Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Catching up: sickness, weekend in PA, and it's LENT! ♥

Hello Friends! 

I'm starting this post with a shot of my nice, comfy bed.  I spent the beginning of the week right here because I came down with a nasty "something".  Not quite a cold. Not quite the flu.  Something in the middle. It came on fast and thankfully didn't last that long.  

As I type this post its Wednesday afternoon and I"m feeling much better.  I'm still sounding like a cross between Marge Simpson and Roz from Monsters Inc, but my headache is gone and I can breathe again. Whatever is going around lately is no joke.  I hope you all have avoided it.  

If you haven't, #1. I"m sorry and #2. Dayquil & Nyquil are lifesavers! 

Also Twinings Lemon & Ginger Tea is everything ♥  

So now that my head is finally clear I can tell you about my weekend.  We had an absolutely amazing time visiting our friends in beautiful Pennsylvania!!!  What can I say about a family that welcomes us (all 3 of us) into their home as if we were family.  We had so many laughs!!!  I just love them so, so much!  We ate out, we ate in, we played games, we stayed cozy.  There were blankets, and puppies, and lots of coffee (and donuts!) and the most amazing steak dinner!  I have no words expect BLESSED comes to mind.  

It's not often that you find friends that you can truly be yourself around....sweatpants and all!  It's the best feeling and I don't take it lightly.  

Billie Jo,  I would drive 8 hours to have coffee with you any day!!  (even with my husbands questionable music choices....but he's the driver so I have to keep him happy : ) 

And this little lady, I am missing her too!!! 

So now we are home, still riding high from our fabulous weekend....never once letting my sickness get me down.  Today is ASH Wednesday and I'm so grateful I am better and was able to get ashes this morning on my way to work.  

It's officially LENT. 

I love this special, peaceful time of year as we head towards Easter and Spring.  My intentions during this lent are to be more present with my actions, be more mindful, and to be more positive.  Sometimes I struggle with these things, but I am working on it 

I hope you all are well (and avoiding whatever is going around).  Stay healthy my friends!  
I wish you all a wonderful week!

I'm off to make pancakes for dinner!  Its our ASH Wednesday tradition : ) 

Thanks for catching up with me.  I'll be back with a new post on Friday! xx 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Eggplant Pizzas ♥

Hello Friends! ♥

It's school vacation week here in my part of the world which means John is living his best life.  A life without schedules, homework, or (the worst....) a dreaded uniform!  I love school vacation weeks because it gives us a change to breathe, catch up on sleep, and have some fun. Monday we saw a movie and today he's spending time with his cousins.  Later in the week we are headed out on a little road trip to visit our very special friends in Pennsylvania and we couldn't be more excited to see them!  Best life indeed....:) 

But, before we pack up the car and head out I wanted to share with you this quick recipe for mini eggplant pizzas. Let's face it, I'm guilty of sharing too many desserts on this blog and you all know how much I LOVE the sweet stuff.  You may not realize that I do love veggies too! And eggplant is one of my favorites. 

I originally got this recipe from Pinterest (where all the good ideas live!) and I was amazed at how simple it was. If you need an eggplant fix, but don't want to make a full on eggplant parm dinner, just slap on some sauce and cheese and call it a pizza.  

It's as simple as that  ♥

 Start with an eggplant!  The bigger the better. 

Cut your eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. 

Lay them on a paper towel and sprinkle them with salt.  Let sit for 20 minutes.

The salt will draw the moisture out of the eggplant.  After 20 minutes wipe them dry.

Put your slices on a foil lined baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil and season with salt & pepper, and Italian seasonings.

Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. 

(you want the eggplant to be tender but not mushy)

Remove from the oven and top with sauce and cheese. 

Now broil for 3 minutes. 

Keep a close eye so the cheese doesn't burn.  I got these out just in time!

It's a veggie disguised as a pizza! ♥

Ok, so it's not like a real pizza.  You'll have to eat it with a knife and fork, but it's healthy, cheesy, and yummy!  

You're welcome! ♥

I hope you all are having a wonderful week.  I'll be back soon with some highlights from our road trip and weekend away! 

Happy Wednesday Everybody! You are half way to Friday! : ) 

Thanks for stopping by today~ Bye! xo 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

Hello Everyone! I want to wish you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!  

I hope you have enjoyed my little series over the past few weeks, highlighting some of my favorite dessert recipes (taking a brief time out for a Christmas post! lol).  It occurred to me that I never got a chance to talk about movies or music, or any of the other romantic related topics that I planned on talking about.  I got so wrapped up in chocolate I lost all track of time.  So expect to see more of those posts in the future.  I will say for the record that my favorite Valentine movie is of course Sleepless in combines Tom Hanks with Carey Grant, so how can you go wrong there? And it just so happens to feature my most favorite romantic song of all time (listen here).  
More on those things coming soon! 

