Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blogs I Follow

Since I have covered all the Apps I use from my phone, but I want to try to keep up my regular posting, I am changing Thursday's Helpful Apps to Blogs I Follow. This week I will link to Organizational Blogs I Follow. I used to follow blogs via Google Reader, but since that site is no longer available, I use Feedly. It works great and since more people are using it, they continue to make nice updates.

Organizational Blogs I Follow:

  1. Day One Blog-Day One is a great journaling app I use on my phone. I really like the way it looks and how easy it is to use. So, when I saw they had a blog, I began to follow it, too. 
  2. Creative Organizing blog has become Simplify 101. I love this blog and their newsletters. I appreciate their tips and suggestions! For a while I was subscribed to both via feedly and got their posts twice! :)
  3. I Heart Organizing Blog-I love this blog because they often show before and after projects, from the writer and from readers. It can spawn new project ideas or design ideas, and it also inspires me to just get going on a project!
  4. The Art Of Simple/Simple Mom-I just recently found this blog through another site. I really like the articles and will continue to follow it! It's not just about organizing, but that was how I originally found it. Some nice words of wisdom in her last few posts.
  5. Organized Home-Love the checklists posted! And the encouragement to break cleaning/organizing into small chunks, even with a busy life!
  6. A Bowl Full of Lemons-I found this blog through Pinterest as I was looking up planner ideas. I really loved the approach I saw here and the many things she was organizing-files/papers, purse, planners, home!
  7. Small Notebook-Ways to Simplify Your Home, some How-Tos and ideas for organization. This is another good blog with thoughts, feelings and words of wisdom thrown in, as well.
Do you have any organizational blogs you follow, Reader? And Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful you are here!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"There's An App For That"

Since I am still reading the same books as the last few weeks, I found a magazine article in Scrapbooks Etc.-which is no longer being published and that is sad- August 2012 issue (page 80) with a topic I wanted to share. I have posted about all the apps and games I have on my phone but here are some I'm interested in learning more about. *Side note-yes, I just found this article in a 2012 issue... I was cleaning out my craft room/office-yes, I organize it, but I really worked on purging and cleaning out again, recently-and found this issue.

The article is called "there's an app for that": "Here are a few of our favorite image-editing applications" {I haven't typed every bit and bob from the article, just linked the apps they listed. I linked them to their itunes page because itunes provides good information about each image-editing application.}

  1. 100 Cameras in 1 Here is some info about it via itunes
  2. Instagram I have posted about before here on my blog.
  3. Adobe Photoshop Express
  4. BeFunky
  5. Camerabag
  6. Camera Zoom FX
  7. Diptic
  8. ImgEdit-only available for blackberry
  9. Lightbox Photos-available only for android
  10. Pano
  11. Photo Editor-available for blackberry
  12. Picoli
  13. PicSay-available only for android
  14. Radical Draw with Photo Editing-available for blackberry 
  15. Snapseed
  16. Thumba Photo Editor

Monday, November 25, 2013

Social Media Monday

I got off track again the last few weeks. Been very busy. However, back on schedule for today... :)
Social Media for today is from my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I posted it to all three.
My sweet dogs-so glad Merlin is on the mend. Was pretty worried while stayed overnight at the vet. #dogs
Merlin had a spell Thursday. He couldn't stand and had some other odd symptoms, like leaning his head to one side. My youngest daughter and I were very worried, and my husband was on his way back from a business trip, not to arrive for two more hours. My father in law came to help me get him into the car, because his 83 lbs was a bit too much to do on my own. I was so thankful my in laws had made it back earlier in the day from their month long trip. Merlin couldn't get up on his own-not even half of himself, so I was worried it was his time. I called the vet and they said to bring him in. We got Merlin to the vet and he stayed overnight. They said it could be anything from an ear infection to a brain tumor! He ended up having an inner ear infection, way deep in his ear, causing dizziness so he couldn't get up. It also caused him to be ill a few times before we headed to the vet, too. After fluids and meds, he is very happy to be home. He still seems a little sleepy but doing much better! The vet said he doesn't seem to be near his "time", yet, even though he is 13-91 in dog years! And for that I am very thankful. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Recipes We Have Tried This Week

We currently do not own a grill. Ours rusted and fell apart. Instead of buying one, my husband started using our meat smoker like a grill to cook any burgers we may make. Sunday we wanted to make steaks... but no grill... Which is just as well since we had the storm blowing through. So, my husband looked up a recipe for broiled steak. He found a Michael Symon recipe that touted the success of broiling steaks. My husband followed the recipe below except for the lemon. It was delicious! Here is the link.

