Friday, July 17, 2015

Brownie Bowl Sundaes

Brownie Bowl Sundaes...does it get any better than this on a Summer night? Yeah, there are brownie sundaes, but these just seem so much more fun.  The little girl in me just wants to devour that whole plate full.

I came across this dessert idea as I was cleaning the ridiculous pile of papers, magazines and mail on my table. I swear that paper is my nemesis!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Kid's Room Clean-Up vs. Parent's Sanity

If you are like me, there is a ever present battle being waged against the condition of your child's room. 
If you don't have kids then you must think that I'm joking.  I'm not's a BATTLE!  Dirty clothes strewn across the floor. Clean clothes strewn across the floor. Toys strategically placed to destroy a parent's feet in the night.  Stuffed animals seem to mock you from all sides.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A New Favorite Stew ~ Anne Burrell's Beef Bourguignon

Let's start off by saying that my hubby is not a big soup, stoup, or stew kinda guy. I, however, am. This week I came across a recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Beef Bourguignon by Anne Burrell.

Oh my GOSH!  This stew is like a big, warm, fuzzy blanket of savory love wrapping you from the inside. Yeah, it's that good. Rather than keep this delectable tidbit to myself, because that would just be wrong, I have the recipe here for your enjoyment too! The recipe listed below has half the meat, a change in mushrooms and a little more potatoes and less time peeling carrots...easier for me and tailored to my hubby's tastebuds.

Anne's original recipe: Beef Bourguignon

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Learn About Essential Oils From The World's Leader In The Science Of Essential Oils

Take a quick 25 minute class with Dr. Pappas to understand and learn more about essential oils than you ever have before.
Dr. Pappas has spent over 20 years dedicated to the study of essential oils and their chemistry.  He is the world's leader in the science of essential oil chemistry...AND he is the individual overseeing the quality of doTERRA's essential oils!  Thus giving us all the surety of the purity of the oils that we are using in our daily lives.  Personally I am thrilled to know that the world leader in essential oil chemistry is the man making sure that we are not getting an adulterated version of these precious oils.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Someone's Turning ONE! 1st Birthday Party Ideas

This month has be doing a lot of picture gazing.  My little guy is turning 1 at the end of this month.  Can you believe it?  How is that even possible?!  It seems like time has just been moving in a fast forward pace.  I blink and he's doing something new.
Let's face it, the first two birthdays really are for the adults, not so much for the little kiddle.  We moms and dads love to have an excuse to get friends together...because it's hard to do that without a birthday being involved. (at least for our family that statement is true) Well, maybe the 2nd becomes about the little one.
So, now I'm trying to decide what kind of cake to make for this milestone.  Do I go cupcakes?  Do I go single layer?  Do I go tiered?  Do I follow my sis-in-law's example and make a 100% whole fruit cake?  Or do I just make my personal favorite tiramisu? *hehe*
Since I know that I am not the only mom dealing with a 1st birthday party this year, I thought I'd share some of my finds with you.  Hopefully it will either solve another mom's dilemma or stir up inspiration.

A Little Gentlemen's Birthday?  Spaceships And Laser Beams had so many wonderful ideas for a stache themed party.  I'm very tempted to give into this trend. 

So, here's my sis-in-law's all fruit non-cake that she made for my nephew's 1st birthday. (Got a glutten issue to deal with?  This is a PERFECT solution. Isn't that amazing?! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

10 Useful Uses For Vinegar Around Your Home

This short video of 10 uses for vinegar around the house is worth the watch.  I must confess that 9 out of 10 of these uses I had not thought of for vinegar before.  You're welcome for the find.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Super Bowl Grub ~ SEAHAWKS BABY!!

My husband is a HUGE Seahawks fan...has been since he was in the 8th grade.  So, needless to say that he can't wait for Super Bowl Sunday this year.  We'll all be decked out in blue and green, yelling at the TV like people who have completely lost their minds.  Fun :)

In the midst of the chaos that is sure to ensue, we will be munching on some seriously yummy eats.  Here's a round-up of some great recipes from around the blogsphere for you to enjoy while you watch the game...or retreat to another area of the house.  I'll be following the ball and then retreating during the half time show...Katy Perry? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Post Christmas ~ Finally!

I know, I know. We're 14 days into the new year. But if your December was anything like my family's, you are still trying to get back into the swing of normalcy also.  We had all of the typical December happenings, like tree trimming at Grandma & Grandpa's,  tamale making, cookie baking, Christmas shopping, my daughter's 10th birthday party, and two Christmas parties for Charming & me. On top of our typical December happenings we added a few new things this year, like a choir performance schedule and a gingerbread festival.
Tamale making with grandma & grandpa. The maza was flying!

