Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

$3 Cupcake Stand, and guest blog sneak peek!

I must say, I am still NOT totally sucked into Pinterest yet...but I have found some great stuff on the few occasions I've had time to pop over there and stalk my friends pinboards... And this is one of them.

It's cheap. It's easy. It's cute. It holds cupcakes. Perfect to try for my Open House I had last night. Here's the $3 Cupcake Stand.

You need:
Two candlesticks from the Dollar Tree, $1/ea.

A 2-pack of the ugly burner covers from the Dollar Tree, $1.

Spray adhesive, which you can get at Michael's. I didn't count this in the total price because theoretically, any crafter should have this stuff. It is handy dandy. If you use your 40% off coupon I think this can costs about $4.
I was out of spray adhesive so I thought I'd use this decoupage gel that I had on hand instead. For the record, it DOES NOT WORK for this project AT ALL. I ended up going to get a new can of spray adhesive after all.
Pretty scrapbook paper of your choice.... which you may have already stashed in your house, or you can pick up two sheets for about 50cents on a sale day. (Okay, so if you don't have scrapbook paper, and have to buy it, that would make this a $4 cupcake stand maybe).
Trace your little burner on the piece of paper you want on the top tier. Cut it out. Repeat with Bigger burner cover and the paper you want on the bottom tier.
Go outside with your burner covers, paper circles and spray glue. Best when it is not windy and the dog is not out there to try to eat the spray glue.
Spray the top of the burner cover with adhesive, position paper circle, rub it on good. Be mindful of the "made in China" markings on the burner cover... if your paper has a pattern where direction is important, just make sure your "made in Chinas" are on the 'back' of both tiers.
Use Gorilla Glue or E6000 glue or super glue, whatever monster glue you have on hand to glue a candlestick to the bottom of each burner cover. Leave upside down for several hours while glue sets.
Glue little tier/candlestick to the top tier with same monster glue. These cupcake stands are not excessively big or sturdy, so stick something on the top in the middle to hold in place while the glue sets. I used a mug and told the kids to stop running around the island. :)
And joila'! Here is the finished product! So cute !
Here it is doing the job it was made for- holding cupcakes!
And here it is in the midst of my spread for my sweet shoppe open house last night. It worked perfectly!!
Now..... a little sneak peek on my upcoming guest blogger. I am so excited!! I am a Harlequin romance/Harlequin Intrigue junkie and my favorite author is Julie Miller. She has written over 35 books and I love them all! You can find her booklist here. My favorite series is the Taylor clan series....she writes them so well, it makes you fall a little in love with the leading man each time, and makes me wish I was from a great big family. I LOVE her books. Anyways... JULIE IS GUEST BLOGGING HERE on THURSDAY!!!! How cool is that? I mean... I think someone who has published that many books is pretty much a celebrity... and she's way more exciting and talented to me Justin Bieber. And she's coming to my little blog. I've been so blessed with awesome guest bloggers on my "Christmas Traditions" quest, and I can't wait for Julie's post! I hope all my readers give her a warm welcome! :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Christmas List - and - Scooters Winner

Back on Christmas Traditions Guest Post #2, I had a Scooter's gift card giveaway...and am pleased to announce that Shelley is the winner! Shelley, please check your email/junk mail and contact me with your address.

Jennifer...your necklace is being mailed this week. :0)

I'm done shopping for the kids. Have no idea what to get the hubster. Pretty much got all the ideas for parents in my head, just have to execute them. (the ideas, not the parents). But, just in case you were wondering, here is my Christmas wish list... in no particular order. Feel free to get me anything on the list your heart desires.

1. Massage gift certificates from Serenity.
2. A plane ticket to go see my friends Chuck and Mark in Philadelphia. (Or, a surprise visit from them would work too).
3. World peace
4. A monthly date night with the hubster
5. A gift certificate to CakeStuff
6. A kitchen remodel /redecorate. I'm thinking something fun and vintagey--like an old fashioned soda shop. Doesn't that seem so "me"?
7. This bracelet from The Bradford Exchange.
8. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.
9. Undies and bras, bras and undies.
10. Referrals and your patronage to my baking and travel businesses.
11. Barnes and Noble gift cards, so I can read all the smutty romance novels my heart desires.
12. Diamonds are always good. I could use a pair of diamond stud earrings. I don't have any.
13. Cupcakes shipped to me from Georgetown Cupcakes. I want to see how they ship the darn things.
14. Love, affection, and prayers from friends and family.
15. Dinner. That I don't have to plan, prepare, clean up, or purchase.

