Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Salt and Toasted Cheerios

Emma 1

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday, everyone! Veering from the usual Nannie's recipe (gotta hit my Momma up for some more of those) today I'm paying tribute to Cheerios!

As you can see from the picture above Emma loves Cheerios (or in our case Trader Joe's O's- whatever works). They are an absolute staple in any house with toddlers. These things go everywhere with us- Cheerios are our go to food!

For me personally, I like some flavor on my O's. I'm a salt fan so if I'm going to eat them, I like to fix them like my Mom used to fix me as a kid.

Which leads me to the Tasty Tuesday Recipe!!! I would say this isn't the most appropriate snack for younger children just because of the salt content. My Emma hasn't tried these yet because like her Mother, she'd become a sodium junkie! You be the judge, though.

For more of Tasty Tuesday, head on over to Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and tell them Kelli sent ya!

Salt and Toasted Cheerios

(Make as much or as little as you want)




Throw some butter in a pan to melt it. Then add you some Cheerios. Salt them a bit and shake them around! Voila, you're done!! They might be a little greasy, but they are GOOOOOD!

and if you want a healthier version....

Throw you some Cheerios on a baking sheet. Spray them down with butter spray and salt them. Then pop them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees.


PS- Check out my Etsy shop for new aprons that I'm adding daily!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Date Night

Nannie and Papa

I often see these types of pictures, from magazine covers over history or even as stock images in frames for purchase, and I'm always left with a warm and fuzzy feeling. I begin to analyze what was taking place when the photo was snapped. See their embrace? Could they get any closer? And his hand at the small of her back, fingers spread out. He wasn't merely holding her, he was gripping her and pulling her into him as if it might be the last time he ever gets to love his dear one. Then the woman, with her head turned almost at the mercy of his kiss, she flings her arms around his neck praying she never has to let go. What was going through their minds as the picture was being taken; what was the photographer thinking as he (or she) was taking the picture? It fascinates me so because whatever the case, be it in this picture or ones similar to it, the love and passion between the two subjects is evident. Nothing is more beautiful than the blatancy of this; the type of love people instantly notice and admire.

Hubby and I had a date night the other night. It had been a really long time since we had had the opportunity to go out, just the two of us. And it was really nice. I was almost nervous and giddy like it was out first date or something. It was a much needed outing and I felt 16 again! We both kind of went above and beyond in the primping department, wanting to look nice for the other one. We held hands and laughed! We went to an arcade!! Seriously, we probably looked like one of those couples that everyone snickers at! But that's ok, we were having a blast with one another. I felt so young and in love, I almost wanted to document the night. I wish there had been a photographer (like at prom) at the arcade because we sooooooo would have been hitting that up! The way he looked at me, the way I clutched his arm. Maybe we could look at that picture years from now and see the "blatant love" in our eyes as well.

We're so fortunate to have friends that reminded us that we needed to take this sort of time for one another every so often. They watched Emma for us while we were out, too. Were it not for them, we probably would have gone forever without dedicating this sort of time and attention to our relationship.

That's sad isn't it?

We go and go and go, giving our all to everyone and everything day in and day out. Meanwhile, we're forgetting to grow and nurture the bond and intimacy with our beloved spouse. We just let love pass us by in the hustle and bustle of life. We get comfortable. And that doesn't mean we love any less, we just don't make it first priority anymore.

I have to concentrate everyday on how blessed I am to have the husband I do. God chose Jon for me, I am certain. And in knowing that, it is only natural that I should be "dating" him everyday. We have to strive for and work towards the essensce of "photo love" like above!

By the way, the couple in the picture are my grandparents. Kelly and Comena right around 1935. This picture was taken just because. No special occassion. None needed. They were always taking pictures like this and I can vouch that this is what they're love looked like well into old age. Papa was crazy about Nannie and Nannie adored Papa.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Hooked on Friday's: Homemade Laundry Detergent


For today's Hooked on Friday's I'm hooked on Homemade Laundry detergent!!

Thanks to my creative homesteading friend Amber over at Classicly Amber for providing the recipe and instructions for making this stuff! Check out her post (and all her Lovin' Laundry posts) for ingredients and how-to here!

I must admit, I was a bit skeptical, but after having done about eight loads now using the homemade detergent, I know I'm hooked!