Broiled Porterhouse with Roasted Garlic and Lemon

Recipe courtesy Michael Symon
Total Time:
9 hr 15 min
10 min
Inactive Prep:
8 hr 50 min
15 min
4 to 6 servings


  • Two 24-ounce dry-aged prime porterhouse steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 strips bacon or 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • Roasted Garlic Schmear, recipe follows
  • Roasted Garlic Schmear
  • 1 head roasted garlic, peeled
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


The night before you serve the steaks, season them liberally with salt on both sides and store in the refrigerator overnight. Remove them from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking, to take the chill off. 

Turn the oven to broil. 

Prepare your pan(s). Note: depending on the size of the steaks and the size of your pan, you may need two pans. If using the bacon, place in a large cast-iron pan(s) and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan, leaving the melted bacon fat, and set aside for another use. If using the cold bacon fat, add it to a cast-iron pan(s) over medium-high heat and melt. 

Open a window or two because it may get a little smoky. Place the steaks in the pan(s) and place under the broiler for 4 minutes. Flip the steaks carefully and return to the broiler for another 4 minutes. 

At this point your steaks will be about medium rare. Leave them under the broiler a little longer if you prefer them more cooked. 

Spread the Roasted Garlic Schmear over the tops of the steaks. Let rest for 5 minutes, and then slice and serve.

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or a mortar and pestle. Mix to combine. Yield: about 1/2 cup

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday's Apps

Usually the apps I link here are Thursday's "Helpful" Apps. However, the category I am placing here today is "Time Waster" Apps-these are games I play in down time, like while waiting at the doctor's office or in the car when my husband is driving and my eyes are too tired to read. I actually have a segment on my phone labeled "Time Wasters" with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and some of the games listed below. Sometimes it helps to remind me that I will look up again in a few minutes and realize time has disappeared... Also, every so often I can find a fun game to try and it will be free, but as it gains in popularity prices appear/rise. Some below are still free, as well. So, I didn't pay the full price for all the games below, fyi. ;)

  1. Angry Birds-I have loved almost all versions of this game since it first came out. However, the one I play right now is seasons. I like to play the season we are in. I have played them all and achieved three stars on most on our ipad, but that was long before I got my iphone. Now I get to work on them on my phone. With multiple seasons for three different years, it feels like new. I wonder if they will update those this year... I don't care for the Star Wars or Space versions as well, but I don't have those on my phone right now.
  2. Another game/app I enjoy is Ski Safari. I played it quite a bit last year on the ipad, as well. Then, with winter approaching, I was in the mood to play this again and started on my phone. itunes has this to say about it: Ski Safari is where Animals, Avalanches and Action come together to create a new casual gameplay experience.

    Our deep sleeping hero has to stay ahead of a relentless avalanche that threatens the local mountainsides. Sven, as we like to call him, can use animals to aid his escape from an icey end. Each of the hillside animals have different attributes to make a speedier escape. Penguins glide further, Yetis are tougher, Eagles soar to great heights, each of these can provide useful advantage for Sven. Sometimes on the slopes Sven can find fast Snowmobiles which can ferry multiple animals a maintain a very high top speed.

    Staying ahead of the avalanche has its advantages and perks. Completing objectives can 'level up' Sven and increase his score multiplier. Riding animals, performing backflips add to the score and with an increased score multiplier Sven will rocketing up the highscore table with ease.
  3. I also play a variety of "with friends" games. They sync with Facebook and your opponents can be your facebook friends. I play Words Free/With Friends, which is like Scrabble, Scramble With Friends which is like Boggle, and Hanging Free which is like hangman. All are word games and I usually try to get to a game of each every other day or so since I'm playing against my friends. You can play them via facebook, too, I think.
  4. Tiny Wings is a fun game my girls and I enjoy every so often, too. Cute and simple. 
  5. I have other games that I don't play regularly, but every now and again I am inclined to try a game or two. These games include: Plants vs Zombies (I don't like zombies or the zombie craze that is popular right now, but this is a cute game involving some strategy, which a lot of the games I like to play do.) Bejeweled Blitz, which I can also play via Facebook with friends and family, Triple Town, Link That Gugl, Little Things which is a search and find game with great graphics, Search 60 which is also search and find but all in 60 seconds, Word Ladder and Cribbage Lite.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Social Media Monday