Living in an apartment with limited space and now a large baby swing where our Christmas tree usually sat meant that this year there was going to be a lack of tree in our home.  I hated that.  It just didn't feel right not having our own tree...just a fiber optic one on our coffee table. Although, not cleaning up pine needles was a plus...and the girls hung candy canes galore on the fiber optic tree along with some homemade ornaments we did this year. (They smelled ahhhmazing!)

Baby boy enjoyed all of the lights, the smells and our traditional cocoa & Christmas light drive.  We get all bundled up, bring our cocoa mugs, a pump thermos full of hot cocoa, turn on the radio and drive around town looking at all of the Christmas lights on display in the neighborhoods.  This tradition was started the year my oldest daughter was turning 1...and we've done it every year since.  I have to say other than all of the baking that I do, this is my favorite family Christmas time tradition.

Yes, that is a GIANT inflatable reindeer peering over someone's back yard fence. It was tethered down like you wouldn't believe.

My biggest tip for making things a little lighter on your bank account during all of the Christmas shopping is to utilize SHOPKICK throughout the year.  Yes, if you don't already have it here is another app for you to put on your phone. It truly pays off though...SERIOUSLY! You get to redeem your points for instant gift cards to places that you most likely go to all the time.  Last year I redeemed over $150 just at Christmas time...not including all the redemptions I did in previous months!  (And I wasn't as diligent about it as I was the year before.) I love to yreat myself every one in awhile by redeeming for  a Starbucks instant gift card!  I use SHOPKICK all year long as I'm out and about.  We only live 5 minutes from the mall, so a stop in during the weekend when extra points are offered is an easy run in and out of the mall for me. You don't have to buy anything, just walk into one of the stores offering points!  Target and Walmart supply points to me all year long...with walk-ins and scanning certain items as I'm shopping.  I LOVE IT!!!  Anyway, that was my little bit of "here's free money for you".

My oldest daughter is all about Christmas, how could she not be? She's a Christmas Eve baby!  I love that she chose to have a Christmas themed birthday cake this year.  We had such fun decorating it with little Wilton cupcake toppers...which I got at a clearance price somehow!!! Look how cute it turned out!

This was the first year of choir performances to keep up on.  My Grace LOVES being in the choir (she's the one beaming at me in the photo)...and it brought us to a little gingerbread festival that we had no idea even happened in town. And don't even ask me what the Christmas pig was all about...I'm still trying to figure that out.
Some of the gingerbread houses were amazing!  I would have never tried to decorate the inside of one. We all had our favorites, which were the only ones I snapped pics of. Which one wins your vote? Think you could pull something like these off?

This was my favorite gingerbread house.  I couldn't believe how they had also done the inside of the house.  Mine have NEVER looked this pretty. Next year, next year is the year that mine steps up!
Face painting, a stop off at Target and then home for hair coloring...that was one busy Saturday for my clan.  They got to relax and mom got to hit the grocery store that evening...something doesn't seem quite fair about that, does it?
My little artist Rose could not just go with what the face painter offered...she had a special request to make her face look like a snowman.  The other kids in line knew as soon as the nose went on...and they all LOVED it.
My darling little Rose got the part she was ironically praying for in her 3rd grade performance...the angel.  She typically doesn't like the spotlight, so when she was so determined to get a speaking part in the performance I was shocked.  And she did such a good job too. 

I hope that you all had an amazing December with your families. I know that ours rushed by, but it was filled with plenty of happy new memories.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Vicks Chest Rubs vs. Natural Chest Rub

It's that time of year when many (MANY) mothers are pulling out the VICKS VapoRub to help their little ones breathe easier through the night.  You just may want to think twice before doing it. 

Have you actually read the list of active ingredients in this product?  I have to admit that until my son was born, I really never did. I just took a look at the VICKS Baby Rub that I've used in the past on my children...mostly because they couldn't breathe easily when I had used the VICKS VapoRub. (My girls are now 8 & 10 and I had to use the baby brand back in Spring 2014 for the same reasons.) 

VICKS VapoRub:
Active Ingredients: Label reads: Special Vick medications (camphor, menthol, spirits of turpentine, eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, myristica oil, thymol) compounded by the original Vick process VICK CHEMICAL COMPANY Div of Richardson-Merrell Inc

VICKS Baby Rub:
Ingredients: Petrolatum, Fragrance, Aloe Extract, Eucalyptus Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil.

Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum. Petrolatum is a soft paraffin or wax mixture sold as a topical skin ointment. It is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved over-the-counter skin protectant and is used in the manufacturing of cosmetic skin care. However the side effects of petrolatum include finding the petroleum byproduct in breast tumors, suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne. (

There is NO WAY that I am putting these products on the chest of my girls or son ever again.  The U.S. already out ranks !