Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I don't know about where you are, but the weather in Kansas City is absolutely GORGEOUS! It's almost too warm, since it's expected to be 80°-82° for the next couple of days. I wouldn't mind it staying in the 70s for awhile, but I'll definitely take this over the snow of a couple weeks ago!

Yesterday I started the task of prepping the garden for spring planting. I was overly ambitious last year and had way too large of an area tilled, and couldn't keep up with the grass re-growing in the entire garden area! So this year, I am cutting back. In the fall, we laid down some newspaper (on part, as we ran out) and mulch over about half of my garden space. Now, I'm moving the fencing to enclose only this part. I'm basically going from 1000 square feet (INSANE!) to about 520. I think this will be much more manageable!

There is still a lot of grass to be pulled, and I have about 15 feet of fencing that needs to be re-buried by trenching the ground and covering the bottom section, but I've started the process, which is a good thing. I think the girls and I will be planting all the seeds tonight so we can have some plants to put in there sometime in May. I'm still not completely decided on what I'm going to grow this year. I will most definitely buy some tomato plants, as I have no luck trying to grow those from seed. I plan to have as many green beans as I can get growing, and some spinach and a couple varieties of lettuce. I also bought some broccoli seeds and will have to grow cucumbers. My family (especially DH) LOVES pickles, so even though I hate them, I will have to make them. lol I do like to eat raw cucumbers, so I get the pre-pickled variety. In fact, I am looking very forward to lots of my favorite sandwich this summer - hummus, spinach, tomato, and cucumber...yum!!!

I am contemplating trying some asparagus. I'm really not sure if I could get it to grow, but I absolutely love it, so it might be worth trying in just a small section of the garden. I think I'm going to skip the squash this year since I'm the only one who eats it and I still have bags of shredded zucchini from last year. I will sit down sometime this week and diagram out what I plan to plant where so I at least have a good idea of how to do things.

I'm very excited about planting some of my seeds from Hometown Seeds. I will try and keep a running account of how well they do on my blog. I love the Survival Seeds pack they sent me and I will be using a lot of their seeds! I'm very happy that gardening season is coming. I hope you find a little happiness in the soil, too! :-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kroger Gift Card Winner!

I wish I had a clue how to paste the number generator to my blog, but I cannot figure it out! I had 34 entries in the giveaway (wish it had been more...maybe next time!), and when I entered 1 to 34 into, it gave me a winning number of 29, which is mandala!

Congratulations, mandala! I will be sending you an email shortly to get your mailing information. Thanks SO much to everyone who entered! Hopefully we'll have some more fun giveaways very soon!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Snowy Spring

It's funny how the weather never does what it's supposed to do. Today is the first official day of spring, and I'd guess we have about 6 inches of snow out there on the ground and it's still coming down. It is very pretty, and I have noplace to go, so I'm okay with it. I've actually been enjoying a typical "snow day." I baked a scratch angel food cake this morning and made the kids some homemade granola bars for their snack. My 9-year-old has a friend over for the day who is also spending the night, so they had their snack in her room, along with chai tea with a fancy tea set. Very cute!

The angel food cake is a bit of an experiment. I am having a "house concert" next month (a first for me) and will hopefully have a house full of guests. I'm going to put out what I hope will be a very nice spread of appetizers and treats. One thing I want to try, that I've never done before, is chocolate fondue. Angel food cake cubes are something I've listed as a good option for dipping in the fondue, so that's what I'm trying tonight. I had 10 eggs that had just expired, so it seemed like the perfect time to whip up angel food and give this a whirl. I'm planning on trying several things prior to the concert/party to make sure I know what I'm doing!

It seems like so much has happened since I last blogged, and I guess it has been a long time! Two weeks ago I had what I consider the best weekend of my life, and I just haven't come back to earth since then. My favorite singer, Suzy Bogguss, was in town for a show over in Overland Park and it was a wonderful time. I got to talk to her for awhile (she's a friend these days, which is truly a gift!) and catch up with a friend from Des Moines who came in for the show. I got home very late that evening, and then headed out the next day for Hutchinson, Kansas, for another show. I went with my friend, Mark, and we had an amazing time!