My husband, my youngest daughter and I all ran in our local high school's 5K run fundraiser this weekend. My husband and I were "just going to run for fun" but as the start approached I let on that I wanted to work at my PR (my personal record for this stage in my life... in college my fastest 5K/3.1 miles was 19:35. I haven't gotten anywhere close to that, but as I heal and get back into shape again, I get faster) which was 22:55. He pulled me along-even though he definitely could have taken off, left me and sprinted to his PR-and I finished in 21:53. I am sure the course was about .04 miles short, but I was happy with the work I put in. It was a good day! My post for the day:
Fun 5k, good finish time, 2nd place in my age group. Love running w husband & daughter & missed our other daughter. Raked some leaves, now watching my team's 2 games, one football and one basketball. Thankful for it all. #30daysofthankful

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Talk About Family Tuesday

My oldest daughter sent me a card this week from college. It was sweet and kind. It made my day. It was cute, too, because I had purchased the exact card to send her too. :) It has a bear hugging itself on the front and "Just sending you a little hug..." inside it says: "Did you feel it?" :) So thankful for my girls. :)

What I'm Reading Wednesday

It has been a very busy week. I will post about it next. However, I did finish the Christian Caregiving book I was reading. I didn't start anything new, but I continued on in my Mitford book.  An acquaintance of mine posted that she was starting the first Mitford book again, since she liked them so well. :) Was nice to see I'm not the only one who gets joy from the series. Looks like another busy week ahead, but hopefully some reading time will fit in!

Social Media Monday

Last week I had a lovely car ride with our high school daughter. We got to chatting about something silly, giggling and laughing. So much fun when you can share those moments, especially knowing they are few and far between as they age. I've also been working on #30daysofthankful posts, too. So, my Facebook post was:

I love those times when you get to laugh and giggle with your teen over something silly 

Recipes I Tried This Week

Today my husband and I tried two new recipes. The first I found on Pinterest and I made for breakfast before my husband and daughter woke up. It was easy and the muffins were light and fluffy. My husband said they were the best muffins he has ever had. He's been eating less bread and things that aren't as healthy for him and he had two. ;) They were great with my coffee. The link can be found here. And the recipe:
Orange Sour Cream Muffins with Zesty Orange Glaze

original recipe: Yields 11 muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
For the Zesty Orange Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the butter, sour cream, egg, orange juice and orange zest.
Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray.
Place into oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar as needed.
When the muffins are done, cool for 10 minutes and dip the muffin crown into the glaze.
Allow glaze to set before serving.

The next recipe I made this evening for dinner. My inlaws were out of town last week and had left uncarved pumpkins on their porch. Fear of frost/rotting, I brought the pumpkins home, cut one up and baked it. Tonight I used some of that fresh pumpkin for this soup. Sounds strange, I know, even my daughter mentioned that, but we all LOVED it. My husband mentioned he might even have it for a warm morning breakfast tomorrow! I made a few slight changes: I substituted veg stock instead of chicken and added a smidge of white wine when I added the stock. I also didn't have any sage so I just added a pinch of dried thyme. The recipe can be found here

Fresh Pumpkin Soup by Kerry Simon

By MarraMamba on August 22, 2007
Photo by Mikekey
17 Reviews
  • timer
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Servings: 4

About This Recipe

"One of my favorite "star" chef's, this sounds divine. Found it on Food Network. Prep time does not include time to roast the pumpkin"


    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 1 apple, peeled and diced
    • 2 cups fresh pumpkin ( roasted and diced, see note below)
    • 1 tablespoon sage leaf
    • 3 cups chicken stock
    • 1 cup cream
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion, carrot, apple, roasted pumpkin, and sage until all are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Puree the mixture in a food mill; if you do not have a food mill, then puree in a food processor or blender. Return the puree to the stockpot, add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Then add the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes, lowering the heat if necessary so it does not boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide soup among 4 soup bowls and serve immediately.
  5. COOKS NOTE: To roast pumpkin, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut whole pumpkin in half and then cut each half into several pieces. Discard seeds or reserve for another use. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender but not falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool, peel away skin, and dice.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Friday-Books Not Recipes!

