Wednesday, April 30

Bag of cornmeal exploded on the floor, let's dance!

Today, I have nothing of value to share. My day was one of chaos and I'm just now sitting down, for the first time since I opened my eyes.

While I usually plan my weekly posts, today's scheduled topic is being postponed due to this day in disarray.

I know you'll forgive me, you're superb like that! My promise to you, tomorrow I'll be better. I'll stand a little straighter, apply an extra coat of concealer to these giant bags under my eyes, and crank out something worthy of your review.

This blog is real life and we all know how harried it can be. Having said that, I'm off to clean up the bag of cornmeal that exploded on the floor. Hopefully I can get Super Hunk to scoot me around the kitchen, two-step style, before I whip out the dust pan!

Goodnight, friends.

Monday, April 28

Where can I return my gift of Hay Fever?

We spent the weekend outside, working in the yard. The warm weather (and plentiful rain) has resulted in substantial growth. (I wonder if that's what is happening to my hips...could it be?)

The garden, the flower beds, the lawn...they were all screaming for mercy, much like my allergies!

Have you experienced the wrath of Hay Fever? I'm uncertain, along the way, when I first received this gift but do you know where I can return it (without a receipt)?

My son, poor baby, also has the same snotty affliction (I blame his Father). The Pediatrician said with both parents experiencing the joys of excess sneezing, Little Man had an 80% chance of doing the same. She should've said he'd have 80% more snot than other children, that would be accurate!

Any who...ah choo...severe Hay Fever can take you down like an African dart gun hunting an oversized elephant. It's not pretty! Your entire body itches, even your scalp. Eyes, nose, mouth, they all leak...drip...and the sneezing never stops...NEVER!

I can go on and on about the misery but if you've never sneezed until you peed, you just don't understand. So here's a visual...this is Hay Fever, in a funny little nutshell.

Aside from the public humiliation, I would absolutely wear this! It might prevent comments from Super Hunk like "Is that snot on your shirt?" (It's a good thing he's handsome and I'm crazy about him or I would punch him.)
My pre-sneeze face is serious...seriously freaky. I'm performing a public service by staying home when engaging in a sneezing fit!
Little Man performs this trick on a daily basis, who needs real bubbles when you have snot?
Super Hunk has a three sneeze rule. If you exceed three sneezes, his "bless you" still applies without needing to repeat. I appreciate it because let's face it, after ten sneezes it's slightly annoying.
Yes, my pre-sneeze face is freaky (as stated above) but it's usually the toilet paper stuck to my face that qualifies me as an idiot.
This has nothing to do with my allergies but it made me giggle! Let's be honest, Mondays need all the help they can get.
Hope your day is amazing and you get through it, snot free (literally and figuratively)!
(Photos from Pinterest)

Sunday, April 27

Chevron Kitchen GIVEAWAY ~ Winner!

********** WINNER **********
Janelle Jessee!
Yay, yippee, hip-hip-hooray!
Email me your mailing address and your pretty new kitchen goodies will arrive soon!
Thank you to all who participated!

I have a small confession, I've resisted joining the Chevron Fan Club! (In fact, the word "chevron" reminds me of gasoline not fashion.) Maybe it's my age or maybe it's my unwillingness to participate in passing fashion trends (I had a traumatic skinny jean experience and I'm still waiting for that trend to pass).

Regardless, chevron (in small doses) is starting to grow on me. I know, I'm a little late to the party! Better yet, I'm "fashionably late"!

I don't usually embrace horizontal stripes on my backside...or large patterns...or advertisements ("pink" or "juicy" will never be found on this hind end). However, I stumbled upon the most charming dress for Easter and couldn't resist (seen below, don't judge my closet).
Today, since it's Friday, and since I have a new slight affection for chevron, I'm giving away a few adorable cooking accessories! Life's too short not to coordinate, even in the kitchen!
(Chevron embroidered linen dish towel, oven mitt, and silicon spoon.)

To enter, comment below with your answer to the following question. "Skinny jeans, yes or no?" Am I the only one pleading for the straight leg trouser to make a comeback?

Winner will be selected on Sunday evening. Caring is sharing, so tell your friends. Spread a little chevron love!

Saturday, April 26

Cake Mix Cookie Recipes

The cookie jar is empty, it's time for a batch of Cricket Cookies (be still my heart)! I'm ashamed to admit it's been a few weeks since I've made them, I need to reevaluate my priorities.
Here it is, 15 minutes later and cookies are ready. Likewise, Super Hunk and Little Man are perched like baby birds with their beaks open. At this moment, faced with feeding my crew, I'm thankful (as are they) there's no regurgitation required! Sorry about the visual.

The simplicity of this recipe has inspired me to share a few of my other favorite Cake Mix Cookie recipes from my fellow Bloggers. Yes, I'm humble enough to admit not ALL my ideas are original! Shocking, I know!