We'll be celebrating tonight with a quiet dinner at home, heart shaped meatloaf & sweet potatoe fries (as you do), followed by Susan Branch's Valentine Cookie which I'm turning into chocolate chip cookie sundaes.  Easy-peasy around here!  We'll be in our jammies by sundown and enjoy a relaxing Friday night on the couch!  

Sounds like a perfect Valentine's Day to me! 

Have a wonderful weekend my friends! Thank you for stopping by 

I appreciate all of you! xo 

PS if you are looking for a last minute dessert, here is a cringy video of me making a yummy brownie torte!


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Christmas in February!

Hello Everyone! 

I'm taking a quick break from my Valentine's Day posts to share with you my family's Christmas celebration. That's right...Christmas! 

Many of you who visit me here know that my mother was in the hospital for Christmas.  We never got to officially celebrate as a family....until now.  This past Sunday we ALL got together and had the Christmas we missed.  It was such a fun day.  My Dad cooked a huge meal for all of us (a ham and a turkey!).  My mother was so happy to have our whole family together!  

The tree is still up! 

My uncle (Dad's brother) stepped into the kitchen to help! 

My mom, looking so happy to be home and have her family around her! 

Organized chaos! ♥  

Lots of laughs were had! 

My sister with my nephew and two of her grandchildren.  It's fun to have babies in the family! 

I've had this bag of Christmas presents in my bedroom since November. 

I was finally able to give them out! 

The house smelled like a holiday! ~ 


My aunt & uncle treated us to this delicious Italian rum cake! ♥  

(Complete with a Merry Christmas message. He said the woman who took the order was 

And I made pies.  It wouldn't be a holiday without them!! ♥  

That day I realized that Christmas doesn't have to be celebrated on December 25th.  As long as you have faith and your family around you, Christmas can be celebrated anytime.  Even in February! 

We all felt so grateful and blessed to have had this celebration.  We will never forget this holiday. 
It went from one of the worst to one of the best.  

Have a wonderful day my friends!  Hug your loved ones tight! xo  

Merry Christmas! ♥  

(PS. I shared some videos on my Instagram stories if you want to check them out.  I saved them under highlights : ) 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Valentine's Day Series: Andies Mint Brownies ♥

Hello Friends!  

This past weekend we celebrated a special birthday.  Rob turned 48!!!  I made him this yummy chocolate layer cake (it had raspberry jam in the middle: ). He loved it. 

If you're looking for the recipe I will direct you to the cake mix isle at the grocery store.  It's a Pillsbury box mix and it was delicious! Frosting came out of a can too.  I just added some sprinkles and viola!

No shame here : ) 

My husband is a no frills guy.  He's about as down to Earth as they come.  He loves dinners at home, getting a small regular coffee in the morning (no flavored stuff for him!), and working out in the garage.  Our lives revolve around the simple things.

And I love that  ♥  

Make a wish!  ♥  

My point is that wonderful things can come out of a box mix. 
Not everything has to be a full sha-bang from scratch all the time. 

Here is one of my favorite brownie recipes using a box mix and chocolate mint candies. 
I always make these in February. 


Originally posted January 24, 2018

I love decorating for Valentines Day! ♥  

All the pink and red hearts look so pretty against the January snow.  The colors instantly brighten my days (which lately have been cold and dreary...)

I made this little set up on my coffee table today.  What do you think?  I'm smiling, how about you? 
And speaking of Valentine's Day, we are only a few weeks away!  I was trying to think of some special treats to bake and I remembered these brownies I made for Christmas .  
Chocolate + mint = perfection! ♥ 

All you need is a brownie mix and a package of Andes chocolates.  

Bake your brownies as you normally would.  

*side note, my friend Billie Jo taught me to always add an extra egg to brownie mix to make them more cake-like.  I always do this and they come out great every time! Less gooey and more delicious! 
Just sayin...* 
While they are baking, unwrap the chocolates because you will need them as soon as the brownies are done.  

(I ate a few along the way...who wouldn't, right? : ) 

When done, remove the brownies from the oven and immediately cover them with the chocolates (in a single layer).  Within a few seconds the chocolate will begin to melt.  

With a spatula, smear the melted minty chocolate over the brownies Willy Wonka style,  so it's nice and smooth ♥ 

Set aside to cool completely.  I put mine in the fridge so it would set faster ♥
Once completely cooled and the chocolate is hardened, use a serrated knife to cut the brownies.  

What you are left with is a delicious chocolate brownie with a thick layer of chocolate mint on top! 

Definitely Valentines day appropriate! ♥♥

Make them for your loved ones and Enjoy! 

Have a great day friends! We are half way to Friday!  I hope these brownies last till then.  
( probably not : ) 


Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful day! 

Also, if you have a few minutes please check out my YouTube Channel and subscribe.  I am still trying to figure out how to get a link on my sidebar : ) 

You can find my channel (here).  I just posted a recipe for garlic chicken wings that are really yummy! 

Thanks so much!!   ♥