Having set that, there are a couple things I will do differently in making it next time.

I used store bought goat's milk soap, which has a light scent. That's ok, it's nothing overwhelming like your regular store bought detergents, but for my next batch I'll get a two pound loaf of handmade (and unscented) goat's milk soap from Etsy. Here's a link for a base soap batch, though not goat's milk- click here.

I did grate my own soap- it was the most time consuming part, but not bad! Actually, it kind of relieved a little stress!!

This is not a difficult process at all and considering the amount of money it saves, it's worth the tiny bit of elbow grease involved! Not to mention, once your laundry is done, it'll smell the freshest and feel the softest then it ever has before (with no fabric softener or dryer sheets to boot)! I highly encourage you to give this a try!

While you're at it, head on over to Hooked on Houses to see what everyone eles is hooked on today as well!


I'm sooooo honored! This is my very first bloggie award and I love it!! I love that someone loves my blog!! My good friend Angela from Angela's Peony Patch gave it to me!

Check out her whole article here!!

Thanks, Angela! I love your blog, too!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Nannie's Cherry Yum Yum

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday and to another Nannie's Recipe! With Fourth of July coming up, I figured everyone would need a good ol' fashioned dessert to take to all those cookouts. And Cherry Yum Yum is what I decided on since it is red. To complete the theme, maybe you could top it off with some whip cream and a couple blueberries! There you have it- red, white and blue!!

I think I've written before what a good cook and baker my Nannie was. She could whip stuff up every which-a-way without a recipe or cookbook in sight! It always amazed me the talent that woman possessed in the kitchen. It seems whatever she wanted to fix, nothing was beyond her culinary reach!

I've also talked about many a family gatherings as well...let's see, we've had Nannie's biscuits, her rolls, pea salad, potato salad, and apple pie; all the things that occupied the counter when we had people over. But one thing (dessert in particular) that stands out is her Cherry Yum Yum! And it was just that, YUM YUM!!

Cue total silence except for sound of chewing, grunting and hmmmmm-ing! There's just nothing more to say than that!

Seriously, we sounded like a bunch of neanderthals while eating this stuff. We were completely uncivilized as we scarfed down Nannie's desserts (what am I talking about- ALL her food). And we would proceed just so until all of it was gone. This recipe is just THAT GOOD!

Are you going to fix this? I think you should. If for nothing else....fix it to watch your family act like cavemen!

And when you're done sit upright and use your fingers (get it? hehee) to click (not club- I can't help myself!) on over to Balancing Beauty and Bedlam to see what everyone else is servin' up!

Nannie's Cherry Yum Yum

1.5 stick margarine

2 cups graham crackers crumbs

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

2 pkgs. dream whip

2 cans cherry pie filling

Melt butter and add cracker crumbs. Mix well. Beat dream whip, sugar and milk and then add cream cheese; blend thoroughly. Place half crumbs in bottom of pan. Cover with half of cheese mixture. Add cherry filling, spreading over cheese. Spread remaining cheese over cherries and then top with rest of crumbs. Let set for 24 hours in fridge.


PS- Fix it in one of my aprons!! You'll feel snazzy and you won't get cherry goop all over your jeans!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Tassels

Boy it's been forever since I've done a Things I Love Thursday, but I'm back and I'm loving Tassels!!

I've never been one for decorative little nick-nacks, but these tassels are to die for! I have two already; one a rooster and the other a duck. Gertie and Bertie as I like to call them. I got them from The Tassel House, which is the name of my friend Angela's etsy store and she is the creative genius behind these beauties. She puts so much love into her work and it is visible in the detail and uniqueness each one has! Whew, these things are like shoes, I could have one to suit every mood!

Here are a couple of my current favorites!

The Cowgirl Boot Tassel

Just a Hangin' Frog Tassel (I'd name him Freddie~he would be the cause of a riff between Gertie and Bertie- a tassel love triangle)

And lastly....

Flower Fairy Girl Tassel

Don't you want one? I know you do...and so does you sister, or your Mother-In-Law, or maybe your best friend. They make great gifts!

Go check out The Tassel House and see what else Angela has. You name it, she probably has it. And while you're at it, check out The Diaper Diaries to see what everyone else is lovin' this Thursday as well.

Wordful Wednesdays: Lots and Lots of Kisses


Is this cute or what? Can you see what's she's doing?

