My Christmas Home Tour

Christmas decor

Welcome to my home for Christmas.  I've loved checking out other blogger's Christmas home tours and thought I'd share a peek into my home decorated for the holidays.  My home is by no means glamorous, but I enjoy making it cozy and it has evolved and changed over the past 15 years. I have one Christmas tree that's filled with ornaments I've … [Read more...]

Spiced Holiday Tea Recipe

spiced holiday tea

I made this spiced holiday tea for a few of my friends and it was enjoyed by all.  You can drink it hot or cold, but this time of year I like to drink it hot. This holiday tea is full of the flavors of the season: cinnamon, cranberry, and cloves. The recipe makes four one cup servings, but I tripled the recipe and it kept in the refrigerator for … [Read more...]

Gifts that Keep Giving

elephant

You may be at a point right now where you're at a loss on what to give someone this holiday season.  How about  a gift that keeps on giving? I hate buying things just to have something for someone to open, but they'll never use it.  There are tons of people and organizations in need this time of year and I thought I'd share a few that I've … [Read more...]

Gift Wrapping with Tea Towels

tea towel gift wrap

Tea towels are not only useful for drying dishes, but they make great easy gift wrap that you can reuse.  You can find inexpensive tea towels that cost just as much as a gift bag or wrapping paper.  A great time to stock up on Holiday printed towels is after Christmas when they are on clearance. A few years ago I was on a Rum Chata kick and … [Read more...]

Holiday Drink & Dessert Recipes

10 Holiday Desserts

I could use a team of elves about now, how about you? Every year I have high aspirations of baking, decorating and crafting in addition to shopping, wrapping presents and sending Christmas cards.  I'm a planner, but no matter how hard I try my mind just doesn't want to think about Christmas in July or even in October for that matter.  I'm also an … [Read more...]

Gifts for the Book Lover

Gifts for the Book Lover

I love books and I could spend days writing about all of my favorite books, but I still have a lot of merry-making to do this holiday season. However, I wanted to share a few favorites of mine and I'm giving away a new children's book signed by the author.  All you have to do is a leave a comment and tell me one of your favorite books. I … [Read more...]

A Few of My Favorite Christmas Ideas

Christmas Tree 2013

The magic of Christmas can be found in many homes this time of year.  The magic I'm referring to is the whirlwind of creating and merry-making that many women and a small percentage of men find themselves capable of doing in the mere three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I've been collecting Christmas ideas over the past few weeks and … [Read more...]

Artichoke Pizza

artichoke pizza

This artichoke pizza is an easy appetizer and an oldie, but goodie.  I go through years where I have my standard go to recipes and then all of a sudden I discover new ones and forget about some of my old favorites.  My neighbor Betsy shared this recipe with me and I remember her making it years ago whenever she had  a little get together at her … [Read more...]

Gift Ideas for the Entertainer

gift ideas for the entertainer

  Today is Cyber Monday when shoppers will be looking for special online deals.  Many sales have already begun and since I was busy with family commitments during Thanksgiving weekend I got a jump-start on my holiday shopping online.  One of my favorite things to buy is entertaining and kitchen items: glassware, plates, trays and cute … [Read more...]

Grinchy Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Grinchy Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

These Cranberry Pistachio Cookies are sure to put a smile on the Grinch's face this holiday season.  My sister-in-law made these cookies last year and they were a big hit, even with my teenagers. The recipe comes from Betty Crocker and uses a Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix which means less time in the kitchen measuring a ton of different … [Read more...]

Being Grateful & My Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving table decor

Being grateful is sometimes easier said than done.  I try to practice gratitude every day and have many things to be thankful for however, sometimes a soundtrack of sarcasm, criticism, negativity and self-doubt like to play in my head.  Sometimes I'm aware of when it's happening and sometimes it's pointed out to me by loved ones.  Either way, I'm … [Read more...]

White Chocolate Snack Mix- Gifts in a Jar

white chocolate snack mix-gift in a jar

My friend Pam shared this White Chocolate Snack Mix with me years ago and it's a perfect treat to give to friends and neighbors during the holidays.  There are several reasons why it's perfect.  There's no baking required which means you aren't a slave to the oven waiting on cookies to turn golden brown.  I enjoy baking cookies during the holidays, … [Read more...]

White Chocolate Cranberry Mini Scones

white chocolate cranberry scones

  Making scones just got easier with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread.  I make cinnamon scones every Christmas and at other times during the year.   It's one of my most requested recipes, but scones can be a little tricky to make.  I was surprised to learn you can use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread to make scones.  The I Can't … [Read more...]

Unique Gift Ideas from Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods

I love receiving packages in the mail and especially ones with cute packaging.  The package above came from Uncommon Goods which offers unique creative designs and handcrafted gifts for everyone on your holiday list.  Half of what they sell is made by hand by artists  and most of the products are created in the USA.  Also, roughly one-third of … [Read more...]