Traveling with Mark is always an adventure. He prefers the road less traveled, and avoids the interstate most of the time. I've blogged before about our trek to Colorado a couple of years ago. Well, for this trip, he took me along part of the route that we took that fateful night. He even drove by the hotels where we almost stopped, for fear of bad weather, but didn't due to price or occupancy. And we even stopped in the same convenience store that was our oasis that night. It was amazing to see it all from a non-snowy perspective and realize exactly where we had been when all we had been able to see was solid white blizzard.

We made it to the show in Hutchinson just in time, but getting there had been almost as much fun as the show. During the concert, I tried the venue's House Sangria and liked it very much. Okay, I liked it TOO much. If you know me, you know that I very rarely drink, and so the Sangria hit me harder than I anticipated. I had a reallllllly fun night, but parts of it are a little fuzzy. ;-) Suzy got a kick out of it, though. She told me that I was cracking her up, and did the coolest thing as we were leaving. She teased that she was afraid that I wouldn't make it back down the stairs to get outside (the venue was on the 2nd floor of a building), so she insisted on walking Mark and I out! We ended up standing just inside the doors, just chatting, for quite awhile. Suzy is such a sweetheart!!

The next day we met up with one of Mark's friends for brunch and then a matinee of "Alice in Wonderland." It wasn't as horrible as I expected. :-) After the movie, we had to head back to Kansas City, and we actually took a little interstate due to time restrictions. We got to town and then headed for a local pizza place for karaoke. No, I didn't sing, but Mark is a wonderful singer! He did several great performances and even sang along with my friend Claudia's grandmother, which was adorable!

So can you see why I've been on Cloud 9 since? It's been hard to get back to reality, and now I have this house concert to plan, which is its own kind of fun. The performer we're having is Bill Isles and his wife, Kate. You can check out their website. They are really fun people and Bill writes wonderful original songs. I'm looking very forward to the show. I just hope I can get my house clean and ready in time and that all the food comes out! If you're in the KC area and want to come to the show, please let me know . It should be a great time.

Anyway....I guess that's the update from me for now. Oh, and don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't yet! I don't have many entries for a $25 gift card from the Kroger Family of Stores. You have a great chance at winning!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kroger Cart Buster Savings Event - and Giveaway!

Kroger Stores are a staple for many. They run great sales and when you combine the deals with double coupons, it's amazing how much money can be saved. I wish I had a Kroger just around the corner!

From now through March 14th, shop the Cart Buster Savings Event and find the hottest prices around on your favorite name-brand products in over 60 categories at the Kroger Family of Stores, which includes Kroger, Ralph´s, King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith´s, Fry´s, QFC, Baker´s, Owen´s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Pay Less Super Markets and Scott´s Food & Pharmacy.

Here are just a few of the great brands participating in the event: Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Hamburger Helper, Yoplait, Progresso, Totino´s, Green Giant, Cascadian Farm, Tide, Charmin, Bounty, Pampers, Pantene, Crest, Iams, Febreze, Old Spice and many more! These are brands everyone can use, and there are lots of coupons out there, so get to Kroger before time runs out on this sale!

The Giveaway!!

Kroger and MyBlogSpark are offering one winner a $25 gift card to Kroger! Shop this sale NOW, and then win $25 to spend on future sales. What a deal!

How to Enter:

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me how far it is to your nearest Kroger branded store and/or what you think you would most want to buy with the card if you won.

For another entry, become a follower of At Home with My Monkeys. If you're already a follower, let me know. Leave a separate entry for this entry.

For your third entry, post this contest on another contest list or in your own blog. Then leave a third comment with the link to where it's posted. I'd love to get lots of entries on this one! Help me out, will ya?? :-)

This giveaway will end at midnight on Wednesday, March 24th. Please be sure your contact information is in your comments or easily visible on your profile so I can contact you if you are the winner. Thanks for entering and GOOD LUCK!!

DISCLAIMER: I am receiving a $25 Kroger gift card for sharing this information. The Kroger Family of Stores gift card, information, and giveaway were all provided by the Kroger Family of Stores and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.