And what is on your wishlist?

Friday, November 25, 2011

useful craft for big-dinner kind of day

I'm pretty crafty, but don't always think to post things I've done.

(for the record, right this second, there is a puppy and two girls running crazies around this house. It is mass chaos, and here I sit, ignore, and blog)!

Anyways, I don't know about you, but I think the kids not having school the day before Thanksgiving is a little bit of torture to parents who are trying to get things ready for the big day. I planned my arsenal of survival tactics the night before. This including giving the girls some cleaning jobs, letting them each make something in the kitchen for the meal, and a craft.

But seriously, I didn't really need one more turkey or pumpkin craft thing sitting around on my counters. I decided a functional craft would be nice.

So we made coasters for the Thanksgiving table! This can be easily done for any big meal if you need something for the kids to do while you do some kitchen prep.

The idea started with the fact that I have a bunch of this self-adhesive foam core board in my laundry room. Go buy a sheet of it, or even the non-adhesive stuff, and stick it behind your dresser or somewhere that it will be handy whenever you get desperate for a project.

Cut the board into 3" squares. I did NOT cut it before I did the rest of the project, and I had some issues with gummy scissors, etc. So take my word for it, cut it from the beginning.

Google for a coloring picture of the item you wish to use. Here is the turkey I found. This would make a lovely Christmas coaster.

I right clicked on the image to save it to my computer. Then I opened up my PrintMaster program (I'm sure you could use Word) and pasted several copies of the image onto one page, sizing it to fit the coaster. Then I added a name to each turkey.

Print the images and have your little artists start coloring. Cut the images into 3" squares to match the blocks. Peel the paper off the foam core board and attach your pictures.

You know, you could even get fancy and do actual PICTURES of your guests to put on these. that'd be kind of funny.

I'm not one of those people that has a little personal laminating machine. Nor am I even a person who keeps clear contact paper on hand. I am, however, a person that almost always has clear packing tape around here. Let me tell ya, it works great for a little laminating project.

Two pieces laid carefully side by side perfectly covered the little coasters.

Here is the finished product. A personalized coaster for each person eating Thanksgiving dinner in our house. About 25 minutes of time that the girls were entertained. A functional project. Not one of the turkeys bled from the glasses because the packing tape protected it.

Not meant to last forever, but hey, it was a good little project nonetheless!

A little late for your Thanksgiving feast.... but I bet you all will have a few days before Christmas where you are looking to entertain your munchkins!

If you haven't had a chance to read the guest post from my friend Mark, scroll on down and check it out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday Traditions Guest post - Mark Kingsdorf

Today I introduce to you my friend Mark. He's a big time wedding planner out in Philadelphia, and he gets invited to speak at conventions of all sorts. He's a great guy. I met Mark and Chuck on our Disney cruise and they are precious friends to me. Rarely have I met two such giving souls. So happy to have him stopping by my blog to share some family traditions....
‘Twas the night before….

I’m so excited that Angie asked me to guest blog.

As a Master Bridal Consultant, I get to design fun events and help couples start their own family traditions – and most of my enjoyment of this comes from being raised in a family of people who LOVE celebrations and especially CHRISTMAS… so picking just one tradition for me will NEVER work.

For starters, my Mother LOVED Christmas – lots of decorations, going Christmas Caroling, homemade cookies, going to church on Christmas Eve, opening presents on Christmas morning…

We picked out our tree (ALWAYS a fresh tree) a few weeks before Christmas and it stayed outside tied up until Christmas Eve when we put it in the stand and left it for Santa to decorate – still one of my favorite holiday memories.

My mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer when I was 8 – so EVERY Christmas was special for us (I was blessed to have her for nearly 20 years after that diagnosis) so celebrating family and life is always a big part of our Christmas.

