe ::

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves


Use the coffee grinder to grind your whole spices. I doubled the recipe 
because we use a lot of this spice in the Fall and Winter months. 

If you are sticking to the recipe above, grind up 3-4 cinnamon sticks. 
Dump it out into a small bowl, then measure into your jar. 

Then put a spoonful of cloves in the coffee grinder and repeat the process. 
{No need to wash out the coffee grinder in between, they are going to the same place!}

Note: You could definitely use whole nutmegs too, 
I didn't have any on hand but I'm sure that would make it even better. 

When all the spices are in, put on the lid and shake it up! 

Now you're ready for a burst of flavor that is nothing like the store bought version.

 I put a teaspoon in our coffee grounds this morning...
WOW, instant pumpkin coffee that is ten times better than Starbucks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

20 DIY Fall Decorations

Cool weather, pretty trees and fun holidays. 
It's just starting to turn chilly here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, so to get into the spirit of the season 
I went in search of some decorating ideas that were fun and of course, do-it-yourself. 
I originally started out thinking I was only going to post 10 items, but I found so many I loved I decided to do 20.
Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to start your Fall decorating if you haven't already!

Party Pumpkin Cooler by Inspiration for Home

Skull Plate by

Glitter Pumpkins by Projects In A Can

 Personalized Burlap Wreath by LOVE IS

pumpkin candle votive 
Pumpkin Candle Table Decor by Good Housekeeping

Halloween Painted Glass Jar Luminaries by  Crafts by Amanda

Corn Vase by Your Cozy Home

Monogrammed Doormat
Fall Colors Monogrammed Doormat by BHG

 Halloween Countdown Sign by I Heart Naptime

 A Wreath Bewitched by Lemon Tree Creations

Halloween Party Centerpiece by One Charming Party

 Give Thanks Banner {Free Printable}by At Second Street

Washi Tape Pumpkins by Good Housekeeping

Pumpkin Wheelbarrow Arrangement
 Wheelbarrow Welcome Arrangement by Better Homes and Gardens

Keep Calm and Gobble On Sign {Free Printable}by Craftily Ever After

Thanks Wine Bottle Upcycle by Avery & Anderson

{Not a DIY, but too fabulous to not post!}
 Freddy Krueger Wreath available at Etsy

 Jute Vase by teach. craft. love.

 Frank doorFrankenstein Door Decoration by  Mel Designs

Book Pages Pumpkin by Creations by Kara

Thanks to all the awesome bloggers & websites out there 
for these wonderfully creative ideas!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup - Skinny Style!

:: Ingredients ::

4 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup fresh basil {garnish}
1 tsp fresh diced garlic
½ bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
½ cup flour
½ cup butter
 2 cups skim milk
1 cup Parmesan or Asiago shredded cheese

 Makes about 2 quarts (about 8 servings)
Approx. 234 calories per serving

:: Directions :: 

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan or the microwave. 
Add to the slow cooker with the two bouillon cubes. 
Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, italian spice and bay leaf.
Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. 
Approximately 6 hours in blend the ingredients together with a hand mixer until smooth.
About 30 minutes before serving, prepare a roux. 
Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. 
Stir constantly with a whisk for 2-3 minutes. 
Slowly add the milk, stirring as you do so. 
When thoroughly blended and smooth add to the slow cooker slowly, stirring as you do so.  
Stir in the Parmesan cheese. 
Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

I just added a few things and skinny-fied it to fit into my diet plan. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Savory Bread Pudding

This was one of those dishes that I created on a whim, not even sure if it would turn out. 
Which means did I measure things exactly?....ummmmmm, no. 
I have had several requests on Facebook for the recipe of this dish since I posted the picture above.
So here goes...hopefully I can recreate the madness that went on in my head last night.

:: Ingredients ::

French bread
Fresh spinach leaves
Bacon crumbles
Canned artichokes
2 different kinds of cheeses
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk 
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp onion salt
Two 9 in. round pans 
One 9 in square pan
Pam cooking spray

:: Directions ::

Turn on the oven to 375 degrees.
Get out one of your pans and cut the french bread into cubed pieces until there is a nice tight layer in the bottom of your pan, you shouldn't be able to see the bottom of that pan!
Mix eggs, milk, red pepper and onion salt together until thoroughly blended. 
Then pour the mixture evenly over the bread and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

While that mixture is working, get a skillet out and melt some butter, like a tablespoon or so.
Grab two or three handfuls of spinach leaves, put them in the pan and let them cook down, stirring the entire time. Reduce heat and add your bacon. Cover the pan.
Pull out your container of canned artichokes, get out 5-6 chokes, then squeeze them to remove the juices. Add those to the spinach and bacon. Cook for another minute or two, then remove from the heat.

Here's where you add one of your cheeses. 
I went with a sharp cheddar that I grated directly into the skillet and folded it into the mixture of spinach, artichokes and bacon. It was probably close to a cup in measurement. I think it depends on the kind of cheese how much you should add. Cheeses that are more powerful in taste you would probably want to scale back a little. 

Now grab a small saucepan and boil 2 to 3 cups of water.  You'll see why below.

Now prepare your other pan with cooking spray. Get your bread, eggs and milk mixture from the refrigerator and add it your skillet. Fold it in so everything is evenly distributed and then add everything to the new pan.
Now it's time add a second cheese to the top. I went with an Asiago cheese and grated enough so it covered the top of the dish.  

Grab your 9 in. square pan and pour in the boiling water. Place your round pan in the water bath and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. The last two minutes turn the oven to broil to brown it a little.

This recipe will make 4 servings like the one below.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Edamame & Tomato Salad

:: Ingredients ::

2 large fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
One 8 oz. pkg of edamame, cooked and shelled
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
fresh basil
asiago cheese

:: Directions ::

Cook frozen edamame pouch in the microwave for about 3 minutes, 
let it cool and slip the seeds out of the pods. 
Chop roma tomatoes into bite size pieces. 
Use a vegetable peeler and slice off some pieces of asiago cheese. 
Chop 5-6 large basil leaves. 
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Fold ingredients together and enjoy!

{Makes a great lunch for one or a dinner side dish for two people}

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Strawberry Muffins

Want something to do with those strawberries sitting in your fridge about to go bad? 
Try this. 

:: Ingredients ::

2 cups flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 eggs
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp grated orange zest

:: Directions ::

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
2. Use a mixer to mix eggs, butter, milk, almond extract and orange zest
3. Add sugar, flour, baking powder and salt beat until smooth.
4. Fold in strawberries.
5. Spoon batter into muffin tins with paper liners.
6. Sprinkle sugar on the top of each muffin.
7. Bake 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they're done.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Today my daughter's best friend's family invited us to go blueberry picking. 
I hadn't done that since I was a little kid. 
We had such a great time and we have tons of blueberries now as the bucket below got filled to the top 
when my daughter's friend decided we needed more blueberries and dumped her bucket into ours. LOL.

So, time for some creative recipe developing by yours truly! Blueberry muffins were first on the request list, 
and they turned out so delicious - I thought I would share with you guys!

:: Ingredients ::

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries

:: Directions ::

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line muffin pan with muffin cups. Recipe will make about 16 muffins.

In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt - whisk together.

In a separate bowl, beat together milk, melted butter, egg and vanilla until blended.

Add liquid mixture to dry mixture until moistened. Then fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes. 

Immediately remove muffins from pan and let them cool on wire rack.

July 4th, 2012
Made these for brunch today and changed the vanilla extract to almond extract + I added the zest of one small lemon -- so so good!!!!