Kentucky Derby Pie

kentucky derby pie

I love pecan pie and chocolate and when you mix the two together you get this Kentucky Derby Pie.  My friend Anne shared this pie with me.  It's delicious, looks pretty and makes a great Thanksgiving dessert.  If your in the mood to take your pecan pie to the next level give this one a try. I came across this Derby Pie recipe years ago in … [Read more...]

Hearty Potato Sausage Soup

hearty potato sausage soup

We went from having a chill in the air to below 30 degree temperatures this week so I thought I'd share a soup recipe.  My friend Cindy shared this soup with me awhile back and I've kept it in my files for days like today. I love potato soup and this one is very different from the recipe I normally make.  I like the addition of cream cheese, … [Read more...]

Hostess Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Guide for the Hostess

The holidays are swiftly approaching and malls will be buzzing with people running around frantically looking for gifts.  With the holidays come lots of parties and it's always a nice gesture to bring a little hostess gift.  I've put together a few hostess gift ideas I think make a nice gift and that people can use.  You can also purchase almost … [Read more...]

Bourbon Apple Cake

bourbon apple cake

This bourbon apple cake has a unique flavor and a little crunch in every bite.  I found the recipe in Real Simple Magazine and decided to try it because it's different from traditional apple pie and contains grits.  The crispness of the apples combined with the grits give the apple cake a crunchy texture. The cake tastes very similar to apple … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies

'Tis the season of everything pumpkin! I love pumpkin and snickerdoodle cookies so when I combined the two with this pumpkin snickerdoodle recipe, what's not to love. These pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies are light and moist with a slight crunch to their coating.  The pumpkin and cinnamon mix together nicely so that neither one overpowers the … [Read more...]

Let Your Individuality Shine & Own It

Mia's School Picture

  My friend Kyra recently shared  a story with me that makes me smile every time I think about it.  We met for a lunch a few months ago once our kids were back in school.  Most of my friends have children and as parents there is always a story or two involved centered around your kids.  In this case it was Mia, her youngest daughter. … [Read more...]

12 Recipes Using Leftover Halloween Candy

12 Halloween Candy Recipes

My kids are too old for trick-or-treating now, but there were many years we were still eating leftover Halloween candy at Christmas time.   I would even freeze some of it and break it out during the winter months when when we were snuggled inside watching movies.  There are also numerous ways you can use Halloween candy in recipes.  These 12 … [Read more...]

Autumn Chopped Salad

Autumn Chopped Salad

The addition of pears, pecans and cranberries give this chopped salad a touch of Autumn flavors.  My friend Anne shared this Autumn Chopped Salad recipe with me at a fall soup swap.  I love having soup and salad for lunch and it also makes an easy dinner meal. This Autumn Salad is so easy to throw together and is a nice change from a boring old … [Read more...]

An Owl Themed Fall Table Setting

fall tablescape

I have quite a few owls around my house so I decided to create a fall tablescape with them.  I had some friends over for a soup exchange and I wanted to make the table festive looking for the fall season.  I struggle with flower arranging so I decided to make pumpkins, gourds and mercury glass owls the focus of my table. I'm going through a … [Read more...]

Tippin’s Copycat Corn Bread Recipe

Tippins corn bread recipe

There used to be a Tippin's restaurant in the Kansas City area which was one of my favorite places to eat.  What I remember most about their restaurant is the soups and corn bread.  Their corn bread was sweet and moist and came with a big dollop of honey butter.   Several years ago my friend Anne gave me a Tippin's corn bread recipe that she got … [Read more...]

How To Decorate Plants for Fall in 5 Minutes or Less

Fall succulent containter

Fall has always been a tricky a time for me when it comes to freshening up my outdoor pots.  Some of my summer plants still look great, but I want them to coincide with the fall season. This year I took a simple approach which takes about 5 minutes or less to decorate your outdoor or indoor plants for fall.  I was inspired by Ricki at Red Cedar … [Read more...]

Cindy’s Not Too Spicy Chili

chili recipe

Chili is a comfort food I enjoy eating in the fall and winter months.   I usually serve it with a side of corn bread.  I'll be sharing a copycat recipe of Tippin's Corn Bread later this week that a friend of mine gave me.  However, for today the focus is this chili recipe my friend Cindy shared with me. Cindy adds mushrooms to her chili which I … [Read more...]

Be Royal

Royals baseball field

Most of Kansas City is smiling because the Kansas City Royals are the 2014 American League Champions and are playing in the World Series tomorrow.  I think at one point in my blog I shared that you'd never find me writing about sports.   I don't know much about the rules of sports and it's not a passion of mine.  I enjoy the social aspects of … [Read more...]