Giving back is a big part of the holiday season for me – every year I play secret Santa for a local cancer charity – I always ask for a woman with breast cancer who has small children and love to work with my family and staff to surprise them with a great Christmas. We’ve also done a holiday open house where we asked everyone to bring canned goods for local food pantry – we were OVERWHELMED With the amount of food friends and family brought.

My partner and I started a tradition where we buy a Christmas ornament every place we go – vacation, museum, amusement park…it doesn’t matter. And as we decorate the tree we get excited about the places we’ve been and the memories we have.

I really enjoy baking Christmas cookies, I make the BEST chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread men…one year in my 20’s when things were lean I baked 100 dozen cookies and that was what everyone got for Christmas…

One year when I lived in Washington DC, I had friends over for Christmas Eve dinner and was determined to start a new tradition with my family and friends. I made a Roast Goose (from a local farmers market) stuffed with black bread, sausage and apples – my friends LOVED it….but my family is less enthusiastic about trying this…

Bottom line is keep the spirit of Christmas alive with your own family traditions –( I REFUSE to abbreviate Christmas no matter how many times I need to type it) – we celebrate with good food, sharing with other, treasured memories and keeping family and friends close by and in our hearts…
Thanks again Mark for the awesome post. I cannot believe you didn't put your tree up until Christmas eve...and Santa decorated it?! And I think you should give me your chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Be sure to leave a comment with a hello to Mark! And if you're visiting Worthwhile Moments, thanks for stopping by!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog readers! May your heart be filled with gratitude the whole year thru.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A recipe-- Fried Rice

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I figured I'd share a recipe today. Is it for your Thanksgiving repetoire? Nope. Because if you haven't figured out what you're doing by now, just order out from a local restaurant.

THIS is... Fried Rice. Super fab fried rice. As in, those expensive fancy restaurants where the guy cooks all the stuff right in front of you has got nothing on me, fried rice. Save yourself some moola, and make this instead.

Cast of characters:

Brown rice (or white if you prefer, but let's have a little health included here!), frozen peas/carrots, onion, eggs, butter, oil, and soy sauce.

Begin by melting 1/2 a stick of butter (or margarine) in a big skillet with about 2 T. of oil. Keep in mind though, that I'm using the amount of rice that came from the 'six servings' directions on the side of the box.

Once your butter is melted, put in 1/2 of a finely chopped onion. I like yellow. If you want to be like {Sumo} then put in about 3 minced garlic cloves, but keep an eye on it, it cooks fast. Once the onions/garlic have started to brown, dump in your rice.

Stir well. You want each piece of rice to have touched that oil/butter mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes. Then push all the rice over to one side of the skillet.

Crack yer two eggs into the skillet.

Scramble them up good. Super good.

Once the eggs are cooked, stir the eggs/rice all together. Add 2 cups of rinsed frozen peas and carrots.

Then, stir in 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Yes I said a 1/2 cup. Don't plan on wearing your wedding ring tomorrow because your fingers will be all puffed up from all that sodium.

Turn the heat down, put the lid on until the peas and carrots are hot.

This is one happy pan. It goes great with the (vietnamese) neighbors' awesome eggrolls that they give us at Christmas.

It also goes great with this Teriyaki Chicken. (Bonus recipe; marinate chicken breasts in a blend of 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup soy sauce, a few dashes of cinnamon, a few dashes of ginger). Grill. So yum.

Have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving day! I'm heading into the kitchen with my little sous chefs. Pray for me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Whole lotta stuff going on 'round here

I was chatting online last night with my cousin Danica... and told her I think that I will look back on my 30's and describe it as the age of exhaustion. Who knew life could be so busy!! Here's a little peek into what has been going on the last several days around here.

Brooke's class had a little 'popcorn company.' They created their company, named it (Perfectly Perfect Popcorn), interviewed for jobs (Brooke got Junior Executive of Manufacturing), sold it, bagged it, etc. Mommy was popcorn getter-girl and volunteer bagging assistant. This was on Friday.

Our class sold 515 lunch bag paper sacks of popcorn. That equated to 5 LARGE garbage bags of fresh popped popcorn from the theatre. I went to pick it up. Have you seen the movie "Real Genius"? You may remember this final scene: Real Genius Popcorn

I was totally wishing for this song to play on the radio while I drove with my Denali full of popcorn to the school. I almost had to leave Hannah at the theatre. :)

Then I helped in the classroom packaging all of our popcorn into the bags and preparing them for delivery. It was an exhuasting day, but I sure was glad I was not the janitor.