I haven't tried any new recipes this week since my husband was out of town, we had activities in the evenings and my vegetarian daughter didn't want dinners that required thinking outside the box. :) However, I did notice on my Goodreads account that I made my 2013 reading goal already. It passed without me even noticing. I set my goal at 20 books, thinking that I should not be overzealous and try for two books per month since I would be busy teaching. Here I am with 8 weeks left in the year (only 8 weeks?!) and I have already made my goal! I have amended it and will try for at least 4 more, but as my lack of progression as of late has shown me, one never knows! I have listed my 20 books that helped me to make my goal below. You will see, that out of 20 books, 13 were mysteries this year-65%! I do like mysteries, but this has been unusual, I think! I was correct in calling it my "year of mystery books"!

  1. Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J Washington
  2. Eggs Benedict Arnold by Laura Childs
  3. Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly (I liked this book, but I think she started an apple series that has taken over-her first one of those One Bad Apple is sitting on my desk in my "to read" pile!)
  4. Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs
  5. Stake and Eggs by Laura Childs
  6. All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg
  7. The Woods by Harlan Coben
  8. Murder at Longbourn by Tracy Kiely
  9. Murder on the Bride's Side by Tracy Kiely
  10. Later at the Bar by Rebecca Barry
  11. Murder Most Persuasive by Tracy Kiely
  12. Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely
  13. (re-read) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  14. Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
  15. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is also sitting on my desk in my "to read" pile!)
  16. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  17. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
  18. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  19. Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
  20. Art of Being a Healing Presence... by James E Miller

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thursday's Helpful Apps

This week's apps are Reading and Reference apps. I just have a few, but I do use them.

  • First, my Bible App. It is the You Version app. You can read certain passages, look up verses, highlight/flag your favorites and save passages you want to come back to. itunes says this: On more than 100 million devices all over the world, people are reading, listening to, and sharing the Bible using the #1 rated Bible App—completely free. Hundreds of Bible versions, hundreds of reading plans, dozens of languages. Add your own highlights, bookmarks, and public or private notes. Customize your experience for easy reading. Access everything when you’re connected, or download specific versions for offline use. And many other things!
  • Second, I use the Dictionary app from Here's what itunes says:  Top-rated app with trusted reference content from & WORKS OFFLINE - no Internet connection needed when searching words. 


    • English Dictionary and Thesaurus - over 2,000,000 definitions, synonyms & antonyms
    • Offline access – no Internet connection needed for most content
    • Daily content, including Word of the Day, slideshows & the blog 
    • Audio pronunciations 
    • Example sentences 
    • Word origin & history
    • Voice search (five free searches included) 
    • Medical Dictionary with over 35,000 medical words & definitions available as a premium upgrade
    • Science Dictionary with over 23,000 science definitions & illustrations available as a premium upgrade
    • Translator with over 30 languages, perfect for ESL and reliable translations into English
    • Modern, up-to-date English definitions & content
    • Customizable font sizes for better readability
    • Favorite words 
    • Search history
    • Spelling suggestions
    • Popular & local trending searches
  • I have the ibooks app, too, although I don't use it very often. It can be used like any other ereader, purchasing books and then reading them on your device. At least thus far, I enjoy the traditional, paper form of books. The itunes description states this: iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBooks Store, where you can download the latest bestselling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your library on a beautiful bookshelf, tap a book to open it, flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark or add notes to your favorite passages.

    Download books
    • Download best-sellers and classic books from the iBooks Store
    • Find fully illustrated books, including children's picture books, designed art books, photo books, cook books, and more in the iBooks Store
    • Experience gorgeous fullscreen Multi-Touch books designed for iPad. These books are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, videos, and more
    • Read a free sample of any book on the iBooks Store before making it a part of your permanent collection
  • Last, I have the app called Newstand. It came on my phone and can be used to read magazines or newspapers. I don't use that too often, but like that I can. I would really like it if I traveled, I think. 
Do you have any apps that you would recommend, Reader? 

