Friday 6 August 2010

Friday happenings and a Birthday Giveaway!

Only what we give away
Enriches us from day to day,
For not in getting but in giving
Is found the lasting joy of living,
For no one ever had a part
In sharing treasures of the heart
Who did not feel the impact of
The magic mystery of God's love.
Love alone can make us kind
And give us joy and peace of mind,
So live with joy unselfishly
And you'll be blessed abundantly.
~Helen Steiner Rice, A Collection of Blessings

Well, what a lovely visit we had yesterday morning with the puppies. I have to confess, it was love at first sight, but then you knew it would be!! We have decided to take a little Blue Roan Female. She is the one in the back of this first picture. They were all so sweet and adorable, but she, in particular, grabbed our hearts and gave them a big tug!

We were very impressed with the breeder. The home was clean and the puppies and other dogs were in a very clean kennel area right next to the kitchen door. We got to see the mother, a half sister and the father and all of them were beautiful dogs and most importantly, they were all happy dogs! You could tell that the breeder was very much involved with finding out if we were suitable for being a cocker owner and if we would be able to give the puppy a good home, and thankfully we were!

We have not brought her home with us yet, but we will be picking her up and bringing her home with us on the 13th, which also happens to be my birthday! I have always said that Friday the 13th is my lucky day, and none more lucky than my birthday! I just can't wait.

The next week will be filled with the business of getting the house and garden puppy proofed. Neither one of us has ever had a true puppy! Our dogs have always been older dogs when we got them, so this is really special. We feel just like expectant parents!

We went out last evening and got some things for her . . . ie. a bed, some toys,grooming brushes, shampoo, dog dishes (the cutest cocker spaniel bowl that is tapered at the top so that their ears don't hang in their food) a blankey, etc. . . . Todd fussed a bit at the expense, but then again, I told him at least he wasn't going to have to put it through College and University! We are both really excited about the impending arrival of our newest family member.

Everything we have read about Spaniels makes me sure that this is the right choice for us! Her name will be Mitzie. My grandparents had a Cocker named Mitzie when I was a little girl, that I just adored and it just seemed like the right name to me, so Mitzie she is!

Only SEVEN more sleeps to wait!!! Be prepared to be inundated with puppy love!! (Not to mention lots of Miztie pics!)

Speaking of my birthday, this year it is the big "55!" I know! I can't believe it either, but it's true. Anyways in honor of my 55th I am giving away something to one of you, my much loved readers! If you leave your contact details in a comment at the end of this post I will put your name into the draw for a delicious cookbook.

Filled with scrummy recipes for tasty little cakes! I will also include a selection of FIVE of my handmade greeting cards, painted and created by me, just for you! So make sure you leave a comment on this post to be included in the special Birthday giveaway!

Because it is my birthday, I get to choose what I am going to have for a cake. This year I have decided that I want a big, huge chocolate chip cookie! (and yes, I made it a week early. I know, what AM I like!) I decorated mine with piped vanilla buttercream icing and plenty of sprinkles and little heart shaped chocolate candy covered buttons. You could do this in a 12 inch pizza pan of course and cut it into wedges to serve, which would also be really cute, but, alas . . . a 12 inch pizza pan no longer fits into my oven . . . *sniff *sniff

*Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie*
Makes one 10 by 15 inch pan
(how big you cut them is up to you!)
Printable Recipe

Very much like a chocolate chip brownie. What's not to like!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large free range eggs
1 (12 ounce) package of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
1 cup sultana raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a 10 by 15 inch jelly roll pan. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir this into the creamed mixture, making sure it is all well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, nuts and raisins. Spread into the prepared pan evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.

And over on The English Kitchen today, a delicious Lemon Yogurt Loaf!


  1. if i catch a plane next Friday can i please have a small bite of that cake and a good night sleep close to that puppy?
    i promise i will bring tons of Greek Yogurt with me also..