Emma just learned to give kisses not too long ago and this is what she goes around doing most days. Kissing the dog (or trying to, Reesie normally bolts), kissing books, kissing her Elmo doll, wanting to kiss the TV, trying to kiss all her little buddies. In this case, kissing a baby in my Parent Magazine.

They grow up too fast don't they?

If mommy asks for a kiss I'm not likely to get one...unless she knows she's been bad, then she puckers up in order to butter me up. It usually works!

Hey, I'll take what I can get, you know.

Ahhhhhh, I just can't believe the milestones we're hitting these days. Emma is growing and learning by leaps and bounds; I can hardly keep up. But it is so much fun watching her explore and bud.

I love being a mom.

For more on Wordful Wednesdays visit

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Bratwurst Stew

Well, for this edition of Tasty Tuesday I'm going to veer from the usual Nannie's recipe and tell you about a recent dish I made out of just a bunch of stuff I found in my cupboard. I love it when that happens! Don't worry....Nannie will be back next week.

So the other day I was milling around trying to figure out what to fix for dinner. I was ready to hit the TacoBell because I was bound and determined to not have to thaw, marinate, steam, grill or toast anything. We hadn't been to the store in FOREVER, so our options were limited anyway, but I wasn't in the mood to cook at all that day so it made the decision making task even more daunting.

That is until I started going through the cabinets. And let me tell you, I just started pulling junk out in hopes I'd figure something out along the way.

By the time I was done I had found some frozen bratwurst (which I did have to thaw, but Hubby loves it...we all have to make sacrifices you know!) and a bunch of canned veggies, herbs and some pasta.

I started looking online for gumbo or goulash recipes, but came up empty handed. How was I ever going to luck into finding a recipe with exactly the ingredients that I happened to have? I'd have to tweak whatever I did find, that was for sure! Then I found it- a recipe for Sweet Italian Sausage Stew. I was missing a coupe of things, namely the sweet Italian sausage, but I still had bratwurst and several other things I needed. The attached recipe is for MY version of this splendid culinary creation!

I hate (I mean absolutely loathe) soupy stuff in the summer, but I was about to create a free (for all intensive purposes anyway) meal, and man was I stoaked! So I put my issues aside and started making the stew! The finished product (as seen above) was DELICIOUS!! It was a little sweet, not that soupy, and just overall GOOOOOOD!

Now, after you try this (and you have to try this) I want you to head on over to Balancing Beauty and Bedlam to see what else is being cooked up. You'll be glad you did!

Bratwurst Stew

1 lb bratwurst, thickly sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup sliced carrot

1 tsp dried basil

2 zucchini, diced

1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes

1 (14 oz) can beef broth

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 (15 oz) can great northern beans

1 cup small shell pasta

In a saucepan, cook sausage in oil until browned; add onion, garlic, carrots and basil; cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes then stir in zucchini, tomatoes, beef broth, salt and pepper. Bring stew to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes. Lastly, add beans and pasta, then cook an additional 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.


OH, and how could I forget!?! You know what else would go great with this??? Cooking it up in a cute little apron!! Visit my etsy store to check out some of my newest creations!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hooked on (and Fashionable) Fridays: Aprons



It's Hooked on Fridays and I'm hooked on APRONS!! So much so, I recently started making them!! See that one up there? It's an original design of mine!!

You know, aprons have been around for a pretty long time, but they are now making a huge comeback! Back in the day I don't know that they weren't just for looks, but nowadays you want something that isn't just pretty, but FUNCTIONAL, too!!

That's why I opened an Etsy Shop and can now offer you those FUNCTIONAL and pretty aprons!! Today is my Grand Opening! Check it out here!

In celebration of all of this, I'm offering not only free shipping through Sunday, June 14th when you purchase something from my store, but also, leave a comment to this post and register yourself to win the Apron pictured above!! No purchase necessary and the winner will be drawn at random and annouced Sunday!!

In your comment, tell me why you love aprons!

In the mean time, visit Hooked on Houses and Fifi's Fashionable Friday to see what everyone else is lovin' on this fantabulous Friday!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Nannie's Apple Pie

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday everyone!! Glad you could join me for yet another Nannie's recipe!! This week it's a cool little variation of your traditional apple pie.

