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...]

Sunflower Fields Forever

sunflower field

Instead of strawberry fields forever it is sunflower fields forever in Lawrence, Kansas.  The weather was gorgeous in the Kansas City area this past weekend so I took full advantage of being outside and enjoying it.  I had seen pictures of the sunflower field on Facebook, but wasn't exactly sure where it was located.  It turns out it's right down … [Read more...]

The Difference between Craft and Art

St Francis of Assisi quote

I recently read a quote out of the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach that resonated with me, " Love is the spiritual energy that induces elevation- the transcendent moment in creation when craft becomes art."  Performing everyday chores and projects can feel more like labor than love at times.  Although I love blogging and sharing my … [Read more...]

Manwich Dogs and Mini Sloppy Joes

Manwich Dogs and Mini Sloppy Joes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. I grew up eating Manwich Sloppy Joes and it's one of my family's most requested meals.  It's the only way I've ever made a Sloppy Joe.  Browning some ground beef and having a Manwich Night is one of the Easy Weeknight Meals in my rotating … [Read more...]

Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

zucchini cupcakes with caramel frosting

My friend Kristin shared this zucchini cupcake recipe with me.  She brought me two cupcakes to taste test because that's all that was left of the 24 she made.  Her boys devoured them and didn't have a clue they contained zucchini.  She had an overabundance of zucchini and was looking for new ways to use them.  She came across these zucchini … [Read more...]

DIY Lavender Lemon Lotion Bars

lavender lemon lotion bars

  These DIY Lavender Lemon Lotion Bars were created by Molly whose farm theme wedding I featured on my blog last week.  If you missed it, you can click on the link to see all of the fun details.   I thought these hen lotion bars were adorable and a fun favor for a party so I asked Molly if she would share the details on how she made … [Read more...]

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

blueberry stuffed french toast

My friend Anne made this delicious Blueberry Stuffed French Toast for my family this summer.  I love french toast and I love breakfast dishes, but I don't enjoy making breakfast.  I'm not a get up and go morning person (just ask my husband).  I'm more of a lounge in my pajamas, drink coffee, journal, read and then eat breakfast about an hour later. … [Read more...]

My New Favorite Potato Chip-Wasabi Ginger

wasabi ginger potato chips

I hesitated to write a whole post on my new favorite potato chip, but these Wasabi Ginger Kettle Chips are that good.  I came across them while in the checkout line at Wal-Mart.  Those endcaps get me every time.  I'm one of those impulsive shoppers who spies a new product on an endcap and nine times out of ten throws into the cart.  If you like the … [Read more...]

A Farm Themed Wedding

farm theme wedding

My friend Mary gives fabulous parties.  I've featured her candy party, Halloween party and a few ideas from her graduation party.  This past March her sister Molly got married and had a farm themed wedding.  Creativity and the ability to pull off large parties must run in the family.  Molly shared with me her photo album of pictures taken by a … [Read more...]

For Dog Lovers Only

Miniature Schnauzers

Today is National Dog Day.  Author and Pet LifeStyle Expert Colleen Paige created the day in 2004 to honor dogs, and to give them "a day" which shows our deep appreciation for them.   Dogs impact our lives in many ways through their loyalty, companionship, and unconditional love.  Many dogs put their lives on the line every day by assisting law … [Read more...]

Grilled Broccoli and Onion Salad

grilled broccoli and onion salad

My friend Anne is sharing this grilled broccoli and onion salad recipe today.  I sampled her leftovers and it was delicious. Even though the summer is winding down, we still have a couple of months of grill time in Kansas.  Lots of people grill year round, but we usually shut ours down once the weather gets below 65.  If you are firing up the grill … [Read more...]