We are in full fledged decorating mode around here....

Some days, this is totally my kind of day....

Do you think I could sue them for false advertising? Tell them that peanut butter is a hot commodity around here and I don't have time for the jar I open to NOT be chunky?! Total perfect depiction of my day. Hey, see my manicured thumbnail? Got fake nails put on the other day.

Experimenting with a raspberry recipe.....

Some of my latest creations....

Love this one. It's all edible! (well, except for the three toothpicks holding the ears and bow on!).

Thanksgiving Feast at preschool yesterday. The kids had jello cups and about three of them were like "what is this stuff?!" because they had never had it. Jordan, hannah's little friend, said "well, what do you DO with it?!" So cute.

Got family pics taken this weekend. You can't see them yet. But I can tell you this...they involved 2 girls, 2 grandparents, 2 30something parents, 1 puppy, red, black, denim, and pretty trees...

Funny things heard around this house lately:

Matt: "Hannah needs to leave that damn dog alone so he can go sh*t!"


Hannah: "My baby is named Jesus."

Matt: {laughing}

Hannah: {very serious face} "Jesus does not like people who are laughing."


Matt and I had a date to see comedian Tim Hawkins last week. So funny. I leave you with this clip.... 100% true. True True True. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Traditions Guest Post #2

Today I introduce to you my wonderful friend, Kristin. We met clear back when my firstborn was 6 months old and her firstborn was about three. I was scared that rambunctious boy was going to trample my sweet baby. Years later the children survived and she is a treasured friend! She's known for stirring the pot with her opinion on facebook, but everything she says and does is in love if you really know her :) SO... here's Kristin!


When Angie asked me to blog about my favorite holiday tradition I have to admit that the first thoughts that ran through my head were about all the holiday traditions I despise. It seems I’ve become quite a cynic where holidays are concerned. As a culture, we Americans have become so infatuated with the commercialism and meaningless hoopla surrounding the holidays that we have all but forgotten what it is we’re celebrating in the first place. Case in point: St. Patrick’s Day. We adorn ourselves head-to-toe in green in order to avoid being pinched and instead collect unwanted kisses. Then we spend the entire day skipping work and hopping bars. According to the 2008 US Census Bureau, less than 12% of Americans can legitimately trace their ancestry to Ireland, yet the vast majority want to jump on the St. Patty’s bandwagon. I have to wonder how many of these party-goers have a clue who St. Patrick was. As it turns out St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish for crying out loud! He was a British missionary who traveled Ireland preaching the gospel of Christ. I’m pretty sure St. Patrick is looking down from heaven shaking his head in sour disappointment over the disgrace that has been made of his name. And don’t even get me started on Cinco de Mayo!

Sadly, in the same way, I have almost come to loathe the Christmas season. Although most Americans can tell you that the Christmas holiday is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, so few actually partake in the true celebration, forgoing any religious affiliation for the more modern traditions. Even here in Wichita, the very bosom of the Bible belt, celebrating the birth of our Savior has become a near-extinct in most homes. Instead we prefer to spend hundreds of dollars to temporarily transform our homes inside and out into winter wonderlands and hundreds (if not thousands) more on purchasing gifts for our loved ones whom we have raised with an arrogant a sense of entitlement to receive them.

By now you’re probably thinking; “Geesh, this lady is a real Scrooge!” I can hear your faint accusations; “But, Kristin, what about the children? What about the sense of wonder and excitement on their faces Christmas morning as they behold Santa’s heaping bounty? We do it for the children!” Okay, okay. I admit that I too get pleasure in witnessing the sparkle in my children’s eyes and their squeals of joy as they unwrap each gift. But my greatest delight by far is the joy found on their precious faces in the weeks before Christmas…