Disclaimer, my Mom's Cricket Cookies are still the best (but I'm a little biased).

Strawberry Lemonade Cookies
- See recipe here!

Sprinkle Cookies
- See recipe here!

German Chocolate Cookies
- See recipe here!
(You can also visit my Toast Your Coconut post for tips.)

Nutty Chocolate Cookies
- See recipe here!

Now go...bake away! Make a batch of each, followed by your own taste test!

Have a great weekend, friends!

(Photos from Pinterest)

Thursday, April 24

Fancy Nancy

Today is Thank You Thursday and it only seems appropriate to dedicate it to my Mom! Hey,'re the cat's pajamas!
This beautiful day of gratitude also happens to be her birthday! Coincidence? I think not. Hey, Mom...thanks for never letting me leave the house looking like a boob...even in my Jellies and mall bangs phase.
There are so many things I can say "Thank You" for but her words of wisdom are what I value the most.  It's slightly annoying how right she always is but it makes me love her even more.
Here are a few of my favorite bits of Mom advice.

1) It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it.
2) No matter how old your children get, you never stop being a Mother.
3) Always keep your heels exfoliated and your toes painted, you never know what the day will bring.
4) When faced with an overwhelming situation, never look at the big picture...take it one step at a time.
5) It's not what you have, it's how you carry it (my bargain mantra)!
6) Hate the sin, love the sinner (she stole this one from Jesus).
7) The older you get the more you realize, quality is always better than quantity.
Finally, my favorite...
8) You always reap what you sow.

People say we inevitably become our Mothers. I say, if that's true, the bar is set pretty high! Happy birthday to the woman who gave me wings and roots! (I love you, Fancy Nancy.)
I'm curious, what are some of your favorite bits of Mom wisdom? Comment below, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, April 23

Peanut Butter Toast Balls

Prepare yourself for pure goodness! Oats...coconut...peanut butter...honey...all the things I need in life.

There was a time when Little Man was not having any part of meat. If meat went in, meat came out. Since we're a cattle family, it was a hard pill for Super Hunk to swallow. Much to his relief, it was more about the chewy texture and not because his toddler was opting for a life of vegetarianism. Have you ever seen a grown man cry? Juusstt kidddiinngg!

Having said that, I found creative ways to add protein to his little diet. Hence, the peanut butter toast balls. Have you ever had peanut butter and honey toast? It's one of my favorites...and now I can have it in "pop it in your mouth" morsels. Life is so good...literally!

Here's the fun and oh so simple recipe.

Peanut Butter Toast Balls
1/2 cup toasted coconut
(For my easy instructions on how to toast coconut, click here)
1/2 cup peanut butter (you can also use almond or cashew butter)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cup oats (ground in food processor)

Pour toasted coconut in shallow dish (this green pie plate makes me giddy).
In medium mixing bowl, stir together ground oats, peanut butter, and honey. This is also fun for the kiddos and it uses some of their infinite energy!
When combined, roll small balls and place in coconut (I use a teaspoon to scoop mixture). Toss until covered to your preference. It's like a game of Where's Waldo!

Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour (if they last that long).

******* UPDATE *******
I made these this morning and here it is 8:15 pm and 7 balls are left! Yep, you heard me...7! Word of advice, double the recipe...they disappear in a hurry!

****** UPDATE #2 *****
Scratch that, the lonely 7 became Super Hunk's bedtime snack! "Gone, gone" as Little Man says!

Toast Your Coconut

I've decided to start posting a few Kitchen 101 tips. I know they may seem elementary but I'm certain there's a gal out there Googling "how to boil an egg". Was I the only one?

Seriously, there are techniques used daily in our kitchens we take for granted. Things we do so often, they become second nature to us. My reality check, I once used Google (and YouTube) for everything. How long do I bake a potato and what temp? Why is my minute rice still crunchy? I'm telling you, I was a culinary infant...look how far I've come!

So, here goes...Toast Your Coconut 101.
You can use sweetened or unsweetened but keep in mind that sweetened toasts faster.

There are two methods, stovetop or oven. Either way is fine but I prefer stovetop. The frequent stirring creates a more evenly toasted batch. Here are a few easy steps.

Place coconut in skillet over medium heat.
Stir, stir, and stir to prevent burning. When the coconut is browned to your satisfaction, I like mine just barely golden (about 7-10 minutes), remove from heat. Let cool and try not to eat the whole bowl with a spoon!
Stay tuned for more Kitchen 101 tips! Feel free to message me here with questions.

Monday, April 21

It's a Chair Affair!

Friends, I need your help! You, my lovely readers, are wicked creative and I respect your feedback.

The Chair Affair is a new local fundraiser for our Chamber of Commerce, coming up in June. I purchased these two misfits to donate to the Silent Auction.