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Here I am, again, with slow but steady progress on the books I listed two weeks ago. I have been reading a little more the last few nights as my husband was gone on business and I enjoyed the thoughts of Father Tim in Mitford caring for his church and town flock as I went to sleep. I would turn the tv on and set the sleep timer, but that didn't serve my brain as well as the happy thoughts. If you haven't read the Mitford series, I do recommend it. I also am still reading my devotional. I had missed a few days but have changed my routine up a bit as of late. My sister in law has started a new job and my brother in law takes their oldest two kids to middle school. Then they needed someone to get the younger two around for school and get them onto their bus. It's only about an hour and a half job, nothing major, but when I get there I have about twenty minutes of quiet before they get up. I'm in their house so I can't be distracted by the things at our own house that need tending, so I have been bringing my Bible and devotional book. Such a nice start to each day this week. I felt my soul sigh in enjoyment today. :) What are you reading, Reader?

Talk About Family Tuesday

My parents came to visit this past weekend and we truly had a very nice time. It went too fast, though, with my mother receiving a phone call that her mother had been taken to the hospital. They left early, of course. Her mom, my Gram has been on my mind since. She's a great lady. She is small, only 4'10" with very white hair. In my youth, she was my spunky caregiver during the days while my parents were at work, in the summer. When Mom would take me to Gram's house, her house smelled like coffee, and the radio was on-talk radio. {It's funny, as I typed that I realized that is how I start my day thirty years later...} She was either making oatmeal or toast with peanut butter or powdered sugar on it. She had two spare bedrooms. One had a bed and it was where we spent "afternoon rest time", read and played sometimes. The other spare room was a corner room with windows that let in wonderful light. She had a plant stand in front of one where she kept all her houseplants. She even had cactus that she trimmed. She had an old typewriter in there and a place to sit and type whatever you wanted. I loved that thing. LOVED it. I felt so grown up using it. :) Many days she made us fish sticks and macaroni and cheese for lunch. Gram and Gramp, Mom's dad, were always busy. They took us to garage sales, or the grocery or to visit family. They were retired, even though my Gramp did odd jobs at a local lawyer's office. They took good care of us. Once my grandfather grew purple grapes in their backyard. They turned them into a delicious grape juice and jam.
More recently, in the last ten years, we would have Gram, who never learned to drive, come stay with us for a week at a time, a few different times per year. We would always take a day trip to the local metro gardens and take lots of pictures. It was nice having her at my house, spending time with my children. She didn't mind our dogs, either, and enjoyed walking the girls to school, too. As she got older it seemed to tire her out, but she enjoyed it and had a good afternoon nap. :) Then she had a stroke a few years back and couldn't come visit. Now she gets so confused when we visit her. She can't remember family member's names. She still seems happy to see my family and I when we visit, but, boy is it hard. She was living at a home that had been made into a care facility, but this week they found that she may have been over medicated and my family decided to move her somewhere with more, round the clock care. It is sad and difficult to see our dearest family get older. Even harder still for those who live close and take part in caring for and making decisions for those loved ones. I'm a few hours away, which has its drawbacks, too. My grandfather passed away about 15 years ago, and I know she misses him.

Social Media Monday

Last November, I read about Cathy Zielske's 30 Days of Thankful, and I am trying to remember to do this each year, as well. I just tweet when I think of it: #30DaysofThankful. Here is one from this week: Day 4: So grateful for our warm home, inside and out, and neighborhood full of wonderful neighbors!  I like taking a moment to think about all the things I can be grateful for. It's not too late to join, Reader, and make a conscious effort to look around at all you can be thankful for... Even do a blog post each day, or one here to catch up. I'm thankful for readers of my blog: Thank you!

Recipes I have tried

My parents visited last weekend and we had a wonderful time! My husband smoked some pork in our meat smoker, and it was delicious. He made twice baked potatoes, I roasted broccoli and cauliflower, I baked apples and he made bread. For dessert I made the recipe below and it was delicious! There was a little seizing in the pan for the caramel sauce, but constant stirring eased it. It was wonderful, in fact, my husband said it was the best cheesecake he has ever eaten!! That is high praise! Enjoy!