And here is where my favorite holiday tradition comes into play…Giving. My husband and I have developed a financial tradition of giving an equal amount to charities each season as we spend for ourselves and our family. Each year, as a family, we select one or more charities for which we choose offer our time, our money and our gifts. In the past we have participated in everything from Toys for Tots, Angel Tree and Adopt-a-Family to The Salvation Army, City Union Mission or a local hospital children’s ward. The charities change each year depending on what strikes a chord with us at the time. However, there is one charity in particular what we remain faithful to year in and year out. Operation Christmas Child is a program operated through the Samaritan’s Purse organization. The program collects shoeboxes full of toys, candy and basic essentials to deploy to impoverished children in third-world countries. From the time my boys were old enough to point their chubby little fingers, I have taken them on an annual excursion to a department store at the beginning of each holiday season with the sole purpose of allowing them to select the gifts to fill their Operation Christmas Child boxes. I love nothing more than watching their little hearts expand and overflow as they focus on something beyond themselves and learn about the blessing of giving. They have so much fun discussing and debating which toys their recipients might enjoy and what items (things we Americans take for granted like toothbrushes and wash cloths) that they might need. Each year I have to reign in their generosity as they try to cram the entire catalogue of merchandise into the disappointingly limited space provided by their box.

We had our opportunity to partake in this particular annual tradition just last week. To my amazement the boys were able to keep a lid on their own personal wants and focus on the task of giving (quite an impressive feat for children ages 5 and 9…or persons of any age for that matter!) As we were finishing up our shopping and making our way to store’s check-out area – shoeboxes filled to maximum capacity – my oldest son Truman turned to me and said: “Mom, I love buying these gifts. It makes me feel so good inside.” I nearly burst with pride as I tousled his hair and replied; “I know, Baby, me too.” Holiday tradition accomplished!


Thanks Kristin for that great post! We too participate in Operation Christmas Child. For more information you can go to I know our church is still collecting boxes this weekend, so it's not too late for you to do one! You can always give it to me and I can turn it in for you!

In honor of Kristin's post, I'm going to give away a $5 gift card to Scooter's Coffee Shop.... Kristin loves that place and until recently was a barista/manager there.... so it's the great giveaway for her. Just leave a comment on this post saying "Amen" or "You're Silly" or whatever mostly nice thing you want to say, and you'll be entered to win!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Awesome Biscuits-and a Tiny Prints contest!

I saw a recipe on Pinterest the other day (and let me just say, I have not yet fully gotten sucked into the vortex of Pinterest.... but I do peek around in there a bit!)

It was for 7-up Biscuits. Then I couldn't find the pin, so I just did a search for a recipe of that name. All the ones I found had Bisquick in them. I never have Bisquick around here. So with a little more searching, I was able to create them without Bisquick. These biscuits are super good.

In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, 3 tsp baking powder, a little less than 1 tsp of salt. Drizzle in 2 T. oil and stir it around in there with a fork. Add 1/2 cup sour cream (not 'light') and stir it in with a fork. Should get crumbly like when you're doing a pie crust. Add 1/2 cup 7-up (I used Sierra Mist). Stir together with a fork.

The dough will be really sticky at this point.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of flour on your countertop. Dump your dough on top of it, and knead some of that flour into it until the dough is no longer sticky.

I then formed mine into a thick square and cut it into 9 pieces:

In the bottom of a 9" square pan (or whatever you've got), melt 1/4 cup of butter. Place your cut biscuits into the pan and bake at 450 for 9-14 minutes. When they're golden, they are done. And they are GOOD. Give them a try!

And now... a Tiny Prints Contest! Tiny Prints is a great website for customized cards for many occassions! Right now they are doing a Talent Show contest
with categories such as Cutest Baby, Cutest Kid, Cutest Family, Cutest couple. Entries can be submitted until the 19th and the grand prize is $1000 plus a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate! How sweet would that be for the holidays? Go to the contest link to see how to enter...and if my pics make the finals, I'll be sure to let you know :)

Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

How do you "do life"?

Last weekend, the sermon at church was about "Getting off the sidelines and into the game." Our pastor has been doing a series about Revelation and end times.... amazing (God-sent?!) timing considering we had EARTHQUAKES in KANSAS last weekend.

He talked about whether you want to spend these {last} days on the sidelines of life, or do you want to GET IN THE GAME?!

Think of all the athletes in this country that we spend billions to watch each year. Do you think they sit on the sidelines and think "yeah, this works for me. I'll just sit and watch the game from the sidelines." NO! They want IN THE GAME!