They have so much character but need MAJOR face lifts. What do you think? Super Hunk said the round back chair looks like an old Saloon chair but I was hoping for something more feminine. The little chair is pretty contemporary. I would like to donate it on behalf of Saucepans & Superheroes and have a vision of something playful (a reflection of the blog).

Okay, let 'er rip! Hit me with your best shot (name that tune)! I'm open to your suggestions, your likes, your dislikes...comment below.

I'll keep you updated on their progress and will absolutely post before and after pics. 

If you'd like more information and about The Chair Affair, click here.

I can't wait to hear your ideas!

Sunday, April 20

Pioneer Woman GIVEAWAY ~ WINNER!

************* WINNER **************
Sarah! (We share the same aversion to stinky eggs.)
Congrats, please send your contact info to to claim your prize!
Thank you to all who participated. Stay tuned for more Favorite Things giveaways.

No, I'm not actually giving away Pioneer Woman, I think that includes criminal kidnapping charges and I look horrendous in horizontal stripes! Although, a little Ree bobble head cheering me on while I cook seems like a brilliant idea! I'll look into that.

Today, since it's Good Friday and making people happy is GOOOOOD, I'm giving away a copy of Pioneer Woman's Holiday Cookbook. Super Hunk gave it to me for Christmas last year and it quickly became my complete  holiday fingers do the walking (name that commercial).

Ree walks you through the entire year, sharing all of her favorite holiday recipes (and a few funny stories, confirming your suspicions that there's other crazy families out're not alone). It's not only packed full of deliciousness, it's a good read!

Here's a little glimpse of the Easter section.

If this is already part of your culinary library, register anyway and gift it to a friend! 

To enter, comment below with your answer to the following question. "Deviled eggs...yes or no?" I know this question is random but people feel very strongly about these little Easter creatures, I'm anxious to know where you stand! 

Winner will be selected at random on Easter evening!

PS. No posting for me tomorrow, I'm spending the whole weekend with family and food! I hope you're doing the same. 

Blessings and Happy Easter!

Monday, April 14

A new dress, Jesus, and eggs full of dessert? What's not to love?

Easter is my second favorite holiday, next to Christmas. I love everything about it...the canvas of blooming colors, the sundresses, the sandals. But most of all, I love the Resurrection reason for the season...the day the stone was rolled away will forever make me weepy.

This is also one of my Mother's favorite days (my love for her also makes me weepy). I have cherished memories of a house full of pastels, delightful (tasteful) bunny decorations, and a tree with mini egg ornaments. (She has a way of "sprucing things up"'s a gift, really!)

Also, presented with the opportunity to wear my new Easter dress (that had been hanging in my closet with a "Do not touch until Easter" tag) made me jump out of bed a wee bit faster than normal!

With my new dress and Bible, off to church we went. It was unexplainable but Easter Sunday was unlike every other Sunday. There was always an extra special spirit present. The pews were packed a little tighter, voices were a little louder, and hugs lasted a little longer. Even the visitors, who knew nothing about this man we call "Jesus", could feel something different in the air. I'm so thankful my family taught me the true meaning. The understanding of a man who would die for me and rise again as a promise of eternal life for all who believe! Bunnies and eggs are adorable but I choose to celebrate a God who knows my name.

A Church Potluck (or lunch with family) usually followed. Maybe this is why I have a partially unhealthy attachment to food, it's a key element in almost all of my favorite memories. As it should be! Now, where's the eggs full of dessert?

What's not to love about this day? A new dress, celebrating Jesus, meeting strangers, yummy food, and hunting for dessert...can we do it again tomorrow?

Don't keep your love of Easter to yourself, invite a friend to join you!

Sunday, April 13


************* WINNER *************
Yippee, yippee! She is one of my faithful readers and enters EVERY giveaway! I'm so excited she FINALLY won!
Thank you to all who participated!

Today is Day #2 of our 2 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS!

If you missed the hello, frenchie giveaway yesterday, there's still time to register here. Winner will be selected for the stationery this evening (April 11th). You can never have too many thank you notes, right?

Let the giving continue...

I'm excited to share this next freebie with you because it's one of my Favorite Things! My Mom purchased one for me during her last visit and I use it almost everyday. It's so versatile and so adorable.

Cue drum roll...

(Cookies not included!)

The simply delightful design of this platter makes my heart happy!  Life's too short to have boring dishes!

To enter, comment below with your answer to the following question. "Are you a cloth or paper napkin family? No napkins? Wipe it on your pants?"

Winner will be selected randomly on Sunday. Happy registering!

Caring is sharing and free stuff is worth talking about! :-) 

Saturday, April 12

Blackberry Cream Cheese Crescents

Holy habanero!

I just realized this is the first recipe I've posted all week! What has happened in the universe?