New York Cheesecake with Pretzel / Graham Crust and Salted Caramel Sour Cream On Top


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup pretzel crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter


1 1/2 pounds soft cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla


3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce

To make crumbs, just pulse some pretzels in the food processor until fine.  Remove, and pulse the graham crackers. Combine crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and butter in the food processor until one event texture; press on bottom and sides to 8-inch spring form pan. In a standing mixer with paddle attachment, whip cheese until fluffy; beat in sugar; continue beating until light and fluffy. add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. stir in heavy cream. If at all lumpy, strain through sieve.  Pour into the pan. bake at 325F for 1 hour. turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven 1 hour. Remove from oven and let it cool gradually to room temperature, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, combine salted caramel sauce and sour cream, and spread on top of cheesecake.  Garnish with pretzels.

For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
Makes 2 cups

1 cup white sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

For the caramel sauce, heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar turns golden.  Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved and just starting to turn a lovely amber color.  

Turn heat to low, add the butter, and stir to combine.  Careful, it'll foam up. Then add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt stirring to combine.  You'll cook the sauce for about 5-10 minutes, until it comes together. It’ll take quite a bit of stirring!

Pour the caramel into a glass jar, let it come to room temperature, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Pour over everything and anything!

Last Thursday's Helpful Apps

I got behind, sorry! Catching up! Today's Helpful Apps Category is Miscellaneous. This is a jumble of different types of apps I like. Next week will be Time Wasters, I mean games, that I enjoy when I have a few minutes to kill. However, since we have covered organization, health and fitness, listening, photography, social interaction, and the basics, I have some apps that just don't fit into another category. Enjoy!
  • One thing I used quite regularly was the flashlight app, but, as you know, I updated the iOS to 7 and it now comes with a flashlight app so I deleted the old one. I love that I can click it on quickly as I am trying to get the dogs to come back in the house after I have let them out. ;)
  • I mentioned in my last post that I use an app called Vivino for cataloging wines. I have used it about ten times, so I'm not totally into a great habit with it, and, for that matter, I'm not always trying new wines. I do use it to keep track and I like the ease with which I can use it.  Here is the itunes description, and the app is free! • Take a photo and get to know any wine in seconds.
    • Remember wines and explore more of them
    • Get personalized wine recommendations
    • Share experiences and be inspired by friends.
    • Find the best rated wines in nearby shops.

    Vivino simplifies your path to enjoying great wines.
    The app helps you remember your favorites, know more about wine, and which one to choose for next occasion. Snap a photo of any wine, and while you have a sip we automatically recognize it from our database of more than 1,000,000 wines. If the app doesn’t match it immediately, our team will do it for you as quickly as we can.

    Discover all you want to know about wines, explore friend’s ratings and get personal recommendations based on your taste, simply browse wines in nearby stores or locate the ones on your Vivino Wish List.

    Best of all: It’s free!
  • I use the Starbucks app, too. I, at most, am drinking Starbucks every other day. Usually less, these days, since I'm not working. I don't mind coffee at home, but I do love the ease of this app. Here is some information posted on itunes about the Starbucks app, which you can also get via the Starbucks site itself. The official iPhone application from Starbucks! In addition to paying from Starbucks for iPhone, you can now add a Starbucks Card to Passbook. It’s the fastest way to pay at Starbucks – just scan and go!

    With Starbucks for iPhone, you can manage your Starbucks Card balance, reload your card, track your Stars in the My Starbucks Rewards program and send an eGift to a friend. And there’s more!

    Our easy-to-navigate store locator points you to the closest store and lets you search by amenities. You can also explore our whole bean coffees, find nutrition information and build your own perfect drink. And if you feel like being social, you can share your location or favorite drinks through Facebook and Twitter.
  • I use the app for my bank, too. I won't share which one I use here, but I do like that I can deposit small checks without having to leave my house. I like that I can check my balances in the palm of my hand, too. I checked most local banks and they all have a safe, secure app for your account.
  • I have a few weather apps. I cannot ever decide which one I like better. I like them each for different reasons. While searching for information for this bullet point, I came across this article: Comparing iphone Weather Apps at a Glance. First, in my apps, the "weather" that came with the phone. I can't delete it and it gives me a nice, quick peek at the current conditions pretty well. I have found that I like the radar view the best via The Weather Channel (or TWC) app. Then, if I feel like one more point of view, I use Accuweather. Each itunes link has more information about each one, and these are just blurbs for information. They often have other types of apps for other types of devices. I just used itunes because that is what I know.
That's all for today! Hope these help!