Halloween Ideas Resurrected

Halloween party ideas

I'm resurrecting a few past of my past posts on Halloween for those of you that are new readers and for long term readers who may have forgotten about them.  I have been blogging for almost three years and even I've forgotten about some of the things I've posted.  Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I explain why I'm … [Read more...]

Tempting Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

lemon poppy seed bundt cake

My friend Angela made these adorable mini lemon poppy seed bundt cakes for a lunch I hosted back in the Spring.  It's her mother's recipe and a family favorite, including her dog.   She had the cakes cooling on her kitchen counter and while she was out her dog ambushed them and devoured all but two. We had some fun photographing one of the lone … [Read more...]

An Easy Way to Create a Color Palette for a Room

Sherwin-Williams chip it tool

Office image via Kendra Scott Creating a color palette for a room just got easier with my new favorite find.  While collecting images of offices I love on Pinterest,  I came across a post from Ask Anna on How to Create a Design Board. I could spend hours creating design and vision boards which is one of the reasons I run out of time to actually … [Read more...]

25 Fall Recipes

25 fall recipes

  I love the scents and flavors of Fall. The smell of apples and pumpkin spice make me want to curl up under a blanket with a hot beverage, something sweet and a good book.  It's my favorite time of the year.  I've found so many delicious looking Fall recipes on Pinterest lately that I couldn't wait to share them with you all.   When I … [Read more...]

My Favorite Book of the Year & Other Good Reads

favorite books

  I love to talk about books, read reviews of books, collect books and if I'm lucky I actually get a few books read.  I'm currently reading Gone Girl.  My Aunt gave me the book a year ago and I've been frantically trying to finish it so I can go see the movie.  I've heard the movie does a great job of portraying the book.  I'm enjoying Gone … [Read more...]

The Smile List

healthy hummus dip

It's been awhile since I've shared a smile list and lately I've had a lot to smile about.  I've been learning lots of new things at an Online Blog Conference and discovering new bloggers.  I'm guest posting for Brianne with Cupcakes and Kale Chips today and sharing this easy healthy hummus appetizer.  My friend Mary shared the recipe with me and it … [Read more...]

Favorite Fall Entertaining Serveware

Fall Entertaining Serveware

I'm excited to introduce you all to Jessica from Pen N' Paper Flowers.  I met/stalked Jessica at the SNAP conference this past Spring.  I can't recall how I originally came across her blog, but it may have had something to with this amazing popcorn bar she created.  She is a party planner extraordinaire as well as a talented graphic designer and … [Read more...]

KC Holiday Mart 2014 Ticket Giveaway

holiday mart logo

There are many things I love about the Fall season and one of those things is the annual Kansas City Holiday Mart.  It's a fun-filled four-day shopping event sponsored by the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri.  The KC Holiday Mart features nearly 200 specialty retailers offering unique and oftentimes exclusive products and specialty gift … [Read more...]

Spicy Garlic Chex Mix

#spicy garlic chex mix

What is it about homemade Chex Mix that makes it taste so much better than the prepackaged stuff?  Don't get me wrong , I still buy the prepackaged mixes, but it really is quite easy to make.  If you googled Chex Mix you could probably find thousands of recipes for it.  My friend Anne shared this Spicy Garlic Chex Mix with us and we all loved it. … [Read more...]

Share and Organize Your Photos with Seahorse

Seahorse logo

  I recently learned about a new app called Seahorse which allows you to easily share photos with friends and family. What I love about Seahorse is that you can document everyday life or share photos from events or trips that you may not necessarily want the whole world to see right from your iPhone or Android phone.  Seahorse … [Read more...]

Non-Alcoholic White Sangria

non-alcoholic sangria

This non-alcoholic white sangria is a refreshing drink option for both kids and adults.   I love both red and white sangria and had clipped this recipe out of a magazine years ago.  I thought it would make a fun drink option for kids or adults who don't want the alcohol. It's basically a sparkling fruit juice topped with assorted fruits. Don't … [Read more...]

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins & A KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

3 ingredient pumpkin muffins

I've teamed up with several bloggers to provide a KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway in the color of your choice.  I have a red KitchenAid Mixer that I love.  It makes mixing quick and easy.  These pumpkin muffins take about 5 min to mix and pour into a muffin tin.  I love making them throughout the fall season.  I do most of my baking in the fall and … [Read more...]

Advice from Longfellow

Longfellow quote

I've never been a huge fan of poetry, but I love this quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  There is so much wisdom in these four little lines. I'm a dreamer and I'm not a very patient person.  What I've learned is I  can't just dream something and wish for it to happen (although I really wish I had a magic wand).  I have to take actions every … [Read more...]