My take on the concept of getting in the game of life.... God did not bless us with the people around us, the world we live in, the life on this we'd watch from the sidelines. Or the couch. Or thru the boob tube. God gave us this life to LIVE it. He gave us friends to enjoy time with them. He gave us the ability to BE the church so we'd go BE the church, not so we would warm the pews. He gave us enthusiasm, life, and vitality, to go and spread it to others. To share ourselves with our family. Our friends. The world. He has given us His love so that we will show His love to others... whether thru a random act of kindness, volunteering at the school, helping at church, giggling with your kids.

Giving of yourself is one of the most important things you can do.

Life is not about the time you spend running the vaccuum, doing dishes, watching TV. Yes those all have a time, a place, a purpose of some sort. We don't want to live in an episode of "Hoarders" or "Intervention." But life is about GETTING IN THE GAME, and sharing your heart, your soul, your time... with the world. With your little world in your walls, your neighborhood, your church, your town....the world.

So, are ya gonna get off your butt and start sharing life with people, or are you going to watch it with a bowl of popcorn in front of your big screen day in and day out?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christmas Traditions - Guest Post!!!

Today I am happy to have my new friend Megan joining us for a guest post! I met her recently through my women's group, Hannah Circle, and she's a sweetie. Plus she's a total Disney nut like me which is always a good thing. Say hi to Megan....!

Coming straight to you from, I'm here to talk about Christmas traditions.

Ahhh, holidays. A source of joy. Family. Happy moments.

But also, stress. Yes, my friends, it's inevitable.

My parents divorced when I was a child, so my Christmas experiences probably aren't typical. Fortunately, I had parents who both cared about making the holiday season special, and there were times when I felt lucky that I got double the holiday fun instead of feeling bummed that I had a broken family.

And because of this, it meant that I was exposed to lots of fun holiday and Christmas traditions, since different things were important to each parent.

With that said, here are 5 fun things I could count on every Christmas. If you don't have any special holiday traditions with your family, feel free to borrow a few of mine. Believe me, your children will remember them for years to come, and will treasure all those special memories.

1) We watched a lot of Christmas movies. On a cold winter night, there's nothing better than snuggling up in the living room with lots of cozy blankets, buttery popcorn, and deliciously rich hot chocolate. Some of my favorite Christmas movies include:

If you don't have any of these, order a couple for your family. Seriously.

2. We attended midnight mass. Jesus is the reason for the season, and midnight mass was always a beautiful worship service. (and for a kid, getting to stay up that late is awesome!)

3. We always made it a point to remember those less fortunate than we were. We participated in various food drives and we always selected children to purchase gifts for from the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

4. We made Christmas cookies. Don't feel like you have to be a whiz in the kitchen to attempt this with your kiddos. If homemade dough, and beautifully decorated cookies are your thing, that's fabulous, but if refrigerated slice and bake and way too many sprinkles is as good as it gets, your kids will be just as thrilled!

5. We didn't know what gifts were ours. Kids are notorious for doing whatever it takes to figure out what's inside those festively wrapped packages. My mom was quite the trickster when she came up with creative ways of labeling the gifts under the tree. One year, all the gifts has a number, and on Christmas eve, she revealed that even numbered gifts were for me, and odd for my brother. Another year, all of one color were mine, and another color was his. Tricky! And fun :)

Now that I'm grown, I celebrate Christmas with my husband, and my two daughters, Kaylee and Isabelle. You'll find me blogging about them, posting lots of cute pictures, sharing my favorite recipes, all kinds of random things at Come visit my blog, take a look around, and feel free to follow along!


thanks Megan for your post!! Leave her some warm Worthwhile Moments loving in the comments section!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2nd Post of the Day?!?! Soft Pretzel Bites

I've lost track of where I am on the Worthwhile Challenge recipes, but I'm still trying to post them! Look at this-- 2nd post of the day! I had to post this, because it's a darn good recipe.

My friend Jodi has been on a cooking kick lately. Which benefits me because she likes to post her recipes to facebook and she has discovered some fun food sites that I have not discovered before.