On behalf of all things yummy, I apologize! I will schedule a more balanced weekly post in the future.

Super Hunk and Little Man were out the door early this morning, the cows were calling (figuratively and possibly literally). Mmmooooooooooooo!

I needed a breakfast I could pack, unsure if they'd take a moment to sit and inhale or eat on the go. While I enjoy the standard turnover with fruit preserves, I thought I'd mix things up a bit. Yep, I might even wear white shorts before Easter...I'm a rebel!

Here's the quick and easy recipe.

Blackberry Cream Cheese Crescents
1 tube of crescent rolls
1/2 block of cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup berries (I used blackberries)
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and cinnamon.

Slightly chop berries and add to cream cheese mixture. I love the purple hue, food is better when it's pretty!

Roll out crescents on baking sheet. Add tablespoon of cheese/berry mixture to middle and fold over.

Bake in oven for 11-13 minutes (I prefer a little crunch to my crescents so I go the full 13...rebel with a crunchy cause).

Let cool for 5 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yum...I challenge you to eat ONLY one!

If you enjoyed this, caring is sharing!

Friday, April 11

Thank You Thursday

************** WINNER **************
Terri Phillips Montague
Yippee! This is ironic because she's the thank you note QUEEN! Congrats!
(I have your contact info and will get your cards to you ASAP!)
Thank you to all of you who participated, make sure and register for today's giveaway here.
Today is my second favorite day of the week, next to Sunday. I spring out of bed a little faster on Thank You Thursday, knowing there's notes to write...I need help!

I started Thank You Thursday a while back with the purpose of reminding people to take a moment to express their gratitude. I also feel strongly about preserving the written word, I wrote about why it's important to me in my The Reason I Write Letters post (in case you missed it, you can read it here).

In this electronic media age, letters seem antiquated. Emails...texts...tweets, these are preferred modes of communication. While I recognize their usefulness, there's something so heart-warming about a handwritten note peeking from behind an electric bill. See what I mean? Just the thought makes my heart happy!

Because it's Thank You Thursday, because I love pretty stationery, and because I love you, I'm giving away an EXCLUSIVE! Here we go...

Charli Gause is the beautifully creative mind behind HELLO, FRENCHIE. We worked together many...many moons (and a few Jupiters) ago. Her design talents know no limits, can you tell I'm a fan?

She has designed an EXCLUSIVE thank you card, just for us! Yippee! The winner will receive a set of 15 cards (printed front and back as seen below) and envelopes. If you win, will you send me one because I adore it? Did it just awkwardly invite myself to be thanked? Weird!

Drum roll...tadaaaaaa!

I know, right? So charming!

Today, we are mixing things up a bit. This will be a Facebook giveaway ONLY! However, I will never leave a note writer behind! If you don't have a Facebook account (Mom), please comment below.

To enter, you must Like our Facebook page and comment on this post with a tag to a person you'd like to thank. For example, "@Sarah, thank you for never telling me I talk too much!" Understand? Winner will be selected tomorrow evening.

Okay, ready, set, go!

For more HELLO, FRENCHIE designs, visit her Etsy store or Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 9

"Oompa"', the Blueberry Bush

Super Hunk and I thoroughly enjoy gardening. This is our fourth year and we have more plants than ever. The first two years were a huge learning curve. With only a few casualties, and enough tomatoes to feed the neighborhood, we were hooked!

Last year required more labor and research as we built raised beds and added more plants. It makes me proud to know the ingredients I'm using are a product of our hard work (and it makes me feel "pioneerish" to head out with my scissors and chop down some dinner).

As our little plantettes grow big and strong, I'll post occasionally so you can follow along. Here's a peek of them today, reaching for the sky!
(Onions & Spinach)

(Various Greens, Arugula, Green Leaf Lettuce...and more Onions, oh the Onions.)

(Sugar Snap Peas, Super Hunk's favorite.)

And here's my little friend, "Oompa" the Blueberry Bush. In the growing season, we plant most everything we buy in the winter months. Little Man is a blueberry fanatic! In his world, the streets in Heaven will be paved with blueberries.

Oompa (I selected the name for obvious Willy Wonka reasons) is new to our gang, I bought him as a sad little stick with one pitiful little bloom. It was more of a sympathy purchase, it looked up at me with those little budding eyes as if to say "If you'll take me home, I promise to grow big and strong!" Tell me, who could say "no" to that? Also tell me, who talks to plants?

(Oompa, 1st week)

(Oompa, 2nd week)

(Oompa, 3rd week)

As you can see, he's living up to his promise. Never underestimate a Wal-Mart plant's will to live...I wouldn't want to die there either! I'll keep you posted on his progress, so yummy!

(PS. This is what "NO, don't pull up those plants" and overdue for a nap looks like. Eeeek!

Have a great day, friends. I'm off to locate a paci and teddy bear!