  2. Hi Marie, sorry I missed WEd. edition and the first of the exciting news about puppies...Now today even more exiting news you have been and gone and done it and Mitzie is on her way.........such excitment. I can feel it myself LOL. You have waited just the right amount of time between the dogs I think...about the same as I did when I got Dee after beloved Tamas died...
    Things with my dearest BIL down this way conetinue in a downward spiral going much faster than any of us can almost cope...please keep us in your prayers.
    Love Sybil xx

  3. I am so happy that you are getting a darling puppy. My mom had a cocker and we all loved her. I think they are sweet dogs.
    I am sure she will be much loved. How perfect that you get to bring her home on your birthday.

    That cookie bar looks so good. Can I have some???
    Sorry that I missed you today. I will call again soon.
    Hugs, Lura

  4. Aaaawwwww, Mitzie looks sooo cute!! We had an English Springer Spaniel when I was younger, absolutely loved him!

  5. Oh I'm so excited for you Marie! We used to have a dog called Mac and a beautiful calico cat called Mitzie, she was a very small cat and the name suited her perfectly! Sadly it wouldn't be right for us to get another pet at the moment because we like to have our short trips away. Your Mitzie will get lots of love and hugs from you and Todd I know and I'm looking forward to seeing the many photos you'll be taking! ~~~Pat xx

  6. Happy Birthday! And Congratulations on your new (soon-to-be) arrival!

  7. Happy Birthday! The puppy is so cute :-)

  8. I'm SO excited you're getting a puppy Marie! I was just wondering the other day if you and Todd were going to get one soon. My grandma had a pup named Mitzie and she was such a sweet girl. You and my mama share the same bday! Too fun! So excited to hear about your new family member and see more adorable pictures. xoxo

  9. HOORAY! Oh, so happy for your & Todd... And can't wait to see more of Mitzie soon! LOVELY giveaway... I just adore cupcakes--so please count me in! ;o) Hope you have a great weekend ahead, my friend. LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS)) Oh, I sent you an email the other day, hope you received it... OXOX

  10. What a wonderful present for your special day. I am sure this little precious pup with fill your days with love.

  11. Oh, Marie, she is sooooooo adorable! My parents have a black Cocker named Bitsy. I am sure you will love and care for her just as much as they do. Happy early birthday! I am looking forward to many, many Mitzi pictures! Much love - Raquel XO

  12. Congratulations! And happy birthday in advance!


  13. Congratulations on finding your puppy! She is adorable and I look forward to her many adventures. I would like to included in your birthday drawing. The cookbook looks good, but your cards would be great!

  14. I am so excited for you and your special birthday coming up when you can go and get Mitzie. She will be a sweet addition to your life and that puppy stage will keep you young and on your toes! Enjoy!

  15. Happy Birthday Marie - my b'day is next Tuesday so we have something in common. I can't wait to see the puppy pics. That will be one spoiled puppy and that's the way it should be. Good for you.

  16. Marie, I do envy you getting a puppy. I hope to have another dog soon, but will have to wait awhile, so I shall be looking for an adult rescue dog, as I am 75 now, and all my pups have lived till at least 15.


  17. Oh a puppy! She's darling! What a wonderful birthday present! I can't wait to watch her grow and I know she will be perfect for you! Bless!

  18. What a lovely puppy!!!I worked at a vet for years and I always wanted a spaniel but they were always a little harder to take care of.They are very sensitive dogs and require lots of beautifying! I think someday when I get a little older and I don't have a small child I will get one and baby it!Have a great week

  19. Well I am wishing you a very Happy Birthday Marie. I've so enjoyed reading about your life in England (one of my dream places to visit) and now with the addition of a little precious puppy I'll be that much more eager to see what you've written for the day. I turned 55 in June and just wonder where the time went. So, Happy Birthday and Todd got you the perfect present, Mitzi.

