Epson Artisan 800 Printer

When Alli and I first decided to throw a party for bloggers in October, we were unsure of how we’d fund it. But we had the drive and the confidence that we could pull it off.

Fortunately, Barbara Jones, of One2One Network contacted us about throwing the party with Epson as a sponsor.

I know! I know! you’ve heard this all before.

But, this time, I want to actually tell you about the printer that Epson graciously gave to us and asked us to review.

My Epson Artisan 800 printer arrived and I immediately set it up (all.by.myself! it was that simple to do.) I spent the entire afternoon swooning at its loveliness.

It’s lovely – it’s sleek. It’s wireless. I spent a full hour that night, twittering and bragging about the fact that I was in one room and printing in the other (feel free to still follow me – I don’t just drool over printers.)

You can imagine that once I had totally bragged up this printer at BlissDom, it was all anyone could think about:

first panel

I couldn’t focus on what I had prepared to talk about. I was too smitten with it’s all-in-one-ness (it scans, faxes, prints and copies), its fast printing speed, its ability to keep my children happy for an afternoon with its capability of taking any image and turning it into a coloring page and its better-than-lab-quality photo printing.

Instead of thinking about my talk, I was thinking about all the ways this printer was going to make me more efficient; help me build my empire; simplify my life!

me

It quickly became the center of attention – posing and looking good in all of its sexy sleeky-ness.

photographer

In the end, we toasted it and cheered on its greatness.

toasting

It’s a fabulous printer. Awesome in every sense of printer awesome-ness. It has allowed me to print out amazing photos to frame and hang around my home. Photos that will last LONGER than lab printed photos. My creative side has thought up at least 2.6 million ideas to create with it. Who knows how many ways you’ll come up with for using it.

Want one or want to know more about it? Check it out here.

all photos by the fantabulous Secret Agent Mama

Keeping it Together

***CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED***
(but read my review anyway ;0)

My husband and I got married three months after we met.

THREE months.

We were crazy and we were in love. But we both also had spent a lot of time in prayer before we met and were at an age where we had experienced so many failed dating situations and even previous engagements that we knew the difference when we met the one God had chosen for each of us.

Yet, even though we knew that the we were each handpicked for the other, do not believe for one single moment that we have spent our married life skipping happily through a bed of flowers. At times, we’ve mucked through some pretty deep and nasty stuff. We’ve both had lots of emotional scar tissue that needed to be removed before the true beauty of our life together could be revealed.

But we’ve been determined and committed to each other through it all. We’ve weathered financial destruction, job changes, many many many moves, miscarriage, parenting…

Given the generation that we grew up in, it amazes me that we’ve stood firm in our commitment. If you were born between 1961 and 1981, you are a part of the generation that saw the divorce rate at its highest point ever. We’ve been called slackers, we lived through grunge… and now we have spouses of our own.

Tricia Goyer has written a wonderful book about marriage for our generation – Generation X, as we’ve been labeled, entitled Generation NeXt Marriage. (read an excerpt here) It is an honest and open look at marriage today and how we can make it work, in spite of the failed marriages we so frequently witnessed (or experienced) growing up.

Tricia is forthcoming about her own experiences and issues in her own marriage. This alone, makes the book a great tool. Since Tricia is a Christian, she is able to show us how any marriage can be redeemed and made whole, if we will allow the Lord to work through it and guide us.

Using song titles from the 80s (Cinderella, The Cure, U2 etc) she discusses topics such as

History Never Repeats ~ Revisiting your relationship role models
I Remember You ~ Overcoming the bond of past relationships
In Your Eyes ~ Intimacy
Dirty Laundry ~ Everyday stuff of life
Love is a Battlefield ~ Conflict resolution for couples

This is a well researched, relevant book. I’d buy a copy for all of you, if I could! BUT, I can give you a chance to win a copy of it, along with the companion Generation NeXt book Generation NeXt Parenting. Just leave a comment for me (be sure I have a way to contact you) and I will announce a winner this Friday, April 11th.

