Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year Fun - 2011 Edition

I love doing this meme every year, it sort of brings the whole blogging year to an end and also takes me back in time to reflect on what I was doing.

Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. You can also add a favorite picture from each month.

I would love for you to join me, just leave me a comment and I'll come by and check yours out :)

Happy New Year everyone!



I like making huge batches of these and freezing them. I either bake them all and then freeze, or a bake only what I need and wrap the rest in press n seal wrap and pop in the freezer until ready to bake.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls


Well at the Arizona Renaissance Fair of course.

Middle Shire


It's evening and I'm sitting on my bed, surrounded by the wonderful scent of freshly washed linens and hearing the sloshing of the washing machine in the laundry room.



Enjoying the small things.........

like stolen hugs from this little one while mommy is dead tired and dragging around the house


So since some of you have asked me to please continue sharing my latest movie and series finds, I thought I would oblige and bring you quite a few today.


I feel that behind every wonderful blogging woman I have come to know, there is an amazing man, they are the ones working in the background.


Yes I know, it's not until Monday but I just HAD to make this cake to see what it looked like and boy was I not disappointed.

Red, White and Blue Flag Cake


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Had another dust storm come through yesterday, that makes it the third in about 2 weeks time, what on earth is going on?  We've also been blessed with a lot of rain lately so I'm happy with that :)


It's been a bit of a nutty week around here, I've been finding myself with no time to do anything.

Dinner time....


From a stomach virus to busy homeschooling to housework and other stuff, I've had my hands full around here.



I'm having major issues with blogger this morning, been trying to get this post up for two hours now.


I'm sure a lot of you make these for yourselves, and possibly for gifts as well, so it may not be a surprise, but for those that don't, these are the perfect gifts for a mom, sister, grandma, best friend etc.

Lemon Sugar Scrub


I always enjoy reminiscing about what I was doing throughout the year :) 

Don't forget to let me know if you do the same meme on your blogs, I would love to come by and visit :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

LoveSac Slippers Review

I love slippers and especially if they are really really comfy.

I was given the opportunity to review a pair of slippers for LoveSac, a pair of PhurFeet slippers. 

Now I don't know about you all, but when I think slippers I'm not really thinking something that I will look at and think WOW, but boy did I think WOW.

First they came in the prettiest box and wrapped so nicely that I didn't want to touch them.


And then I opened the box and thought "Wowee".  Just from looking at them I could see that these were high quality slippers, and they seemed to be the softest fur I had ever seen.  


Just as the tag says, they are hypo-allergenic synthetic knit.  I love how they feel, I am not kidding, if you are looking for super soft slippers these are the ones for you.


I think one of the best features as well are the soles because they really do give you a good grip on the floors, and how do I know that?


Well, my mother in law came visiting for Christmas, and a few years ago she had a car accident and broke her foot/ankle.  She's had problems since then and finds it hard to wear any kind of shoe that does not give her good support.  She can't walk around barefoot, she can't do flip flops, she can't wear sandals and she can't really wear slippers either.

But she tried these out and surprisingly found them extremely comfortable, she also said they kept her feet nice and warm.

So I gifted them to her and she couldn't have been happier.

I think I am going to indulge myself in a good pair of slippers shortly, and there's so much to choose from.  The mink and green are $39 (normally $59) while the cow phur (it has a tail!!!) and knit styles are $59.  All come with free shipping.

So go on over and check out LoveSac, you may just find a pair of comfy slippers that you'll fall in love with :)

Thank you to LoveSac for providing me with a pair of slippers for review.  I was not compensated monetarily and all my opinions are mine alone.

{ Cooking Thursday }

Good Morning everyone :)

I always feel so bad putting this up so late for those of you on the East Coast, but being as I'm on the other side of the country, I hope you do understand that I post it as soon as I can :)

So I've decided to once again go back to Cooking Thursday, I know that a lot of us love Slow cookers and have recipes but they tend to be not as many as we would like to share.  With that in mind, we'll just start calling this Cooking Thursday again and open up the post to all kinds of recipes, slow cooked or not :)

Here is mine for today, I made this recipe from Tasty Kitchen for Christmas Appetizers and they were GONE within a few seconds.  I definitely need to make a lot more next time.

Jalapeno and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Credit: Tasty Kitchen

12 whole Mushrooms, Large
¼ cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 slices Thick Cut Bacon, Chopped
1 whole Jalapeno, Minced
¼ cups Diced Yellow Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 ounce, weight Cream Cheese
2 ounces, weight Cheddar Cheese
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Fresh Ground Pepper

In a small bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs with the melted butter. Toss until evenly coated. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 350 F.