    Robin in Virginia USA

  20. Oh she is so sweet, I am looking forward to "The Mitzie Tales" You and Todd are going to be busy having so much fun.



  21. I love these puppies any of them!You will love a lot and Todd too! are so cute!
    Have a lovely and Happy birtheday, (I remember) Im more older than you (I have 56) yes is difficult to me but is true! and Your giveaway lovely, lovely book to the end of August I will make a giveaway because I will have three years of my blog. I will tell you.
    Have a nice day and happy weekend! love to you and Todd !! love ya! gloria

  22. Cupcakes are the best.

  23. I think you picked a great the name Mitzie! Happy Birthday a little early!! The "cookie cake" looks wonderful and is exactly what I would pick. Can hardly wait for puppy pics once you get her home.

  24. Happy 55th birthday to you Marie. I just had my 52nd birthday on Aug 4th. Enter me in your giveaway! I just got a dog recently too, but she is a small dog and is 2 1/2 yrs old. My little Sophie has separation anxiety after being in 4 homes in her lifetime, but she is a doll and we are enjoying her. Puppies... how exciting!

  25. From one late bloomer to another.....Good on ya for having the courage to pursue your dreams!

    Love your George Bernard Shaw quote!

    Happy Pre-Birthday!!! Hope you enjoy your special day!

    Am looking forward to hearing all about your new arrival! As am sure Mitzie will not only a "bundle of joy" but also provide a lifetime of memories! We lost of "dog of all dogs" (Sandy...a Sheltie!) two years ago at the age of 15 years 8 months! Sandy is never very far away from us and things happen mysteriously in the house to show he is VERY MUCH still around us each and every day!

    Saw this online and don't know who the authour it, but thought it was good enough to share with you today!

    “When you have a rainbow deep down in your heart, your smile will shine bright. You know you're a part of that colorful, magical, feeling you'll find, when you have a rainbow inside.”

  26. yay!! We had a cocker for 14 years..only problem we ever had with him was his ears..they are prone to ear infections because of their long floppy eats..other than that he was an absolute joy!! so happy for you both!!

  27. Happy Birthday! And please enter me in your givaway. If I win please contact me through my blog. Thanks!

  28. A new puppy for your birthday! How exciting and she is so cute... I am looking forward to all the puppy pictures... and the cookie looks so yummy, a great choice for your birthday cake... Enjoy! :)

  29. I love cocker spaniels what a great choice. Have a wonderful birthday.


  30. PHEW! I almost missed this, and my chance in your birthday giveaway.

    And such news.....MARIE'S EXPECTING a puppy! I love them all. Everything about pupppies I love - the smell of them, their fat little tummies, the daft things they do, their devotion. Even the little wee-mails that ar an inevitable part of them.

    Enjoy your tiny birthday present - more precious than diamonds.

  31. Heh-heh, just harking back to Lyn's comment about cockers being prone to ear infections because of their loppy lugs - someone made our local paper ages ago for inventing some means of fastening the ears together on the top of the Span's head to let a bit of air in!

  32. Happy Birthday, Marie! There's NOTHING better than puppies and cupcakes! Well, puppies, puppy breath and cupcakes! Now that Mitzie is in your life -- your house has TRULY become a home. I can't imagine a home without a dog or cat. They are BLISS!

  33. how exciting to be getting a puppy!!! i bet you just can't wait for your birthday to pick her up. and happy early birthday-how sweet that you are doing a giveaway to celebrate:) that cookie looks yummy. so the big 55, eh? i hit the big 30 at the end of the month. i say august birthdays are for the coolest people on earth, don't you agree? i mean, you, me, and lura are all august birthdays so it must be true:)

  34. Happy birthday!!! Your new little puppy is ADORABLE...and Mitzie is such a perfect little name. So sweet!!

  35. Enjoy a wonderful birthday week! I am thrilled you get to addf a beautiful new life to your family. She is adorable! ~♥


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