Now with Summer under way, there's nothing that pleases me more then peeling and coring apples, making homemade crust, baking it up then sitting it on the window seal to cool. But that's time consuming and sometimes you have to have a quick dessert for those many a family cookouts!

Nannie's Apple Pie is the perfect solution to though feux bakers out there (like myself) and for those pressed for time. All this without sacrificing the yummy goodness of a "real" apple pie.

I don't particularly remember this dessert from my childhood (because there were so many), but I have fixed this as an adult and it was a huge hit.

I can only imagine Nannie wanting to bake an apple pie, but needing to get things done around the house then making sure we were all fed breakfast, lunch and dinner. It would dawn on her that she could fix this simplified version and still have a happy family! Of course, if I know Nannie, she would have had it all planned out days in advance and Papa would have gone to 14 stores to get all the ingredients if he had to. Of course, any regular store would have done, but he would have hit ALL the sales!

By the way~ this, as do all apple pies, goes great with a scoop (or two) of ice cream!

When you're done, head over to Jen's at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam to see what else you could whip up to accompany your easy dessert!

Nannie's Apple Pie

1- 30 oz can of apple pie filling

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick butter (softened)

1 egg (beaten)

chopped nuts (optional)

Spread the apple pie filling smoothly across an oiled pan (10" deep dish or 9x9). In a seperate bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in the egg and butter to form a thick batter. Then with a spoon, drop batter onto apple filling until covered. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins. or until filling is bubbly and batter is nicely browned.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Hooked on: Neighborhood Produce Co-ops

It's Friday and I'm doing something new this week! I'm taking part in Julia's Hooked on Fridays blog party to share what I'm hooked on!!

And that's Produce Co-ops!!

So, yesterday for the first time I participated in our local Neighborhood Produce Co-op.

The idea of this is you pay $17.50 for a basket full of seasonal fruits and veggies. Your basket is arranged for you, but you can trade out items if someone has something you want and vice versa. Because everyone pitching in is paying the $17.50, it's combinded into one big pot that pays a local distributor for a wholesale bunch of fruits and vegetables. Then you go pick up your purchase at your assigned location; it goes on twice a month.

Having never participated before, I went into it keeping my expectations low because I didn't know what or how much I was going to get.

But, boy was I pleasantly surprised!!

For the fee of $17.50 I recieved: 6 roma tomatoes, 16oz container of strawberries, 5 potatoes, 6 bananas, 2 avocados, 1 bag of snap beans, 1 stalk of broccoli, 3 zucchini, 10 apples, 1 bag of carrots, 2 limes, 2 things of leaf lettuce and 1 bunch of celery!

On average that would have probably cost me upward of $50-$60 at my local grocery store! A savings of at least $30!! How awesome is that!?!

So, if you're in the Charlotte/Mecklanburg/Union County area, I highly recommend checking this out! The website is: http://yourneighborhoodproduce.net

And while you're at it, head on over to Hooked on Houses to see what everyone else is hooked on!!

Enjoy those veggies!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Resolutions Revisited.....

If you remember, I posted at the first of the year about my New Year's Resolutions. Since we're now six months in, I figured I'd get you up to speed as to whether I kept to my resolution(s) or not.

This year I resolved to KEEP my resolutions. What with my yearly attempts at daily Bible readings, losing weight and flossing, then more importantly my yearly failings of the said resolutions....let's treat this as an accountability system.

I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself thus far. Don't get me wrong, there's a whole half-year left and I have a lot of work to do still, but I've done ok considering my track record.

I have completed two (and am working on a third) Bible studies. That's not reading Scripture daily as in Bible in a Year sort of stuff, but it's progress nonetheless.

I've also lost four pounds so far. I probable gained it back the weekend I went to visit my sister for her birthday, but I LOST it still. I have more to lose, but it's good to know that it is possible. I was beginning to wonder if I was just some strange species that only gains weight.

And as for the floss thing....

What is it about flossing that I can't seem to do it everyday!?! I brush everyday, I bathe everyday...WHY CAN'T I COMMIT TO FLOSSING??? I even have the little floss-picks where I don't have to do much at all. UGHHHH....this is why I hate going to the dentist.

It's beyond me. But hey, two out of three isn't bad at all!

How about you? How have you done on your resolutions so far? Let us know!!