Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Ramblings and a Jane Austen Giveaway

We have been having the most beautiful weather for February these last few days ~ Sunshine and spring temperatures.

The garden is showing lots of signs that spring is on the way, the heather is in full bloom, and was covered with busy bees, I was surprised to see them out and about.

I have been eager to see if the new bulbs I planted last fall would come up, and I can see tulips peeking out of the ground.

I am also seeing some grape hyacinth, which are coming up much earlier than normal this year.

I am hoping that the rest of our winter remains mild, since we are getting a lot of early plant growth that I would be sad to see damaged by a late winter cold snap.  In Oregon the weather can really go either way.  For now though- loving the sunshine.

I had an appointment last Friday that had me about an hour from home, and took the opportunity to visit a Whole Foods Market that was in the area.  We do have two grocery stores in our small town, but the selection isn't quite the same, it was really fun getting to see such a nice selection of interesting foods.  I felt like a tourist and had to get a few pictures of all the foodie goodness.

The cheese counter was huge!

The bakery was inspiring. :)

We ended up buying a fun little selection of goodies to bring home.

I found the aluminum free baking powder I had been looking for and wanting to try, I bought some Celtic sea salt to add to the spice drawer ( I am looking forward to trying the Hawaiian Black Sea Salt next time), a bag of black lentils, whole milk in a glass bottle to show the kids (turns out it is from a dairy about 15 minutes from here so we are going to call this week and see if they sell it there), and I chose a small wedge of Huntsman cheese ( Layers of Blue Stilton and Double Gloucester) to try, along with crackers, and a selection of mineral waters.

Gary surprised me with a cup of drinking chocolate from their coffee counter and we shared a very yummy double espresso with whipped cream (doppio con panna).  So it turned out to be quite a fun little impromptu date, and the drive back home through all the beautiful rural roads was nice with all the sunshine, we had a perfect view of the snow covered mountain (Mt. Hood) and saw a coyote walking though a field (watch out sheep).  We were too busy chatting and enjoying the scenery to snap pictures.  Very nice day.

Saturday I got a nice start on my Spring Cleaning while my son went to his first Drama Regional competition, which he enjoyed very much.  Sunday we had a relaxing day watching the Super Bowl and enjoying homemade nachos.  Fun weekend, and I'm looking forward to getting ready for Valentine's Day this week!

Now on to my Jane Austen Giveaway.

I haven't done a book giveaway in a few months, and with Valentine's Day just around the corner I thought it would be fun.  I am giving away one new Jane Austen 3 book set, titles included in this set are Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility.  I have enjoyed many movies over the years that were based on Jane Austen Novels, but have yet to make my way through one of her books, and I am hoping to read one this spring.  Any Jane Austen Fans out there have a suggested book to start with?

This Jane Austen Giveaway will start Monday, February 6th, 2012, and end at Midnight (Pacific time) on Sunday February 12th.  Winner will be announced Monday, February 13th.  Giveaway rules are simple, just leave a comment below, one comment per person.  You can see the official rules below for more details.  Good Luck!

Here is my Amazon Affiliate Link for this book set.

Official Giveaway Rules:

#1-No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Giveaway open to readers with United States shipping addresses only.

#2- To enter, leave a comment below, one entry per person please. Your entry is your comment, and will be assigned a number based on the order in which it was received. By entering you agree to these official rules.

#3-Winner is chosen by a number generated at random through If your prize number matches the number chosen, and you meet giveaway requirements, you win the prize.

#4-Winner must claim prize in 7 days from the day the winner is announced or a new winner will be selected.

#5- Winner may not substitute prize for any other prize or cash, however, if the prize becomes unavailable through reasons beyond my control, April's Homemaking reserves the right to substitute with a prize of equal or greater value.

#6- April's Homemaking reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify giveaway, if in the opinion of April's Homemaking Blog, any fraud, technical failure, or any other factor affects the integrity of this giveaway.

#7- General Release- By entering this giveaway through this website, you release April's Homemaking Blog and; April :) from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, misdelivery or acceptance of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death or damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, negligence, warranty or other theory.

#8- Winner is responsible for all State, Federal and local taxes associated with receipt of this prize.


  1. I love Whole Foods. I wish we had one closer. Supposedly we are going to get one somewhat soon, but I don't know when.

    I have been loving the warm weather here in New England as well. I haven't noticed my plants yet, but if it keeps up we will be getting them soon.

    Great giveaway as always, April.

  2. My word! That is some grocery store April! When friends visit from Europe they can never get over how much food there is in the grocery stores. I used to be amused but after living out in the sticks, I understand how they feel. Whenever I get to go to a really large grocery store I just can't get over it. Especially the produce. I think that Pride and Prejudice is a good starter for Jane Austen. Seems to be the most popular anyway.

  3. I love Sense and Sensibility. I also wish we had a store like that close to us. I would love to run free in there.

  4. The Haggen in Oregon City has milk in glass bottles like that. Maybe it's from the same dairy?

    I've been loving our nice sunshine. I'm able to open windows in the house during the day to air out the house. But it's sure cold in the mornings!!

  5. It's encouraging to see those green shoots sprouting. I hope they make it until Spring!

  6. Both me and my 14 year old daughter love Jane Austin. That store looks amazing and I'm so jelious of your weather. The ground is still frozen solid here.

  7. Please enter me! I love The Austen movies and the books. My favorite is Pride and Prejudice hands down!

  8. I think you should start with Pride and Prejudice, although all Austen's books are so good! I enjoy your blog--it is one of the ones I stop by regularly. Great job!

  9. Hmmm we must live closer to each other than I thought! :) This Oregon sunshine has been so wonderful. Each day as the fog lifts and the sun comes out - I just smile big. Loving it! Aahhh would love those books! I've yet to finish one of her books.

  10. I haven't read those books in years! It would be fun to reread them for Valentine's Day!
    wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

  11. These are 3 books I've read several times, but it's been awhile now. Would love to own copies of my own and not have to borrow from the library.

  12. That's how I feel in New Seasons, people just laugh and I say, "Hey, I'm blogger! Nothing wrong with that." :) Whole Foods is one of my favorites too!

  13. nice giveaway! i don't actually own any jane austin's though i love them!

  14. Even though the giveaway is over, I thought I'd chime in on the Jane Austen thing. My favorite is probably Pride and Prejudice. I have two copies. The oldest is just a cheap paperback. The newest was a Christmas gift two years ago and is The Annotated Pride and Prejudice. It's like a Pride and Prejudice Study Bible. P&P text on the left side of the page, text notes on the right. 723 pages of P&P goodness.


I love to hear your thoughts, feedback, and ideas. Please feel free to leave a comment.