Carefully clean and stem the mushrooms. Set the caps on a small baking sheet. Chop the stems and set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until crisp. Add the chopped vegetables and mushroom stems and cook until softened, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, mix the shredded cheese with the cream cheese until well combined. Add the warm vegetable mixture and mix well.

Divide the filling evenly between the mushrooms. Top with the buttered panko mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the topping is golden brown.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

After the holidays....


Well hello there, I hope this post finds you all doing well.  :)

Again I seem to have neglected my little corner of the world and as the time goes by I find myself forgetting it more often.  I miss it though, I feel like a part of me is missing and so I've decided that come the new year, I am going back to blogging full time, back to sharing my life with you all, back to doing features and weekly posts of sorts and sharing my photos and recipes and crafts etc.

I've had a really good holiday season, had my wonderful in laws visiting for Christmas and even though they were only here for a week, I truly enjoyed the time we had visiting.

It was a super busy week, lots of catching up, eating good food, sharing the Lord's word and enjoying each others company, but as Christmas has come to an end, I am ready to get all these celebrations behind me and move onto a whole new year.

First let me show you a bit of what we've been doing around here.


Couldn't be Christmas without some cookie baking and decorating :)


And some very attentive furry friends waiting for a crumb to fall......and I totally mean Lola the pug, not the handsome man below LOL


My amazing husband, who I adore, decided to give me an early Christmas present.  My new lens for my camera and OH do I love this lens.


When we first got married, I was told right away that this is a family that loves card games and board games, and I was also told that if I didn't like those things, I would have to learn to like them LOL And I did.

So while the in laws were here, we got some card games making with lots of laughs in between.


Christmas eve came and Santa made it's appearance, leaving behind the empty glass of milk and the crumbs from some sugar cookies.



He also left behind a gift that made the little 8 year old extremely happy....I wish I had caught his reaction with my camera.


Half asleep kids who couldn't wait to get their hands on the presents :)


And adults who were extremely happy with their gifts too....hubby and the Ipod Touch have been inseparable since then.


But I can't really complain because I literally squealed when I saw one of my gifts.....from Cath Kidston of course :)


My beautiful daughter who gets bigger by the minute :)


And my handsome young man who gets cuter as each day goes by....


Of course a new bike means he needs to get right on it and learn to ride.  No training wheels on this one, no ma'am.....


And in less than an hour he was riding all on his own.  The joy on his face was indescribable, but I believe it may have mirrored the pride in mine and daddy's eyes :)


Oh and big sis was out there cheering him on too :)


So a wonderful holiday we had, but now the in laws have gone back home and it's just the 4 of us again.

We'll celebrate New Years like we do every year, just quietly, with a good dinner, some munchies and a quick Happy New Year at midnight before retiring to bed :)

But as 2012 dawns upon us, I am determined to return to my roots with this blog.  To go back to where it started, to use it as a means to talk about my life, my children, my dos and don'ts and to really focus on the reason why I started the blog to begin with.

For a few months now I have felt that while the blogging world began as a bunch of little corners in the world devoted to family and just talking about our day to has evolved into something much bigger and which quite frankly I do not like.

Blogging is no longer the place I met amazing friends, it's no longer a place where I went to look around and find new recipes, book recommendations, beautiful photos of families, homemaking has turned into a big competition about who has the best looking one, who has the most comments, who has the most reviews and giveaways and who has gone from blogger to superstar.

It's not who I am, it's not who I want to be and more than ever I am really looking forward to at least attempting to take my blog experience back to the way it used to be.  I may not succeed completely at first, but I'm going to give it my best :)

Starting with this Friday....I am doing my usual A Year in Review, all the way back from January until December of this year.  If you would like to join in, just come back on Friday and let me know so that I can come and see your post too :)

Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday night, have a safe New Year's Eve and I pray for a Blessed New year for each and every one of you :)

God Bless,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

{ Slow Cooking Thursday }

Slow Cooker Cornbread

Slow Cooker Cornbread
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix (or homemade)
Spray the inside of a 2 and a half quart slow cooker pan.
Mix the ingredients according to package directions.  Pour into the pan and cook on HIGH for an hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
That’s IT!

Slow Cooker Cornbread

Just perfect for some chili :)

Slow Cooker Cornbread

Monday, December 19, 2011

{ Happy Homemaker Monday }

The weather in my neck of the woods:
We've had much needed rain and though that seems to have now subsided, we are still feeling the colder temps.  My only wish would have been snow for Christmas :)

Things that make me happy:  
Getting the house ready for visitors

Book I'm reading:
The Betrayal by Diane Noble.  Very good, I'm really enjoying it.