Recently she posted a link to a recipe for Soft Pretzel Bites. I can't find the link she got it from, so I'm just recapping it from my experience making them today! These are ADDICTIVE. And their main ingredient is one of my freezer staples - Rhoades Texas Rolls. I use them for lots of things!

Before we begin...check out my white-trash window in my kitchen. Yep, the blind broke the other day and we haven't fixed it yet. We're so awesome.

This recipe is easy peesey. The hardest part is waiting. Thaw out some Rhoades Texas Rolls, and cut into fourths. Allow them to rise until double in size on a greased cookie sheet.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. And I don't mean get the water hot, I mean get it boiling. Toss your dough balls in about a dozen at a time and boil them for about 1 minute, turning to make sure that all the sides get boiled. This is where you're bringing in that chewy factor. Using a slotted spoon, set them on a paper towel lined sheet/plate.

Here's what they look like boiled. Nothing too exciting.

Once you've got them all boiled, spread them out on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush them with melted butter.

Now, you can choose your own adventure, or split the batch in half. You can mix some cinnamon and sugar in a gladware and toss four or five of the buttered balls in at a time, put the lid on, and shake it if you want a sweet treat. You can get fancy and make an icing glaze to dip them in (melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, bit of milk). Here's that yummy goodness.

OR if you are wanting savory, you can sprinkle them with a mixture of parmesan/garlic powder/italian seasoning. SO good. Would be good dipped in spaghetti sauce too. Brooke LOVED these, she's a savory kind of girl. Hannah LOVED the cinnamon ones, she's a sweet kind of girl. Matt and I loved them BOTH. SOOO good.

You should totally make these.

A List of Thoughts and a Winner too

1. Good morning

2. Kansas yesterday had torrential rain, lightning, and earthquakes. Jesus is coming soon, I tell you! Ironically our minister is in the middle of a sermon series about Revelation and the end times....and this craziness with earthquakes sure has us sitting up and taking notice! Get in the game people, get in the game!

3. I have decided that the nails-on-a-chalkboard frustration of a three-year-old's fits is not so much the fit itself, but the fact that it is usually about absolutely NOTHING whatsoever. The child can be fine one minute, and crying like their toes are being chewed off the next and you have no idea why. This was my alarm clock this morning.

4. Thank God, in light of #3, that I bought two cases of diet dr pepper yesterday. Yeah for sales!

5. We are a little late in starting our Christmas decorating. We usually put up about 8 trees, and so far all we've done is unload the Christmas closet. TODAY I shall get the ornaments-a-rolling.

6. The weiner of the gorgeous Poema Creations necklace is JENNIFER GRAGG!!!!! This girl up and moved to Texas on me so she's gonna have to send me her mailing address and wait patiently for me to mail the darn

7. Did you decide to participate in the Happy Day project? Even if you can't do it everyday, I encourage you to try to do as many as you can. I made no-bake cookies yesterday, and finally got them delivered last night to my neighbors. I'm sure they thought I was on crack because it was pouring rain, I had on shorts and flip flops, my husband's big work coat, my glasses, and wet hair because I'd just gotten out of the shower. But I was determined to complete the assignment on time! Today is hand-written note day.... if you don't have someone to send a note to, feel free to send one to me :) lol...

8. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Happy Day Project

One of the blogs that I follow is Julie over at Joy's Hope. She seems to be one of those uber cool, talented, adorable type chics that I have always wished I was!

Right now, she's in the midst of starting the Happy Day project...doing something good each day leading up to the holidays. I'm still not totally sure how it is going to work out, but I know that I'm totally down with trying to hop on the bandwagon....!

Feel like doing some good in this world? Feel like getting in the game of spreading some love (especially Christ's love) instead of sitting on the bench? This just might be a good place to start. A preview of what is to start off for the week so you can be prepared? Monday-Treat a neighbor. Tuesday- Handwritten Note Day. Wednesday-Giftcard to homeless.

Come along....I'm sure the water's fine.

happy day

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Traditions: A Christmas Vacation Tribute

Alert: This post includes many youtube video links. To get the full effect of this post, please view the youtube videos. It will increase the funny-factor of this post ten-fold. Thank you. (and if your computer doesn't open the youtube links in another window, you should be able to click the back arrow after each clip to get back to the blog post!).

If you know me even a teeny weenie bit, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas.