(I really wanted to add photos from my wedding to this post, but I can’t find my port for uploading photos and I don’t have a scanner. Check back Friday, when I announce the winner and have hopefully found my port.)

Stating the obvious: Chocolate Yummies

Read my blog for about 2 seconds, and you’ll realize that I LOVE desserts and sweets and I love quick easy recipes.

This one combines the two.

Just in time for your New Year’s Diet, I present the recipe for Chocolate Yummies (straight from the Rice Krispies website)

Prep Time:
20 minutes
Servings:
36
Ingredients

7 Graham Crackers Original
2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 package (12 oz., 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2/3 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups Ready-To-Eat Cereal Rice Krispies®

Directions
1. Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch microwave safe dish with cooking spray. Arrange Keebler Grahams Original crackers in a single layer over bottom of dish, breaking crackers as needed to fit. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over crackers.

2. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until marshmallows are puffy. Remove from microwave. Cool completely.

3. In 2-quart microwave safe mixing bowl, combine chocolate morsels, corn syrup and butter. Microwave at HIGH about 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter. Add Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal, mixing until combined.

4. Spread evenly over marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. Cut and store in airtight container in refrigerator.

CONVENTIONAL DIRECTIONS: Follow step 1 above using 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375┬░F about 7 minutes or until marshmallows are puffy. Cool completely. In medium saucepan combine chocolate morsels, corn syrup and butter. Cook stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Add cereal, mixing until combined. Complete as in step 4 above.

Nurtrition: We’ll just ignore this part… I’m just certain it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and all sorts of fat-burning ingredients.

*NOTE: Each cracker sheet measures about 5 x 2-inches and is scored into 4 pieces.

Keep your hands off my plate

Yesterday, it was my computer that was under the weather. Today, it is me. I’m not really sick… But I’ve got the early signs of some sort of stomach ick. I’m hoping it doesn’t go any further; I have too much to do this weekend.

If my belly wasn’t feeling icky, I would gleefully be telling you about our dining experience last night.

I’ll go ahead and tell you about it, but the thought of food isn’t too appealing right now, so take all of my descriptions and multiply by one million. You’ll have the amount of my love for our dinner last night.

Sean has come home from work many times and will casually mention the scrumptious lunch that the doctors/drug reps/hospital provided for them. There is one in particular, that he’s mentioned, and every time he gets this flushed glow about him.

Finally, last night, he took us to THE PLACE.

Have mercy. It was good.

When we lived in Wisconsin, we lived about 40 minutes from the original Famous Dave’s (as in, the very first one). I’ve always loved Dave’s pulled pork and chicken. I developed quite a fondness for his BBQ-ing ways.

But I fear that my love has been diminished by another. Sean was not kidding when he’d gleefully describe their cheese biscuits with honey butter, the baked beans cooked to spicy perfection, the potato salad that made me want to dunk my head right into the bowl and not come up for air until it was gone. (remember, you are still supposed to be multiplying my descriptions by one million.)

And don’t get me started on the portions. Multiply regular portions by one million as well. And you’ve got an idea of their portions.

To say it was divine would be an understatement. Honestly, this is one place that I hope the kids don’t eat a good meal from.

‘Cause that will mean more for me!!!!

If you ever find yourself near a Jim n Nick’s RUN, I’m not kidding, RUUUN, Forrest RUUUN, and get yourself in there!

But if you see me in there, consider yourself warned. I might be too busy horning down the goods to stop and chat.

Let me hear it for some Smitty!

mws banner

I received my Michael W. Smith Christmas album today. I could write about how we are practically neighbors, what, with us both living in Tennessee and all. Or how we are all but twins since we share the same birthday. 14 years apart…

He’s always been a favorite in our home, and this CD just adds to our respect for him. It’s festive. It’s fun. It’s beautiful.

I am now officially in the Christmas spirit.

Can you believe he’s 50! The man’s got some good genes!

(I know y’all can read, since you’re, ya know, reading this… But if you are looking for more info on the album, click on the button above that says “Click here for more info”)