What's on my TV today:  
Just Henry
Victorian Farm

On the menu for dinner:
Teriyaki Steak with Rice

On my To Do List:
Lots of straightening up and getting the house ready for my in laws to arrive tomorrow night :)

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Peppermint Patties - yum


In the craft basket:
Finished these adorable Elephant Softies for the kids.  Was supposed to give them as stocking stuffers but they accidentally saw them so I'm making something else for the stockings, not sure what yet.

Looking forward to this week:
My in laws arriving and spending time with them for Christmas :)

Tips and Tricks:
Try to get as much done before Christmas so that when the day arrives you can relax with the rest of the family.

My favorite blog post this week:
Little Red Beads at Bunny Mummy.  What a cute Christmas Craft :)

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Sesame Ellis...daily life photo blogging by Rachel Devine

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:
Just because someone says they are your friend, it doesn't mean they really are.  I've had some issues on Facebook with people who I have on my friend list, who do nothing but post indirect jabs and comments.  I will never understand it because it's not the kind of person I am, I am one to be rude or to take jabs at people, I am always thinking before I speak, so I guess I expect the same kind of treatment back.  Unfortunately I've had to learn that it is not the same for everyone :)

On my mind:
My friend Courtney's sister who is in the hospital, she's had several seizures and the doctors are having a hard time figuring out the reason.  Please pray for Amanda and for the whole family.
My friend Lori's husband Don who broke his arm and had to have surgery, please pray for a quick healing.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Proverbs 17:28

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{ Slow Cooking Thursday }

Good Morning everyone :)

Here we are, another Thursday, another Slow Cooking post.  Thank you all for sharing every week and even if I don't leave comments, I DO stop by and check out all the recipes, so I appreciate you taking the time to leave them on the Slow Cooking Thursday post :)

Quick French Dip Sandwiches

Quick French Dip Sandwiches

4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 packets brown onion gravy
2 cups of cold water
thinly sliced beef
hoagie buns

In a large skillet, add the butter and the onions. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat until onions are transparent, add the sliced beef and continue cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Quick French Dip Sandwiches

Fill the hoagie buns with the beef, spoon some of the gravy onto a separate dish for dipping. Enjoy!
Honestly, the messier, the better.

Quick French Dip Sandwiches

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Weather outside is frightful

and I've been enjoying the heck out of it :)


I know many of you are suffering through really cold temperatures and snow and probably already for the warm sun to come back, but folks like me in Arizona don't really get to enjoy the rain or cool temps very often, so when it comes around I embrace it fully and enjoy every single minute of it.

I've been extremely busy lately, December is always just downright crazy for me, it's a mixture of the normal day to day life but the added stress of the holidays plus trying to finish all the homeschooling work so we can have our Winter Break.  Which, I'm proud to say we did yesterday so we are officially on break until January :)


Been enjoying sitting on this chair, right next to the Christmas tree.  Smelling the pine needles, watching the beautiful lights and rocking back and forth crocheting :)


The rain fell steadily for two straight days, days were dark, gloomy, cold and wet.  Perfect for being in the kitchen and baking.



I'm not a big fan of cookies, matter of fact you could leave packs of them laying around and I almost never touch them at all.  But Snickerdoodles is a whole other matter, these are my absolute favorite cookie on earth :)


Little Miss Lola has been enjoying the weather too, snuggled on the couch.  I had to snap this pic because it looks like she's trying to be part of the pillow :)


Rain and Christmas lights always make for a pretty effect :)


I got up this morning and the rain clouds were moving away, the sun was peeking out from behind them and I thought it made for such a brilliant shot.  It made me stop and think, stop and thank the Lord for everything that he constantly blesses me with.

And just as quick it hid back behind the last few clouds.


I've also been enjoying soups and my crockpots.  Actually for the past two weeks, when I made my menu plan, I made sure that everything was made in the slow cooker, because I know how crazy this time of the month can get.  Here is my Butternut Squash Soup.  Yum!


My days have been full, not only with crafts and homemade gifts, with children and schooling, with learning and housework, but full of love and full of blessings and full of the Lord's lessons.

I hope that all of you who read my blog are as content as I feel right now.  I also know that it's a tough time of the year for everyone, it's hard for me because I find myself constantly thinking of the family that I can't have nearby, of the loved ones that have passed on, and I find myself near tears quite often. 

I do believe though that it's also the time of year when we most need to hold on to our Faith, to put our lives in the Lord's hands and to allow Him to guide us through it. 

So for those that are depressed, that are down, that are feeling sad, I send you hugs.

God Bless,