With that, you should also know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

Love it.

That being said, we started our annual 8 weeks of watching that movie a week or two ago. Total nerds. We turn it on in our bedroom and snuggle down in our bed and giggle our hearts out. 'We' being the hubster and me.

Love that movie. It's inspirational. More on that in a moment.

The real life application of this movie is amazing. Hubster said that I had to post the "kiss his ass" scene....because every morning where he works, a group of management walks through the hangar to review the status of every plane. And he watches them, and thinks about this scene....Check it out:

Chevy Chase - Kiss His Ass

Last year, I had one day in particular which was just a really crappy frustrating today. (Funny tho, that I don't recall at all what the problem was. See how insignificant things can be in the grand scheme of things?). I sat down that evening, and pulled this link up to post to my facebook. While I didn't have a boss that sent me into a fit such as this (though, so many people do, right? Can I get an amen?), my day nearly sent me into a hissy fit like this:

Where's the Tylenol?

You may be wondering what the heck this post is all about? Well, this scene here inspired an idea in me. Clark Griswold is all about traditions

Old Fashioned Family Christmas

I love traditions, old and new. There's something about traditions that makes the Holidays so magical. I love hearing about other people's traditions. SO, thanks to our friend Clark Griswold, every Thursday from now thru Christmas, I'll be featuring a guest blog post from a bloggy friend sharing their favorite holiday tradition. Maybe it will inspire a new idea for you. Maybe it will just be nice to share a glimpse of what the holidays look like for other people.

While I fully expect these posts to incite warmth, joy and happiness into your lives this Holiday Season, I must leave you with a clip of one of my favorite "funny" Christmas songs. It totally cracks me up. (Tho, honestly, none of these things bothers me. I love it all!).

The 12 Pains of Christmas

Tune in Thursday for our first guest post!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Donating Blood

I'm sponsoring a blood drive at our school tomorrow.

I'm a little disenchanted though.... because out of the staff, staff spouses, and parents of 630 kids....I've only got 22 people signed up to give. How terrible is that?! AND...6 of those people are my husband and I, and four of our friends that are not even remotely associated with our school.

I did the math and if you figure there are about 1000 adults associated with our school.... and if Five percent of the US population gives blood (Five percent, how pitiful is that), then we should have had at least 50 people willing to jump in and give. I've got 22. And I had to beg for those.

It really makes me sad. What is up with people? Especially those that a) have given before and did fine but just 'don't feel like it.' and b) those that have never TRIED to give blood. How do you know you're gonna pass out if you don't TRY?!? I personally have TRIED (and failed) twice already, but damn it, I'm gonna try again.

According to the Red Cross, one in ten people entering the hospital needs blood. 38% of our population is eligible to give blood, but only 5% do. On average, someone in the US needs a transfusion about every 2 seconds. Kansas' blood bank is very low.

If your child ends up in the hospital needing can't just stick your arm out and say 'here give him some of mine' if there's a shortage. It takes three days for blood to be screened and processed, etc. So if your child needed blood today to save their life, it would have to come from someone who was willing to give a few days ago.

What if it was you? Your kid? Your grandkid? Your spouse? What if it was someone you loved, sitting in the hospital, needing blood and having to wait for it to come in from Omaha because the supply here is too low? I'll tell you what- you'll have wished you were a donor. You'll have wished you had done everything you could to make sure the blood bank was full.

You'll have wished that someone would have signed up to give blood at our school blood drive. Don't wait until it's too late. Give blood NOW. If you try and whanny out because you have needle issues, at least you TRIED. That's all anyone can ask.

If you're local, go HERE and put in Seltzer and fill one of our open slots for our blood drive. Tell your local friends. I need peeps.


The jewelry giveaway is still going on. I really want to see more of you enter for a chance to win! Go HERE to find the post to enter. Winner drawn on Sunday. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tap Tap Tap...don't you want to win JEWELRY?!?

So, only three peeps want to win the awesome necklace from Poema Creations? Really? Are you all crazy? :)

Check out the previous post and get entered to win! And I'm going to do a bonus entry if you share the link to my blog on your Facebook and comment that you did so!

Remember even if that cool stopwatch piece isn't your's make a nice Christmas gift!!!!